The health police - Pregnant woman takes drugs


The health police: enough already!
Ever felt as if you were under citizen’s arrest when a well-meaning friend or stranger asked if you really needed that slice of cake? Or whether your kids should be outside on such a hot day? We’ve got the comebacks that’ll put the health police behind bars

By Bonny Reichert
First published in Chatelaine’s July 2003 issue.
© Rogers Publishing Ltd.

Pregnant woman takes drug

The offence “The last time I became pregnant, I was already getting the gears for being too old,” says Julie*, a media personality in her early 40s. “The next phase of harassment concentrated on my Prozac.” Julie endured everything from “You’ve quit smoking, now you should quit the Prozac,” to “Oh, my God, you’re going to have to give it up and go out of your mind!”

Background check “Even health professionals have told women to stop taking certain antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft,” says Adrienne Einarson, assistant director of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children Motherisk program, which offers evidence-based information about the dangers of drugs and other products. But the truth is that avoiding treatment for depression can be much more harmful than using medication. “Women who have stopped taking their antidepressants have called Motherisk absolutely crawling up the walls,” Einarson says. And all for nothing, as it turns out.

The verdict “Studies have found no increased risk of major malformations when women take these drugs while pregnant,” says Einarson. However, many other drugs and substances–including alcohol and certain foods–are not safe during pregnancy, so check with your doctor or Motherisk (416/813-6780,

Your comeback “Hey, mind your own meds.”

* Some names have been changed.

  • Intro
  Pregnant woman takes drugs
  • New mother weans baby
  • Woman dares to wine and dine
  • Whistle blown on latte habit
  • Canadians shirk the shot
  • Cancer patient ignores unsolicited medical advice
  • Safe medications for pregnant women
  • Tea benefits
  • Cold + flu guide
  • Trade health police stories in our Health forum

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