Epilepsy During Pregnancy
If you have epilepsy, you’re probably wondering how it will affect your pregnancy. Here, plenty of answers.
What’s the best way to treat epilepsy during pregnancy?
Antiseizure medication can keep seizures at bay. You might be worried about taking meds while pregnant, but epilepsy is one of those times when the benefits can outweigh the risks. “All antiseizure meds pose some risk to the fetus, but in epilepsy, it’s clear that the seizures are far more dangerous to the pregnancy and the baby than the medications are,” says Sharon Phelan, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico. “A woman should not stop taking her medicine, thinking that it’s the safest thing for her baby, because the seizures themselves can be dangerous. Often when women have seizures, they fall down, hurt themselves or stop breathing. All of those things can cause serious problems.”
What can I do to prevent epilepsy-related complications during pregnancy?
“Ideally, a woman who has epilepsy who’s on medication should plan her pregnancy,” Phelan says. “Before getting pregnant, she should work with her neurologist to switch her med to one that’s safe during pregnancy.” To help prevent birth defects, you should take a folic acid supplement prior to (and throughout) pregnancy.
Are there any other resources for epilepsy?
Plus, more from The Bump:
Things Every High-Risk Pregnancy Patient Should Know
HELLP Syndrome During Pregnancy
Birth defect risks?
See More: Pregnancy Health , Pregnancy Conditions , Pregnancy Symptoms
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Reminder: Medical info on The Bump is FYI only and doesn't replace a visit to a medical professional.