Special Pregnancy Concerns Bipolar Women
Many Concerns for Pregnant Women With Bipolar
Bipolar disorder is nothing short of demanding. Unfortunately, the same can typically be said of pregnancy. Add them together, and you have some real potential for problems on your hands. A new study by the Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Alpert Medical School at Brown University and her colleagues suggested women who were pregnant and had bipolar disorder had a far higher risk of self-harm and impairment than those with other conditions like depression, PTSD, anxiety, and OCD did.
To determine this outcome, the researchers looked at the medical records of 334 women who were being treated in a perinatal-focused program called the Women & Infants Day Hospital Program. Among them, 32 had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Researchers carefully looked at how often psychiatric and maternal problems were experienced.
Battle and her colleagues found that half of those with bipolar had substance abuse issues in the past, and more than half had a history of suicide attempts. Those with bipolar also had more complications during delivery and a tough time breastfeeding. The researchers suggested that because of the number of possible consequences, providers have to stay involved to watch for problematic symptoms before, during, and after the birth of the baby. Those with the disorder may have to switch medications and utilized psychosocial therapies as they enter motherhood.
It’s equally important to note that bipolar often goes undiagnosed until after a baby is born, making it excessively important for providers to watch for the potential development of this condition.