2X Risk of Postpartum Hemorrhage Antidepressants


A study of 106,000 pregnant women with a diagnosis of mood or anxiety disorder, by researchers from Harvard, Duke, Michigan State and the university of Freiberg finds that exposure to antidepressants increased the risk of postpartum hemorrhage by 1.4 to 1.9 times. Results were published online by the British Medical Journal on August 21, 2013.

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Palmstein, K., Hernández-Díaz, S., Huybrechts, K., Williams, P., et al; Use of antidepressants near delivery and risk of postpartum hemorrhage: cohort study of low income women in the United States. British Medical Journal. Online August 21, 2013

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. You’re amassing quite a collection of scary, believable SSRI effects Kermit. I like this collection and believe that when they are all compiled into a list, it will be very effective at conveying to people the physical risks of these toxic drugs.

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  2. Based on the evidence, I believe that it is obscene to put pregnant or post partum women on these dangerous, useless drugs endangering both the woman and her baby/family in a variety of horrible ways. Think Andrea Yates under great psychiatric care.

    And now we have the horrific “Mother’s Act.” Dr. Phyllis Chesler wrote a great book called, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, and the type of despicable women who helped push the Mother’s Act with Big Pharma to push more toxic SSRI’s for so called post partum depression are described there as well as other sources like Mary Daly’s great books.

    It appears that informed consent is seriously lacking here.

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    • Study after medical school and after getting that license seems to be a rare effort. Nobody seems to know squat about postpartum depression, so they don’t realize they’re not dealing with a “mood disorder” that’s best not treated with psych drugs, but with zinc (and maybe B6 to get the zinc working) to excise the excess serum copper, the likely source of postpartum depressions, and probably various other nutrients.

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      • Or they are dealing with a person who is overwhelmed, whose life has turned upside down and who has insufficient support or is being actively undermined. It is very common for overt domestic abuse to begin during pregnancy or shortly after the birth of a child. Additionally, the mother usually has to deal with loss of sleep, physical stress of nursing, change of body image, loss of connection through employment, loss of income, isolation, triggering of childhood memories of abuse/neglect, shock or disappointment about the realities of having a baby not matching social expectations… I could go on. There are a lot of good reasons to be depressed after a child is born that have nothing to do with the body. That said, I totally support nutritional interventions, as a lot is changing on a physiological level as well.

        In short, the idea that “postpartum depression” is a medical problem is laughable for anyone who has actually become a new parent of an infant.

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