Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Disorder Forum

Need advice: Anyone been pregnant with BP 1?

Hi, I'm 29 and had my first episode when I was 23. I really want to have a baby of my own one day, but I'm concerned about the effects of meds on the fetus, as well as, how the pregnancy could affect me. Does anyone out there have any experience with this? I can only find information from women with BP2 who've been pregnant. Did you or anyone you know have BP1 and successfully have children? If so, how did they do it? Did they stop meds while pregnant? Or if not, what type of meds did they take? If you didn't take meds, how did you or they deal with the pregnancy? And if you took meds, what type of risks were involved and did the baby come out okay? PLEASE any input would be appreciated!! Thanks in advance!
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replied March 18th, 2012
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No, dumb male here. But there is a range of meds which don't affect the child. Ask any doctor.

The biggest probloem is raising a child while you have BP. COuld the child also become BP too? DO you want that risk>L

Are you planning this child in your own? If so I would suggest you think again. The support from a partner is essential, for any child really.
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replied March 18th, 2012
Yes, I'm happily married and have been for 3 years to a very supportive husband. We're in no hurry to have a child just yet, but I wanted to discover what my options were. My current psych tells me to adop and tells me all current meds are unsuitable for pregnancy. I am in the process of changing doctors to get a second opinion. As for raising a child while I have BP, I am stable as long as I take my meds. That is why I'm asking for advice from anyone who's been on meds for BP type 1 and their experience with being pregnant. As far as I know, a child has a 15-30% risk of getting BP if a parent has it, and I feel equipped with the knowledge and experience to help my child receive treatment if he/she should get the illness.
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replied March 23rd, 2012
hey there, i was pregnant back in 2009/2010. it was totaly unplanned, i didnt even want children because i had the mindset that with my bipolar i could either pass it on or somehow be an unfit/dangerous mother. both of those things may not be true- especially being 'unfit;- dont let anybody tell you that having bipolar makes you unfit to be a mother. as long as you are responsible with your meds and keep up your therapy you will do wonderfully, or, as well as the average parent at least.
my doctor and i decided to keep me on my lexapro and lamictal (mood stabilizer), because the benefits outweighed the risk, meaning i wanted to be of sound mental health when i was carrying such precious cargo.
please, PLEASE do not believe in the negativity you may hear from ignorant people. in their minds we're some kind of violent psycopath that can be smiling one minute and punching someone in the face for no reason thirty seconds later. society doesnt understand us (i dont understand us, haha..)
long story short, the father (who denied it was his and never spoke to me once the whole 9 months)threatened me and told me if i kept my baby he would take me to court and gain custody and tell them of my past substance abuse, and my bipolar disorder. i gave in and gave my baby girl up for adoption. to this day that whole situation and decision haunts me and my substance abuse is worse than ever. im not tring to make excuses for the drug use, but having bipolar is already a recipe for substance abuse, and i guess i just dont have the discipline. im also in a very depressed cycle right now feeling i have nothing to lose.

im sorry to have lost sight of my original intentions to give you advice, but i just want you to know that the best advice is from your doctor/therapist and gyno. they can help you decide what is best. some of the greatest people i know are bipolar and are parents, because they love fearlessly and intensley and are very non judgmental given their ordeals.
xox.
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replied March 23rd, 2012
by the way, my baby was a beautiful, healthy 7 pound girl ahead of her age range in intelligence, forming relationships, and the arts. =) not to mention physically gorgeous.
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replied March 23rd, 2012
First and foremost, thanks so much for replying!! I really appreciate your advice Smile esp in the midst of your depressive cycle. I promise you, sharing your experience is helping me and others out there. I'm so happy to hear your baby was born healthy, and I know you had a tough decision to give her up for adoption, but at least you gave her life! I noticed you took lexapro (an antidepressant) and lamictal (usually prescribed for BP2 rather than BP1). Do you have BP1 or 2? And were you on these same meds before getting pregnant, or were you switched to them because they were deemed safer for pregnancy? If you have BP1 I'm surprised your doc prescribed the combo of those meds as I thought it could push you into mania. Did you ever become psychotic while pregnant or post-partum?
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