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There are many doubts that arise around the epilepsy and pregnancy, childbirth and lactation. Can I get pregnant with epilepsy? Will the drugs I take harm my baby? It can to breastfeed having this nervous system disease? Next, we are going to give answers to all these questions that worry many future mothers.
The epilepsy it is a brain disorder in which the person has repeated seizures over a period of time. These seizures are due to uncontrolled and abnormal activity of brain neurons that can cause changes in attention, behavior, loss of consciousness ... It is the second most common neurological disorder during pregnancy, with migraine being the first. So 1 in 200 pregnant women suffers from epilepsy, 95% of them being medicated.
Of course the woman with epilepsy you can become pregnant, although it is important to take note of the following tips:
- Adequate preconception advice is recommended, so the pregnancy should be scheduled once the seizures are controlled.
- Regarding drug treatment, it should be reconsidered before pregnancy by the neurologist, and, of course, avoid factors that trigger seizures (such as sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety, stimulants such as alcohol, coffee ...).
- On the other hand, it is important to supplement the future mother with folic acid three months before gestation, to avoid neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
- During pregnancy, in most cases, seizures remain unchanged, or may even decrease. However, it is essential to continue with the pharmacological treatment prescribed by the neurologist and, as we said before, avoid factors that increase the epileptic seizures in order to achieve a safe pregnancy.
The epilepsy By itself it does not affect the development of the baby, but what about drug treatment? Although epilepsy medication has been linked to a risk of teratogenicity (malformations in the baby), the risk involved in stopping such medication is not negligible.
Interrupting treatment when indicated can precipitate the onset of seizures, putting both mother and baby at risk. With all that, the current recommendation is to continue treatment of epilepsy with a single drug (of course, under the supervision of a neurologist), thus reducing the risk of seizures.
What happens at the time of delivery? It is recommended that a woman with epilepsy give birth in a hospital (despite not having had a crisis in months), to guarantee a safe delivery. In the event that the woman convulses, it could be acted more quickly, the result of the delivery being more favorable. Of course, you will continue taking the medication prescribed by the neurologist at the same time.
AND, you can breastfeed? In general, breastfeeding is not contraindicated in women with epilepsy, despite the sleep deprivation that it entails, it can increase seizures in the mother. However, each individual case must always be evaluated.
It is recommended, in the case that you want to try to breastfeed, take a series of measures such as dividing the treatment into several doses, to try to ensure that the amount of drug that passes to the baby is the minimum, and breastfeed after a few hours after taking the treatment. As for the baby, it should be monitored if he is more sleepy than normal or if he sucks weaker ... in these cases we must take him to the pediatrician to assess the little one.
You can read more articles similar to Epilepsy during pregnancy, childbirth, and while breastfeeding, in the Disease category - on-site nuisance