Epilepsy and Pregnancy

If you suffer from epilepsy and would like to have a baby, it is very important that you see your doctor first and consult him before you get pregnant. The medications that you take to treat your epilepsy may be harmful for your developing baby. So, it is very essential that you talk to your doctor and discuss how to control your epilepsy during pregnancy and how to protect your unborn baby.

Seizures during pregnancy

During pregnancy, despite their continued use of anti-epileptic medications, some women do suffer from an increased frequency in seizures while others may not suffer from seizures at all. If a woman experiences an increase in seizure activity, this may be because of her low concentration of anti-epileptic medication in her bloodstream. During pregnancy, a woman may experience a lot of vomiting and because of this, the drugs may not be fully absorbed into the body. Therefore, it is important to seek your doctor's advice and learn how to control your epilepsy because an increase occurrence of seizures would be very dangerous for your unborn baby.

When you have a seizure, you can fall or suffer from a lack of oxygen. Having a seizure could also result in a miscarriage or a stillbirth. So, if you are epileptic and want to get pregnant, seek advice from your doctor right away. Your doctor may need to adjust your drug dose and have your blood tested every so often. However, never stop taking your drugs or change your dose without consulting your doctor.

Birth defects

Women with epilepsy also have increased risks of giving birth to a baby with defects and these defects are often caused by the medications the expecting mothers take. Some epileptic drugs may cause deformities in the face, limbs and fingers. For instance, the eyes may be set too wide apart or your baby may even have a cleft lip, small fingers and toes, etc. Other abnormalities include ventricular septal defects and neural tube defects. So, consult your doctor about the possible defects that your baby could be born with. Your doctor may also recommend tests such as ultrasound or amniocentesis, which identify birth defects.

Precautions to take

Despite all the seizures and risks, women with epilepsy still have a chance to give birth to a healthy baby. Before you get pregnant, your doctor may recommended that you take a dose Folic acid of 0.4 mg to 4 mg per day. Your doctor may also advise you to take Vitamin K in the last month of your pregnancy to guard against hemorrhage in the newborn baby.

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