Women with seizure disorders who are pregnant have high risk pregnancies. The risk of miscarriage from a seizure can be as high as 25%. The medications that prevent seizures have a small risk of birth defects, so managing seizure disorder is all about balancing risk. Most women with seizure disorders do very well in pregnancy and have normal healthy children.
If you have a seizure disorder and get pregnant, do not stop your medication without speaking to your doctor first. You will likely be seeing several doctors for your pregnancy. Your obstetrician, a perinatologist, and your primary care doctor or neurologist. Your primary or nuerologist will be monitoring the seizure medications and with consultation from the obstetrician decide which medication is best for your situation. The most important thing is keeping you from having a seizure as this can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. Most of the seizure medications are “class D” medication. This means that there is a known risk of birth defects form the medication, but the risk may be outweighed by the benefit.
The perinatologist will be doing frequent ultrasounds to monitor the baby for problems from the medication. A perinatologist is an obstetrician with additional fellowship training in high risk pregnancies. They will follow along with the obstetrician guiding your care.
With the help of these specialists most women with seizure disorders do very well. The correct choice of medication at the right dose along with close monitoring will help keep the baby safe and healthy.