Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pregnancy and Medications

I get a lot of email asking if and how much medication I was taking during the pregnancy and if I felt it affected my daughter. So I wanted to post about this important topic.

First, I want to start out by saying I believe that every bipolar woman has to make the choice for themselves whether to take psychiatric medication during pregnancy. I primarily hear three things:
1. The mom-to-be doesn't want to take any medication
2. The OB/GYN or psychiatrist has told them to get off all medication during the pregnancy.
3. The mom-to-be doesn't think she could last the whole pregnancy without medication.

This is a very personal issue and decision that should be made with lots of planning.

Here's my story. I have bipolar I disorder with psychosis (which means I have been through psychosis in the past not that I am currently with it). I firmly believe that medication keeps me well (or at least helps me stay better). Given the severity of my past episodes I didn't think it was wise to stay off all medication during the pregnancy. I have been criticized by a few women for this choice, but my gut and instincts said for me it was the right decision. I did however not want to be on medication during my first trimester which is the riskist time for birth defects. I planned for about 8-12 months before getting pregnant to lower my medications so that I would not abruptly stop them when I became pregnant.

I was all psychiatric medications during my first trimester. The only drug I took was Zofran for my hyperemesis (excessive vomitting). When I reached my second trimester I went back on Lamictal and remained on it to this day. I did not think that I would stay well during my pregnancy without the medication -- I didn't want to risk a relapse.

I don't think that my daughter has had any problems from the medication I was on during the pregnancy or breastfeeding. In fact she is ahead of the curve on pretty much everything. She's amazing.

I'll write more soon ...


Anonymous said...

I am bipolar and 7 1/2 months pregnant u and i both have the same issues i'm very bipolar and wonder if my son will have mental issues

fspinto1979 said...

Im already trying to get pregnant. Should i lower the medications now?

Lisa said...

My daughter, too, is ahead of her peers except when it comes to her size: she is a petite little thing (but probably more as a result of my husband and I both being small in stature, more than the Efexor I took throughout my pregnancy and the 19+ months of breastfeeding.) Great blog! THANKS x

Anonymous said...

Before i ask my question i will give u a lil background to understand more. I have bipolar and bpd for about 9 yrs now. For the most part of it, it has been under control. In the last yr my life has been a bit all over the place but i managed to get it bk together. I am now 6 wks pregnant and went off all medication when i was about 2 weeks pregnant. I felt in the begging i was coping great. But in the last 2 wks or so i have found my mental health has been getting gradually worse. i go from the extremes of crying all the time to screaming and shouting at anybody close enough to hear. To cleaning my house like crazy to not doing it for days. And today's extreme was throwing my mother who lives with me and all her belongs out. I was on Quetiapine (200mgs) and Lamotrigine (100mgs) I want to know has anyone been on this exact medication while pregnant? and did it have any affect on there baby? Thanks in advance

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm pregnant and Im due in 5days I've been taking 400mg of Lamictal and wanted to know how many mg of Lamictal you were on while breastfeeding your baby I'd really like to breastfeed but I'm affraid it would harm the baby. Please Answer Thanks!