Benzodiazepine babies
[back] Benzodiazepines   [back] Drugs in pregnancy  Psychiatric child abuse

[WDDTY 1997] The scandal of the benzo babies---Margaret Bell of Research for Victims of Tranquillizers

[Media July 22, 2001] In the womb and hooked on tranquillisers

[Media 2000] Problems of ‘Benzo Babies’ to be Probed


See: Drugs in pregnancy   Paxil Babies: The Dangers of Antidepressants 

Since 1960, the UK medical profession has turned at least three million adults and two million ‘Benzo Babies’— infants whose mothers took tranquillisers during pregnancy—into brain-damaged addicts. There are currently still some one million patients trapped in addiction and another million disabled by withdrawals. The big tranquilliser cover-up by Margaret Bell

MORE than 50,000 babies a year are at risk of brain damage or death because they are poisoned by tranquillisers in the womb...The effects on the infants, who absorb the drugs through the placenta,. are even more devastating than those of heroin. One mother who was prescribed Valium while pregnant told yesterday about the agony her child later suffered. Janet Kerr, 62, said her son Charles was was born "in real distress" and doctors thought he would die. She nursed him through but he grew up with learning difficulties that made him "burst with embarrassment." He became addicted to Valium and committed suicide -at the age of 19....Research by pressure group Benzact supports fears that 50,000 babies a year are affected by tranquillisers. The organisation’s co-ordinator, Sue Bibby, said: "This problem is now. out of control." Experts believe tranquillizers could even be the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome- cot death.  [Medisa July 22, 2001] In the womb and hooked on tranquillisers

Perhaps the most tragic of all is that babies born to addicted mothers start life enduring the torture of withdrawal. How much this situation contributes to the ADHD statistics is a question nobody wants to examine. [Letter BMJ Oct 2004] The cost of progress

Although doctors warned against prescribing the drugs during pregnancy, an estimated 20-30,000 babies every year are born with benzodiazepine addiction, many of them to drug-abusing mothers. There are also claims that benzodiazepines are still being prescribed by GPs to women of child-bearing age without warning of the dangers. Dr James Robertson, a paediatrician at Arrowe Park Hospital, Liverpool, says that benzo babies' withdrawal symptoms are worse and longer lasting than those suffered by the babies of heroin addicts. "They include colic, sneezing, diarrhoea, inability to suck, jitteriness and a very distinct cry," he says. "Many babies will need intensive care." Benzodiazepine use in pregnancy has also been linked to foetal malformations such as cleft palate, and to developmental difficulties later. [Media 1999] More addictive than heroin, yet prescribed to one in four adults. Benzodiazepines can ruin lives...

"The developing foetus can be congenitally malformed; it can have heart attacks in the womb. We also know that the newborn baby born to somebody taking benzodiazepines will have difficulty breathing and they would have floppy muscles – what doctors call a 'floppy baby' and they may be unduly cold because the temperature regulation, which is so important to a baby, is disrupted ... Well I think if any doctor is prescribing benzodiazepines to a pregnant woman, he should check his indemnification status because it is in fact illegal prescribing." – Robert Kerwin, Professor of Psychopharmacology at the Maudesley Hospital in London, BBC Radio 4, Face The Facts, March 16, 1999.

External links
NEW PLAGUE - OLD PROBLEM: Misuse of benzodiazepines - an epidemic.
PREGNANCY : BDZs can interfere with the developing foetal nervous system.
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH: Do benzodiazepines cause SIDS?
BIRTH: Babies risk the direct effects of, and withdrawal from benzodiazepines.
AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE: a behavioural effect of benzodiazepines.