Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bipolar meds and pregnancy

So I am 8 weeks pregnant as you may know. Here's what I was taking for bipolar three months ago before I tried to get pregnant:


Per psychiatrist's instructions I tapered off Zoloft and recently Lorazepam. I lowered the dose of Lamictal. I am still taking 3 Class C drugs (Lamictal, Trazadone and Risperdal). There is certainly risk to the fetus but Class C means there is simply not enough research to make a scientific determination about whether the drug is harmful. Weighing that with my own mental health and well-being, we decided to stay on 3 Class C's. Dr. Bennett (psych) and Dr. Carozza (ob gyn) are on the same page about this and are wonderful in that they allow me to be a part of the decision. They are very forward thinking in knowing the mother's health has to be the number one priority right now...(putting on my oxygen mask before putting on the baby's as I am no use to anyone if I am sick).

I was on Risperdal for most of the pregnancy with River. He has turned out to be a beautiful smart little 2 year old. I see no ill effects from the medication (and I stayed on it during breastfeeding too) and I even wonder if the low dose I was taking could have helped his cognitive development in some way. I am really optimistic that this baby will be healthy as well. And wouldn't that be a great testament to mothers worried about medication during pregnancy....I did it and have two perfect children so you can too!

I do miss the lorazepam for anxiety right now, but am working hard at using non-pharmocological therapies to replace it. Like exercise and getting outside and carving out time for myself and talking things through with family when I am worried. My family, especially my husband, are absolute supertroopers in helping me through the rough patches. Mental illness is a family illness, one that none of them elected to suffer from, and the way they all rise to the occasion whenever necessary to help me never ceases to amaze. Love really does rule the day.

Some of you have reached out to me for advice on how to manage bipolar in yourselves or those you love. It gives me great joy to be able to offer counsel to those suffering, so please contact me through this blog or on Facebook or via Twitter (hilchaney).

Have a beautiful weekend. Love you.

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God, to have these guys in a room together again....