Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life, but for those with epilepsy, it can bring additional concerns and complications. Epilepsy and pregnancy require careful management to ensure the well-being of both mother and baby. Women with this health condition are usually concerned about seizures in pregnancy. While many ladies report a decrease in the frequency of their seizures during pregnancy, some may see an increase or perhaps no change at all. To track seizure activity and modify their treatment plan as needed, pregnant moms need to work closely with their healthcare professionals.

If you are an expectant mother in the area and are looking for support for epileptic pregnancy, look no further than University Park OBGYN. We are aware that treating epilepsy while pregnant requires a comprehensive strategy. Together, our highly trained obstetricians create individualized treatment programs that achieve a balance between your baby’s health and successful seizure management. Our experts will guarantee that you receive the most up-to-date information on epilepsy medication and the safest seizure medication alternatives accessible during pregnancy. If you want to know what seizure medication is safe during pregnancy, as well as how to manage the episodes, read our blog post.

Epilepsy and Pregnancy

Pregnant Woman With Doctor at Hospital

Epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by frequent seizures, requires careful management to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby. Women with this illness must comprehend its challenges to cope with this transforming period successfully. During pregnancy, the hormonal and physiological changes in a woman’s body can impact seizures. While some women report fewer seizures during pregnancy, others may find that their numbers remain unchanged or even increase. This unpredictability can be concerning and therefore requires close monitoring by healthcare specialists to ensure the best management and control. 

One of the biggest concerns for women with epilepsy during pregnancy is the safety of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Some AEDs have been associated with an increased risk of congenital disabilities, which raises questions about the most appropriate medication choices. Balancing the need for seizure control and minimizing potential risks becomes critical in the treatment plan. Fortunately, with improvements in medical knowledge and research, there are several safer options available for women with seizures in pregnancy. 

The presence of epilepsy does not affect your ability to conceive, so don’t worry about that. However, certain medications used to treat seizures may make it more challenging to get pregnant. Additionally, some anti-seizure drugs can make hormonal birth control less effective. Ask your doctor whether you need to adjust your medication if you’re considering becoming a parent.

Choosing the Right Epilepsy Medicine

When discussing this topic, one of the most common concerns is finding out what seizure medication is safe during pregnancy. The goal is to find a balance between effective seizure management and reducing possible dangers to the developing baby. Finding the ideal drug requires a careful evaluation of the woman’s particular situation and interaction with a medical professional skilled in managing epilepsy during pregnancy. It is important to be aware that taking some AEDs during the gestational period has been linked to a higher risk of birth abnormalities. Depending on the particular prescription and dosage, these risks may change. The hazards should be carefully balanced alongside the potential dangers of uncontrolled seizures, though, as uncontrolled epilepsy can potentially be dangerous for the mother and the unborn child.

Thankfully, there are safer options for managing these episodes. Medications such as Lamotrigine and Levetiracetam have been shown to have a relatively lower risk of birth defects compared to some other AEDs. These have been widely used and extensively studied in pregnant women with epilepsy, providing valuable data regarding their safety. Lamotrigine, a drug commonly prescribed for epilepsy, has shown promising results with a relatively lower risk of congenital disabilities. Therefore, it may be appropriate for women requiring seizure control during pregnancy. Levetiracetam is another AED that has indicated a favorable safety profile in pregnancy. Studies have displayed a lower risk of major birth defects associated with this medication, making it a possible option for those with epilepsy who are planning to conceive or are already pregnant. 

However, it is important to remember that medication choices should be based on an individualized assessment of each woman’s specific situation. Consulting with your doctor, preferably one specializing in managing epilepsy during pregnancy, is essential for determining the most suitable and safest medication options for your situation.

How to Prepare for Epileptic Pregnancy

Preparing for this stressful but joyous event calls for careful planning, open communication with healthcare providers, and making informed decisions. Here are some helpful steps you could take:

  • Consultation with your doctor – It is essential to make an appointment with a neurologist and an obstetrician who specialize in controlling epilepsy during pregnancy before conception or as soon as you find out you are pregnant. They will evaluate your current course of treatment, go through any potential risks, and offer advice on any necessary prescription changes or substitutions.
  • Lifestyle modifications – Pregnancy-related seizures can be lowered by leading a healthy lifestyle. Get adequate rest, control your stress, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise frequently (per your doctor’s advice). Establish a support system and talk to your loved ones to handle everyday activities and avoid triggers that could worsen seizures.
  • Folate supplementation – Folic acid is essential for the healthy development of the baby’s neural tube. Since some epilepsy medications may reduce folate levels in the body, your healthcare provider may recommend higher doses of folic supplements to ensure sufficient intake during the gestation period.
  • Medication evaluation and adjustment – Evaluate the safety and efficacy of your current epilepsy treatment during pregnancy with the help of medical experts. To maximize seizure control while lowering possible dangers, dose modifications or a switch to safer options like Lamotrigine or levetiracetam may be suggested depending on your particular case.
  • Regular monitoring and follow-ups – Regularly visit your doctor during pregnancy and go through all the necessary check-ups. They will monitor seizure activity, assess medication effectiveness, and make any adjustments required to keep seizures under control and the well-being of both you and your baby.

What Should I Do if I Have a Seizure During Pregnancy?

Pregnant Woman With Doctor at Hospital

It can be terrifying and worrying to experience a seizure while pregnant. To ensure both your safety and the welfare of your child, you must learn how to react quickly and calmly. Prioritizing your safety should be your priority. To reduce the danger of damage and prevent choking, attempt to lie down on your side if it’s possible. To create a secure atmosphere, eliminate any potential hazards in the neighborhood. It is critical to seek immediate medical attention if the seizure lasts more than five minutes or if you are in a public setting. Ask for urgent help and tell those nearby what’s wrong so they can offer you the proper support. After the seizure, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor to make sure they know about the episode. They will provide guidance on any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan or may schedule a follow-up appointment to evaluate your condition. Remember, staying calm, seeking help, and keeping your healthcare team informed are critical if you experience a seizure during pregnancy.