Epilepsy Legacy: During pregnancy

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Prenatal care

An epileptic mother should see her health care provider often than normal pregnancy. Always try to maintain exact weight and blood pressure guided by your physician. As anti epileptic drugs are said to be potentially harmful for your baby, you may need frequent blood tests to monitor your medication levels. During the last trimester of your pregnancy oral vitamin K supplements are added to prevent bleeding disorder of the baby after birth.

What to do in case you have seizure during pregnancy

Report to your health care provider as early as possible. Your medication may be inadequate. Your doctor may adjust it if necessary. Seizures in pregnancy is a serious issue for you and your baby especially in the last trimester. Your health care provider might monitor your baby at the hospital or clinic. Unfortunately, if condition worsens, he/she may decide to go for urgent delivery if there is suspected eclampsia.

Monitoring your baby

Monitoring and management policy of your baby is individualized in epilepsy. You may need frequent ultrasounds to measure weight, height, head circumference, and to detect any congenital anomaly of your baby. You may have to go through some prenatal tests depending on other circumstances.

The last stage: Labor and delivery

In most cases, you're likely going to deliver your baby without any complications at all. Pain relieving medications can be used safely as in normal pregnancy during labor. Seizures don't usually occur during labor. If it occurs, parenteral anti seizure medications are used. As the last option, your health care provider might deliver the baby by emergency C-section if seizure is not controlled in spite of all the medications. Recurrent seizures in third trimester may be managed by an elective C-section to avoid the risk of a seizure during labor.

About breast feeding your baby

Most anti epileptic drugs (except carbamazepine and valproate) are present in breast milk. In general, breastfeeding is often encouraged for most women who have epilepsy, even those who take seizure medications. Sometimes a change in medication may be recommended. Discuss any adjustments you'll need to make with your health care provider. Lamotrigine, an antiepileptic medication is not thought to be harmful to your infants.

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Author: Dr Rezahaider

I am a physician by profession. I dream to work on medicine in the near future. I have completed my residency three years back. Now, I am planning to obtain MRCP. This is very hard exam and surely, I am always scared of it. I have also decided to do my specialization on cardiology. Before medical school, I never thought that our heart could be so complex! So pray for me. I usually don't have enough time to write due to my studies. But whenever I get time I love to write. I write on medical related issues. I try to make it simple for you.

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