Pregnancy and Bipolar Disorder an Article by Gemma Hales

Gemma sent me this wonderful article she wrote about Pregnancy and Bipolar and I want to share it with you all. Thanks Gemma for such great info!!
Understanding Bipolar in Pregnancy

Did you know that historically doctors would advise women who suffered from bipolar disorder simply to not get pregnant? Yep, really. Not only was this idea impractical (studies show that in 2011 almost half of the 6.1 pregnancies in the US were unplanned and this can happen regardless of a woman’s mental health status) but completely heartbreaking for bipolar women who desperately want to be mothers and are more than capable of doing so. Thankfully this advice is now seen as outdated and focus is given to specialist, individual care rather than complete avoidance of pregnancy. But that doesn’t mean that it’s all plain sailing. Pregnancy can be challenging for any woman but for those with bipolar disorder there are a lot more tricky choices and special considerations to be made. Understanding bipolar disorder and the ways in which it can affect pregnancy is the first step in making an educated decision about how to effectively manage the two conditions together. Here are some things to think about.

What are the risks?

The biggest dilemma of becoming pregnant when you are being treated for bipolar is whether or not to continue with the medication. Unfortunately most types of medication used to treat bipolar carry some risk of birth defect and other complications such as cardiovascular problems, cleft palate and overall development. But stopping the medication can lead to a significantly higher risk of relapse for the mother during pregnancy and beyond. Most doctors would advise that if you discover you are pregnant while taking bipolar medication you do not stop taking it until you have consulted a doctor. It is also worth remembering that bipolar can first present itself during pregnancy, particularly if there is a family history of it so even if you are not aware of having had the condition previously, you should still be alert for any symptoms.

What should I do if I want to plan a pregnancy?

Most women are advised to take folate when attempting to conceive. This helps reduce the risk of birth defects and malformations and is particularly important in those taking medication for bipolar. If you are thinking of planning a pregnancy it is important to have a full consultation with a doctor who can assess your individual case and advise the best course of action. Generally it is best to plan a conception while not on any form of medication – the first trimester of pregnancy is a crucial and vulnerable time where abnormalities may be more likely to develop than further on in the pregnancy. Having said that, the case will need to be assessed on the needs of the mother, the severity of her symptoms and the likelihood of a relapse.

How do I cope during pregnancy?

Coping during pregnancy means balancing the needs of the mother alongside the wellbeing of the developing foetus and finding some ground whereupon they are both as safe as well cared for as possible. To do this, very regular consultations with psychiatrists and obstetricians alike. Understand that the risk of a manic or depressive episode is considerably higher during pregnancy and so it is extremely important to try to pre-empt the symptoms in order to get help quickly if necessary. Try keeping a mood diary to help flag up any warning signs and if you are really struggling speak to your doctor or psychiatrist about the safest type of medication during pregnancy – there are some (such as lithium) that are considered safer than others. For any woman, taking care of herself is the first step in taking care of her unborn child. Bear this in mind and be kind to yourself. Living an overall healthy lifestyle with a good, nutritious diet alongside gentle exercise and regular sleeping patterns may also help you feel better.

What about afterwards?

Unfortunately the troubles don’t always end after pregnancy. Sadly studies show that bipolar women are almost 100 times more likely to suffer from postpartum psychosis than other women. Dealing with such a terrifying and debilitating condition alongside caring for a newborn baby can be extremely challenging and for some women who suffer from this, the best option is a stay in a residential hospital where they are able to be cared for while having their baby with them. Otherwise, regular consultations with your medical team and review/introduction back onto your medication can help improve symptoms although it may restrict you from breastfeeding.  

Hello..is it me your looking for??

Yes world. I am still here. Still kicking. Still depressed. Still pregnant. Still all of the above.

Difference is I’m mending better because I have a really good therapist that I like and I moving my job to night shifts.

This pregnancy has me down a lot maybe because of all the extra hormones I’m feeling but I’m just not that happy about it.

Nothing has changed and everything is still the same. I haven’t been writing because I just haven’t felt the need to write anything anymore. Also some jerk face book my URL so it really sucks to write something when your website has been stolen. 

I’m really trying to be more proficient in all areas of my life but I feel just the same. 

I move my job tonight shifts because I really started hating the customers that came into the job in the morning. I can’t handle mornings anyway so having this baby inside me, getting up early, having to deal with people in their stupid drinks, really set me off. I know it’s horrible because these people are just going about their day normally but for me it is such a  pain in the ass hole. 

Maybe one day I’ll be better at customer service, maybe not, but until then I have to slow down and figure out what the hell is going on with me for real. 

I hope you are doing well and no one is hurt themselves or made themselves feel down more than usual. I hope I can reconnect with the word press world and just become a better person because of it.

2016 please come now!

my holiday was bad. really bad.

my family made me feel like shit this Christmas, in turn, making me feel like shit the whole weekend. I spent my weekend locked up in my house, on the couch, alone. I didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone, hang out, nothing..

i feel bad because i feel like i ruined Christmas but the people around me didn’t care about my feelings at all so my holiday was ruined.

ugh to the people around me.

ugh to the holidays.

ugh to myself for not getting up and leaving this place when i could.

Under construction..maybe

I have decided to not say anything until 2016. I have let my blog sit way to long without any love or words. Its my fault. I’m so wrapped up in bullshit I don’t see the light, hell the tunnel for that case.

Please be patient and stick around if you want. I promise I’ll make things better.

This blog can help so many, but i’m letting it slip…

 

ps. someone STOLE my URL so stay tuned for that as well

 

Rolling on the River – Tina Turner

I am rolling! Rolling on the river of SUCKY people around me.

I rolling around wondering that since I don’t really horrible anymore, everyone else is..

People, big wheels keep on turning, and so does problem and this wave that is coming at you.

Just roll..

 

p.s. i’m sorry i’m so dark, but shit, you should see what’s going on on the other side of the screen…love you all though. hope your well and your mind hasn’t gotten the best of you. fight. fight. fight

Dangerous Thoughts 

I am that thinking horrible thoughts. Not like I want to kill myself or other. They are thoughts about something I not really ready to tell anyone about. They are new and I don’t really want to give them any room to grow.

They are kind of dangerous.

I will tell you that they stem from something that has already happened..and I’m afriad will happen again.

I know what thoughts like this can do and I’m not letting them get to me. We have to push through and overcome.

Dangerous thoughts you can overcome.

What’s up Doc!?

Made an appointment and still going strong on meds.

What am I to say when I go? I really want to be off but on the other hand your comments have made me feel like I need to stay…

Thanks for that again. Its just when your feeling good everything changes.

Ps.. What am I doing with this blog! I’m thinking of… No let me not say just yet.

How are you feeling??

Internship over and I’m okay!

I worked so hard that my boss was impressed with me and even gave me a gift basket at the end with really good goodies. 

I rocked it. And I took my medicine the whole time.

I could see that the city was getting to me. Mentally and psychically. I was getting irritated and just down the right not in a good mood the last few days. I don’t like feeling like that so I know it’s my environment that helps as well.

I will be going back in February and I’m really excited to be asked to. I’ll just make sure to know how to take care of myself and to make sure to take my medicine the whole time.

I’m back!!!