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For any woman, planning a pregnancy involves many considerations. For a woman with bipolar disorder (manic depression) this list is even longer. Should meds be discontinued? Will the baby have this disorder? Will pregnancy cause an episode? Found here are resources and information regarding these concerns.

Medication Pregnancy Categories
Every medication is given a pregnancy category, from A to D and X. What does this mean for you? Here is the information you need.

Which Bipolar Drugs Are Not Safe During Pregnancy?
Some drugs that may be prescribed for bipolar disorder have such a high risk of causing problems to the fetus that they should never be taken during pregnancy. Here is information on the three bipolar medications that are classed as not safe during pregnancy under any conditions.

How I Decided Whether to Take Meds During Pregnancy
The issue of taking psychiatric medications during pregnancy should always be discussed with your doctor. How did you make the decision whether or not to stop taking some or all of your medications for bipolar disorder before you became pregnant, or once you knew you were pregnant? For example, did you talk to your psychiatrist, your obstetrician, other doctors? Did you do research on your own?

How I Decided Whether to Have Children
Some issues people who have bipolar disorder worry about when deciding whether to have children include the possibility of passing the illness to a child, concern about being able to care for children during episodes, or concern about taking medications during pregnancy. Did having bipolar disorder influence your decision whether or not to have children? If so, what issues influenced you? Here's …

Will My Child Inherit My Bipolar Disorder?
If you have bipolar disorder and are considering having children, one of the questions you are probably asking yourself is whether you would pass your bipolar disorder on to a child. Studies do show that your child would be more likely to inherit bipolar disorder because you have it. This article examines the question of how likely it is that a...

Anticonvulsants Cause Birth Defects
A study published in April 2001 finds that there is a significantly higher risk of major birth defects when one or more drugs such as Depakote or Tegretol are taken during pregnancy.

Lamictal and Pregnancy
Information and guidelines about the use of Lamictal and the generic lamotrigine during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Antidepressants During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Given concerns about use of psychotropic medication during pregnancy, the authors reviewed the literature regarding the effects of prenatal exposure to psychotropic medications on fetal outcome.

Antidepressants During Pregnancy and Lactation
Are antidepressant drugs safe for women to take during pregnancy and lactation? Are some antidepressants safer than others? A number of recent papers address these topics.

Benzodiazepines During Pregnancy
A discussion between doctors regarding the safety of the fetus when expectant mothers use benzodiazepines.

Desyrel & Serzone in Pregnancy
This is an article in pdf format (Adobe Reader) that offers information to help you determine if your prenatal exposure to Desyrel or Serzone presents risks for your baby.

Electroconvulsive Therapy During Pregnancy
Psychiatric illness during pregnancy often presents a clinical dilemma. Pharmacologic interventions that are usually effective for these disorders have teratogenic potential and are therefore contraindicated during pregnancy. However, an alternative treatment exists: electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the induction of a series of generalized seizures.

Lithium in Pregnancy
What recommendations could be made to a recently married young woman who is currently stablized on lithium and desires to become pregnant, especially with regard to risks vs. benefits of any treatment modality during pregnancy?

Medication Risks During Pregnancy
Knowledge regarding the risks of prenatal exposure to psychotropic medications is incomplete. When prescribing medications during pregnancy, one must consider risks such as teratogenesis and neonatal toxicity associated with prenatal exposure.

Pregnancy Pointers
Women with a psychiatric history may wonder about the risks associated with pregnancy & parenthood. A safe pregnancy for mother & baby is often possible, but it is vital for the woman to work closely with a knowledgeable physician.

Risk of Recurrence of Bipolar Episodes
A study published in the February 2000 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry found that the recurrence rate for bipolar episodes among pregnant and nonpregnant women who discontinued lithium treatment was virtually identical during the same 40-week period.

Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders During Pregnancy
The treatment of bipolar disorder in women becomes particularly challenging during pregnancy. Relapses of the illness present risks to the mother and developing fetus. In addition, some medications have been linked with an increased rate of birth defects when used during pregnancy.

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