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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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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?

Epilepsy Foundation

Plus, more from The Bump:

Things Every High-Risk Pregnancy Patient Should Know

HELLP Syndrome During Pregnancy

Birth defect risks?

-- Jennifer L.W. Fink

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Reminder: Medical info on The Bump is FYI only and doesn't replace a visit to a medical professional.