Bipolar And Pregnant? What You Should Know

Posted on: 26 January 2018

When you are an expectant mother, you are likely excited and elated at the prospect of bringing a life into the world. However, if you are also an expectant mother with bipolar disorder, you may feel a sense of worry and concern over how you are going to manage your pregnancy and your mental health condition simultaneously. While you may fear that you will not be able to do it, women with bipolar disorder have babies all the time and can make it through their pregnancy healthy and happy. Get to know some of the facts about bipolar disorder and pregnancy and what you can do to manage your mental health condition while maintaining a healthy pregnancy. 

You Should Not Take Most Bipolar Medications During Pregnancy

Most people with bipolar disorder use a combination of different strategies to help them manage their condition. One of the major cornerstones of those treatment programs includes pharmaceutical medications. Unfortunately, many of these medications can be dangerous to your unborn baby during pregnancy. 

As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, you should talk to your medical team. If you work with a psychiatrist, they should be one of your first calls. Your psychiatrist, along with your OBGYN, will need to discuss the risks and benefits of your specific medications and your pregnancy. Most OBGYN's will recommend that you do not take any bipolar medications during your pregnancy, but they may not know how to best get you off of the medications for your pregnancy. 

Quitting antidepressants and antipsychotic medications cold turkey can send you into withdrawals, especially if you have been on your medications for a long time. These withdrawals could have an impact on your pregnancy. As such, you will want to consult with both your OBGYN and your psychiatrist to determine a safe way to get you off of your medications during your pregnancy. 

You Should See a Counselor for Your Pregnancy 

Because you will no longer be taking your bipolar medications during your pregnancy, it is important to seek out counseling during your pregnancy. Specific pregnancy counseling services are available through many healthcare clinics and general mental health counseling offices. Pregnancy counseling is often thought of as merely about making decisions regarding pregnancy (abortion, adoption, etc.) but is much more than just that. 

These counseling services can help you address your fears regarding pregnancy, how you can handle the stresses of pregnancy, and the like. You should seek out pregnancy counseling services to help you get through your pregnancy and worry less about the whole process. However, you should not neglect your bipolar disorder counseling needs either. If you do not already see a therapist or counselor on a regular basis, during pregnancy is a good time to start. This adds a safety net for you when you are off of your medications and can help you develop strategies to handle your mood fluctuations and issues during this important time of your life. 

Now that you know a bit more about bipolar disorder and pregnancy as well as what you should do to handle the situation, you can be sure that you are setting yourself up to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. Contact a company like All Women's Clinic today for more information and assistance.