Bipolar and Pregnancy

Pregnancy Risks With Bipolar

Bipolar and PregnancyPregnancy is a time full of excitement, hope and anticipation as you prepare to bring a child into the world.  Chances are good that since you were little, you imagined what being a mother would entail.  You thought of tiny clothes, stroller pushing, how many children you wanted, what their names would be about how you would parent.  It feels like your whole life has been leading up to being a parent.

One thing that you did not account for as a child is your bipolar disorder.  Bipolar disorder is marked by periods of fluctuation between depressed and manic episodes.  With bipolar, a woman must take special caution when it comes to pregnancy.  From medications, to hormones, and situational triggers, the risks of pregnancy to someone with bipolar disorder are real.

Deciding if the risks outweigh the benefits is up to you, but there are many pieces of the puzzle to consider.  Severity and individual symptoms of bipolar disorder vary greatly so the material will not apply to all cases.  The information included in this article is not intended to persuade or convince the reader of any stance or action.  The information, which is sensitive and controversial at times, is only meant to give the reader the useful information and options in the decision making process of pregnancy with bipolar.

Pregnancies that are planned or intentional are more straightforward and an appropriate place to begin the conversation.


Planned Pregnancies

The decision to become pregnant is an important one.  Many people look at factors such as age, financial stability, relationship status and others when making an informed decision.  People with bipolar must include other factors in the decision including risk of pregnancy to symptoms.  Woman with bipolar report more frequent fluctuations in their symptoms during and following pregnancy.

Because of this risk, you have to consider the consequences of your actions and risks associated with bipolar and pregnancy more so than other mothers-to-be.  Being certain and building commitment will help make the process as successful and rewarding as possible.

  • Be sure you want a child. People often talk about the benefits of having children and the ways they change your life for the better.  The truth is children can create emotional, financial and relationship stress as well.  The responsibility to care for another person, the lack of sleep and the lifestyle shift trigger emotional stress.  Children need cribs, diapers, clothes and food, and this often causes increased financial pressures.  Relationships change dramatically after children enter and the relationship must be stable and strong to endure the shifting.  If your emotional state, financial life and relationships are all desirable, move ahead.  If not, reconsider your motivations.

Next page: unplanned pregnancy.

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