Pregnant and BP - Meds or Not?
I was diagnosed with mania several years ago and went through a trail of medications until the doctors found one that suited me, Symbyax. I recently found out I was pregnant and was told I could not take my medications anymore and the psychiatrist diagnosed with Bipolar disorder at the same time. I am engaged and this whole situation has been very hard on my fiancee'. He doesn't understand my feelings and he is constantly reminding me that I have mood swings and that I am different. I have asked him to please stop telling me and maybe I can forget about this illness at least until I have the baby and can get back on medication. My fiancee' wants another child after this one but I can't do it, I don't know how I am going to make it through the remainder of this pregnancy. My fiancee' tries to be supportive but sometimes I think he is making it harder on me to deal with this illness, especially at this point in my life.
Hi, Sassy. I'm not a medical doctor, but here is what I have reported elsewhere in hearing the leading experts speak at psychiatric conferences:
- There is no risk-free decision.
- As a general rule, it is wise to stay off meds during the first trimester.
- It is advisable to consider getting back on a medication, preferably no more than one, in the second two trimesters.
- Depakote and Tegretol should be avoided altogether.
- Fish oil, ight therapy, psychotherapy, and ECT may be alternatives to meds.
The experts all point out solid evidence of very high risk of post-partum depression, psychosis, and mania if a mother is not stabilized on meds before giving birth. A mother who is depressed or otherwise unstable following birth also faces greater challenges in bonding with and nurturing her child.
Again, no decision is without risk. A matter of this vital importance is worth getting a second medical opinion.