The majority of women with epilepsy experience an uneventful pregnancy, normal labour and give birth to a healthy baby. However, there is a small increased risk of fetal malformations, developmental delay, fetal and maternal death. Please consider discussing this with your Specialist Epilepsy nurse prior to conceiving.
Fortunately such complications are rare, but warrant extra caution in monitoring all aspects of maternal and fetal well-being.
You will be cared for by an Obstetrician and Specialist Nurse who are skilled and experienced in caring for women with epilepsy.
Epilepsy Action has launched a new campaign, HealthE mum-to-be, to improve the care, support and advice given to pregnant women with epilepsy.
Please be aware that if you are on anti-epilepsy medications you will need an increased dose of folic acid - see below
Taking Sodium Valproate
The medication sodium valproate is known to increase the risk of physical and neurological (brain) problems in the unborn baby. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that women of childbearing age should not be prescribed sodium valproate for mental health problems if they are planning a pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are taking sodium valproate and you are planning to get pregnant, or you have found out that you are pregnant, see your GP or consultant immediately to discuss your treatment.
Do not stop taking your medication until you have had a discussion with your doctor.