I am 9 weeks pregnant and I have bipolar disorder. I am planning on staying on my meds. They are relatively safe, but one of them will cause withdrawal for the baby, which will mean a week of crying and shaking. That scares me but I am even more scared of what I might do if I am not on my meds. I have psychosis so I can act pretty strangely when I'm unmedicated. Does anyone else have experience of being on their medication during pregnancy? What was it like?
I stayed on lithium and depakote while pregnant. There were significant risks to doing that, but my doctors had seen me off medication, and they and I felt I would not be able to stay healthy for nine months without medication. So...what I did was: I went to a hospital check up every three weeks, because I was considered "high risk." I kept a mood journal. I walked in a park or in my neighborhood about every other day. My baby was fine: did not get spina bifida or cognitive heart defects. Just as importantly, I did not starve her of nutrients and sleep as i might have off medicine. I did not hold her limply in my arms as if she were pretend as I might have if she'd been born in the midst of a manic episode. She was very real to me, and I responded in a loving way to her.
So when I was pregant again, three years later, I stayed on medicine again: by then I had switched to Abilify. I followed the same regiment of "reality checking" via doctors and friends, exercise, nourishing food, and mood journal. My son was fine, too, and I responded to him, too, in a loving and non-manic way when he was born.
My daughter was born healthy and is now 4 years old. I had to take Zyprexa starting about the 9th week of pregnancy at a very low dose. About 2.5 mg to start and ended at 5 mg at 9 months. I was off of Depakote entirely and had trouble sleeping throughout the pregnancy but was helped by the Zyprexa. I could not breastfeed afterwards since it took me almost 2 years to stop the dependence of the Zyprexa ( psychological, I don't believe anyone has show there to be chemical dependence).
I am happy to say I have not had any issues will my illness since it is well managed. Hope this information can help someone.
Also, do not rely on the hospital to manage the drugs during your stay while giving birth. Pack them in your bag and take them per direction by your pdoc/and doc. This was something I did not know.
Thank you both. I am focusing on my health right now, making sure I exercise every day, eating balanced meals, meditating, and reaching out to others. Surprisingly, I've only had one strange mood so far, which lasted half an hour, and now I'm 13 weeks. So I'm doing really well. Thank you!