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Epilepsy With Pregnancy – What to Know?

Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

For most women, pregnancy is a time of happiness and transformation. If the expectant mother has epilepsy, it may also be a period of worry and uncertainty for some women.

Recurrent seizures are a neurological condition known as epilepsy. Seizures are bursts of aberrant brain electrical activity that can alter awareness, sensation, and behavior.

Some women with epilepsy worry about how their condition will affect their baby’s health. Others worry about the possibility of having seizures during pregnancy or labor.

But there is good news for women with epilepsy who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. With proper medical care, most women with epilepsy have healthy pregnancies and babies.

If you are pregnant and have epilepsy, it is essential to learn as much as possible about how to manage your condition during this time safely. At Lone Star Neurology, you can safely carry your unborn child without worrying about having a seizure while pregnant.

 

Risks of Epilepsy With Pregnancy

There are two risks associated with epilepsy during pregnancy:

  1. Risk of seizures;
  2. Risk of uncontrolled epilepsy.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these points so that every pregnant woman can better navigate:

Risks of epilepsy with pregnancy

Risk of Seizures in Pregnancy

Most women with epilepsy who have seizures well controlled before pregnancy will also have seizures well controlled in pregnancy. Moreover, the seizure threshold often increases during pregnancy, so women may need less medication to prevent attacks.

However, some women with epilepsy may experience increased seizure activity during pregnancy, especially in the first and third trimesters. This can be caused by many factors, such as hormonal changes, lack of sleep, or stress. 

If you are worried about seizures during pregnancy, you should talk to a professional doctor who can help you understand how to manage your mind.

 

Risk of Uncontrolled Epilepsy

Women with bad controlled epilepsy are at risk for uncontrolled seizures in pregnancy. Uncontrolled seizures can pose severe threats to both mother and baby. 

There are several reasons why epilepsy can be bad controlled during pregnancy. 

  • One reason is that some women may have difficulty taking their medications regularly during pregnancy. This may be due to nausea and vomiting, which are common in early pregnancy. 
  • Another reason is that some medications for epilepsy are not safe to take during pregnancy. 

 

Other Risks May Be Associated With Seizures in Pregnancy

Other risks can be associated with seizures in pregnancy. Each of these risks can significantly harm both the mother and the fetus, so if the mother has seizures during pregnancy, her condition should be monitored by doctors. Here are the risks that can also occur:

  • Fetal seizures:

Seizures in pregnancy can sometimes cause fetal seizures. Fetal seizures occur in about 1 in every 1,000 pregnancies and can lead to problems in the baby’s development.

  • Preeclampsia:

Preeclampsia is a condition that can occur during pregnancy and is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Preeclampsia can be dangerous and lead to seizures, stroke, or even death. 

  • Intracranial hemorrhage:

Intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding inside the skull that can result from seizures in pregnancy. It is a rare complication, but it can be life-threatening for both mother and baby.

  • Seizures during labor:

Childbirth is when the body is under a lot of stress, which can cause seizures in some women with epilepsy. Therefore, professionals should be around the woman in labor who will manage the pregnancy and know what to do in such cases.

 

Can a Baby Have Seizures in the Womb?

As unfortunate as it is to say, yes, a mother who has epilepsy can have fetal seizures. But don’t be discouraged. Seizures in the womb can occur if the mother has uncontrolled epilepsy or if the fetus has a condition that causes seizures. It is sporadic.

If you are pregnant and have epilepsy, you must talk to the doctor about how best to manage your condition. With proper medical care, you can reduce the risks associated with epilepsy and have a healthy pregnancy.

 

Epilepsy Drugs and Their Effect on Pregnancy

You probably know that some epilepsy medications are not safe to take during pregnancy because they may contain elements that are not suitable for pregnant women.

If you are pregnant and having a seizure while pregnant, discussing the risks and benefits of taking epilepsy medications in pregnancy with your doctor is essential.

Epilepsy drugs and their effect on pregnancy

The following epilepsy medications are generally considered safe to take during pregnancy, but only your doctor should prescribe them:

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Ethosuximide (Zarontin)
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Primidone (Mysoline)
  • Valproate (Depakote)

 

The following epilepsy medications are generally NOT considered safe to take during pregnancy: 

  • Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Topiramate (Topamax)

Never take medications without a doctor’s prescription because you may harm yourself and the fetus.

Pregnancy is a time of many changes, both physical and emotional. If you are suffering from seizures in pregnancy, it is essential to discuss this with your doctor. The doctor should do the necessary tests and prescribe medications that will work for you and not cause difficulties.

 

How to Lower Risks or Problems for the Baby?

How to lower risks or problems for the baby

If you are pregnant and have epilepsy, there are things you can do to reduce the risks or problems for your baby: 

  • If your doctor has prescribed medicine for epilepsy while you are pregnant, do not ignore the recommendations but follow the doctor’s instructions. It is done for your benefit.
  • Do not stop taking your epilepsy medicine without consulting your doctor. Abrupt changes in your medication can cause seizures not only for you but also for the fetus.
  • Talk to your doctor about other medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter and supplements. Some medicines can interact with epilepsy medicines and cause problems for you or your baby.
  • Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. You can do pregnancy yoga, for example. It will help you stay healthy during pregnancy and reduce the stress that can trigger seizures.
  • Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can provoke seizures, and besides, when the baby is born, you will have less time to sleep, so now is the time.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs. These can cause seizures and other problems for you and your baby. 
  • Talk to your doctor about any problems that bother you during your pregnancy. They can help you manage your epilepsy and reduce the risks to you and your baby.

 

Lone Star Neurology Can Help You

Epilepsy during pregnancy can be frightening for both mother and unborn child. However, with the help of a good neurology clinic like Lone Star Neurology, you can feel confident knowing that you and your baby are in good hands.

The doctors at Lone Star Neurology specialize in helping people with epilepsy, even during pregnancy. Leading specialists will work with you every step, so you understand your condition and know what to expect.

If you are pregnant and have been diagnosed with epilepsy, make an appointment with Lone Star Neurology as soon as possible, and our professionals will help you find the right path.

Lone Star Neurology has several clinics, so see which clinic will be closest to you and go to us to ensure your pregnancy will be good.

 

FAQs

  • Can I have a baby if I have epilepsy?

Of course, you can have a baby even if you have epilepsy. Modern medicine is very advanced, so a competent doctor will be able to find the proper lifestyle and medications so that you can carry a pregnancy.

  • Can you have a safe pregnancy with epilepsy?

Yes, you can have a safe pregnancy if you have epilepsy. But you should take a more competent approach to the issue of planning a pregnancy, so before getting pregnant, consult your doctor on the best way to do it, whether you need to take additional drugs, etc.

  • How do you manage epilepsy during pregnancy?

This issue is very sensitive because every expectant mother has a different body. The best and essentially the only option is to go to the doctor. After examination, the doctor can tell you what medicine to use.

  • Is epilepsy considered a high risk pregnancy?

Yes, pregnant women with epilepsy are at high risk. For this reason, doctors monitor the progress of the fetus and the mother’s condition more closely.

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Lone Star Neurology
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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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