When I was seeing large numbers of pregnant women, I was told to do many things, because they were safe and beneficial.
Reality check – they were not!!
For example, I was told I could give Acetaminophen and now we know it can cause deformities of male genitalia. Years ago it was encouraged to give diethylstilbesterol to lower miscarriage risk and it did not do that but it sometimes caused a potentially fatal vaginal cancer in girl offspring and devastating deformities.
As well, I was told it was perfectly safe to give the type of antidepressants known as SSRIs. This category of drug includes such medications as Prozac, Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil, and others. A growing list of ills is now recognized as coming from the use of this drug class in pregnancy, including heart defects of the baby!! Of course this prescribing of drugs to pregnant women, except in life-saving situations, must stop! There are safer and more natural ways to help depressed women who are pregnant.
Now I’m very worried about the rampant prescribing of the ubiquitous drug Metformin for pregnant women with prediabetes, diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Environmental research has shown that Metformin is an endocrine disruptor!! When it gets into lakes and rivers, and it sadly often does from released water from treatment plants (which can’t remove pharmaceuticals from the water) it actually can alter the genitalia of the fish!
Sometimes I feel I’m the only OB/GYN who sees and cares about medications given to pregnant women. Why do so many respected doctors think that giving potentially harmful drugs is the only way to treat pregnant women with problems?
We must sound the alarm that as pregnancy is the most critical time in the life of the developing person … we must respect’s its needs for a pristine environment so as to enable the new life to reach his/her true potential.