Will my medications or the disorder harm my baby?

Q: MY HUSBAND AND I ARE THINKING OF STARTING A FAMILY. WILL MY MEDICATIONS AND DISORDER HARM THE BABY OR CAUSE ANY TROUBLE DURING PREGNANCY?

Dear Rebekah --
The disorder itself does not appear to; but the medications can, in the first trimester especially.  After that, more options open up.  You must work very closely with a psychiatrist who can tell you about these options so you can plan appropriately.  You should take great precautions not to become pregnant while on lithium or Depakote or Tegretol (and probably the newer ones too).  You plan a pregnancy with your doctor, work out the timing, and have your backup plans in place: with all that, most women can have pregnancies with no problems.  Make sure to plan for prevention of post-partum mood changes as well, with your doctor. 

Dr. Phelps


Published February, 2001