Pregnancy and Epilepsy

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    Many women with epilepsy are worried about possible risks in becoming pregnant. Women with epilepsy who become pregnant do have a higher risk for complications than women who do not have epilepsy. This includes the possibility of having more frequent seizures, which can cause pregnant women to become sleepy or fall, possibly causing serious injury. Other women experience a decrease in the frequency of their seizures when they are pregnant. Most women do not see any change in the frequency of their...Read More
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    When you have epilepsy, one of your first questions when considering whether to have a baby may be, Is there any risk of birth defects or problems after birth? More than 90% of women with epilepsy have normal, healthy babies, but there are some risks, including vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, premature birth, and delays in development and growth of the baby, as well as the possibility of birth defects caused by antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Pregnant women who do not take their medication, however,...Read More
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    Labor and delivery are usually normal for women with epilepsy. Antiepileptic medications can be given intravenously during labor to reduce the risk of a seizure. Babies sometimes have symptoms of withdrawal from the mother’s seizure medication, but these symptoms wear off after a few months and usually do not cause long-term problems. Women in the United States who have epilepsy give birth to approximately 20,000 newborns every year. The authors have attempted to define the rate, risks, and causes...Read More

Meet the Expert!

Stacey Chillemi

Stacey Chillemi, an epilepsy sufferer for over 27 years, has published numerous articles and books on epilepsy, including Epilepsy: You're Not Alone and My Mommy Has Epilepsy. She is a H.O.P.E. mentor for the Epilepsy Foundation and speaks at numerous schools and organizations in order to educate others about epilepsy. In 2002, Ms. Chillemi was proud to accept the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey

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