During pregnancy, women who have epilepsy are at risk of experiencing complications. To avoid this, it is important to manage the condition and be monitored by your doctor. If you are pregnant and have epilepsy, here is what you need to know.
How Does Epilepsy Impact Pregnancy?
Throughout your pregnancy, your body go through several hormonal changes. The changes will not only cause weight gain and nausea, but they can have an impact on how your epilepsy responds to treatment. Your body might not absorb medications the way it did before. Unfortunately, this could lead to a higher frequency of seizures.
Even the symptoms you experience with your pregnancy could have an impact on your condition. For instance, morning sickness that comes with vomiting can make it difficult to keep your epileptic medication down until it has been absorbed.
There is also the possibility that epilepsy could cause problems for your pregnancy and unborn baby. The seizure itself will likely not cause any problems, but if you are injured during one, your unborn child could be hurt. For instance, a convulsive seizure could potentially lead to a miscarriage.
Therefore, it is important that you work with your OB/GYN to minimize the impact of epilepsy on you and your unborn child's health. Your doctor will likely refer you to a brain specialist for treatment of the epilepsy until after the birth of your baby.
What Can You Do?
Managing the epilepsy is crucial. You need to keep track of any seizures you have and inform your OB/GYN and brain specialist. The specialist can assess your current physical state and make adjustments to your medication, if needed. Until you have the baby, the specialist might recommend the use of another seizure medication to avoid potential side effects and to help keep your condition under control.
During this time, it might be tempting to stop your medication until after you have given birth. However, this could cause complications and lead to an increase in seizures. If you want to reduce the amount of medication you are taking, talk to the brain specialist and OB/GYN.
You also need to follow the usual advice for pregnant women to ensure your baby is getting the nutrients that he or she needs to develop. For instance, pay attention to your diet and exercise as recommended by your doctor.
It is possible to have an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery when you have epilepsy. By working with doctors at facilities like North Texas Neuroscience Center PA and following their advice, you should have a healthy baby.