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Parenting and Mental Health
After Birth, NICU? 
21st-Mar-2008 09:29 pm
I'm curious if anyone that posts to or reads this community has been on medications for Bipolar Disorder throughout their pregnancy, and whether their newborns were monitored in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit / Special Care Nursery. I met with a neonatologist this past week to go over the possibilities after birth, regarding the effects of my medication on my newborn baby girl.

I guess I'm just looking to hear about other peoples' experiences.  
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Mar-2008 03:48 am (UTC)
There are possible effects of the medication that she will be monitored for in the Rich Little Special Care Nursery at the Civic. The neonatologist I met with was as re-assuring as he could be, but he had to tell me worst case scenarios, so I'm a little worried (trying not to let it get to me too much, though, as he seemed to be optimistic about the likely outcome).

Worst case scenario: ventilators and Respiratory Distress Syndrome due to the Effexor (although he said because I'm on a relatively low dose, chances are good it won't get to this stage), feeding tubes or IV, and staying 10 to 14 days to wean her off the Lithium, if it causes her to be very irritable/unhappy, and she refuses to eat or is unable to as a result.
22nd-Mar-2008 03:48 am (UTC)
He also said it was possible that she will come out with few problems, and that I can take her home after 48 hours.
22nd-Mar-2008 03:49 am (UTC)
I was just about to start Lamictal when I got pregnant and was advised to wait until after the baby was born and i had finished breastfeeding to take the meds. My doctor, after doing some research on bipolar meds, didnt think it worth the risk to take any meds for it. Not much help, sorry but that was my experience. I had just entered the high rish age group so that might have contributed to his advice also.
2nd-May-2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
The other user above & myself have taken lamictal while breastfeeding. My son actually has epilepsy & takes a different anticonvulsant - but in combination with the little he does get from me, it is fine. I wonder why your doctor wants you to stop while pregnant? You may want to get a second opinion. I don't know about you - but I need lamictal & if I was pregnant then their would be the hormone factor in regards to my moods - so I would need it even more & untreated would be hell.
2nd-May-2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
Different doctors, different opinions, probably. There's also the severity of the individual's condition, and so on and so forth. For me, it's quite well known that I don't fare well without medication, and I had an episode in the summer prior to finding out I was pregnant, that landed me in the hospital for two weeks after a near-successful suicide attempt. My doctors knew that the risks of being medicated were worth taking, because I was DEFINITELY a risk to myself and the baby without meds. I'm just very lucky that baby girl was born healthy with no foreseeable side effects from the meds.
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