Pregnant With Bipolar Disorder? What You Should Know


If you have bipolar disorder, life can often feel like a challenge. And when you also find out you are pregnant, it is understandable if you feel as if your whole world has been turned upside down. Pregnancy is a time of great change and transition for anyone, but it can have a special impact on those women with bipolar disorder. Before you begin to panic and spiral into a mood episode, get to know some of the important facts about managing your bipolar disorder through your pregnancy. Then you can feel better prepared for the next nine months and know what you can and should do to take care of yourself and your baby through this process. 

You CAN Have a Successful Pregnancy with Bipolar

First and foremost, you need to address the elephant in the room, and that elephant is the stigma surrounding bipolar disorder. Many people assume that a person with bipolar disorder is incapable of taking care of themselves and may even be downright dangerous. As such, there is also a line of thought that people with bipolar disorder should not have kids. 

All of those assumptions are dead wrong, and you need to ignore them. There is no reason that a woman cannot go through pregnancy and be a good mother when she also happens to have bipolar disorder.

And there is no rule that you cannot be a parent with this mental health condition, and having bipolar disorder does not define what type of parent you will be. So just know and repeat to yourself that you can have a successful pregnancy with bipolar disorder, and you will be a good mother. This will help get you through any tough times as well as help you ignore any judgments you may receive from others. 

You May Have to Stop or Change Medications

Psychiatric medications and pregnancy do not always go well together. Some medications used to treat bipolar disorder can have a negative impact on fetal development or could even cause you to lose your pregnancy. As such, you should talk to your psychiatrist and your OB/GYN about your psych meds as soon as you find out you are pregnant. 

You may be able to switch to a different medication to manage your bipolar disorder while pregnant. You may also need to go medication-free for the duration of your pregnancy. Either way, staying in close contact with both your psychiatrist and your OB/GYN about your medications and how you are doing throughout your pregnancy will be vital to maintaining your combined physical and mental health. 

You Should Go to Counseling

Many expectant mothers, whether they have bipolar disorder or not, opt to go to pregnancy counseling during their pregnancy. Pregnancy counseling can offer numerous benefits to an expecting mother. One of the main purposes of pregnancy counseling is to go over options. If you are unsure whether you want to continue with your pregnancy, be a mother, or give the baby up for adoption, pregnancy counseling can help with these issues.

However, this is not the only type of pregnancy counseling available. There is also pregnancy counseling designed to help a pregnant woman get through her pregnancy, decide what kind of birth she wants to have, and otherwise manage her emotional and mental health throughout the course of her pregnancy.

This type of counseling is especially beneficial to an expectant mother with bipolar disorder. Counseling can help you develop coping strategies to deal with you bipolar symptoms while off your medications, help you to recognize whether your mood swings are due to pregnancy hormones or bipolar disorder, and otherwise give you a safe space to deal with and express your emotions and fears throughout your pregnancy. 

With these facts in mind, you can better manage your pregnancy while also dealing with your bipolar disorder. 

For more information on pregnancy counseling, contact an organization like All Women's Clinic.


27 September 2018

Cancer Treatment Questions: Understanding The Differences in Options

After watching my mother navigate treatment for breast cancer in my early teens, I knew pretty much what to expect from my dad's diagnosis with prostate cancer. What I didn't know was how different chemotherapy and radiation can affect different people. My mother became very ill while my dad seemed to weather the treatments with few ill effects. I spent a long time researching the differences in treatments, types of chemotherapy, and how each one can react differently with the body. I created this blog to help others understand the same things, because I knew I couldn't be the only one unfamiliar with it. I hope it helps you if someone you love is facing treatment for any type of cancer.