Over at PsychCentral, I’ve been running a series on postpartum depression and having bipolar while pregnant. I think it’s important to reach out to mother’s who are struggling with the decision of what to do while they are pregnant or if they are considering pregnancy. Many don’t know if medication is right for them and they worry about the effects the medication will have on their babies if they do decide to medicate. This is a decision that only you can make and I won’t try to persuade anyone either way on the subject.
I will however, tell you that for me, medication was the right thing to do. My mood swings were so severe that without medication I do not believe I would be alive today to share with you my story which can be read in part at PsychCentral. If you’d like to read the entire story it is laid out in my book Moorestorms A Guide For The Bipolar Parent.
Being a bipolar parent, whether you are a mom or a dad has many challenges and taking medications is just one of them. We have to decide what is best for us while we consider what is best for our children at the same time. Sometimes the answer to that question is not so clear. I included Dad’s in this topic because I do believe that they should have a say and a opionion about whether medication is the right decision or not. Sometimes they can see a side of us we are unable to see and therefore can offer us advice on which road to take.
But remember, ultimately the decision is yours and it can be one of the biggest decisions you ever make. It’s much the same as trying to decide breast vs. bottle feeding. Only you can make up your mind what decision you are going to make. It’s ultimately up to you how and what you are going to feed your baby. It’s nobody else’s decision besides yours alone.
If you are feeling pressure on either of these fronts you can simply tell people you haven’t made a decision yet and thank them for their advice. For some reason when we decide to have a baby, everyone has advice for us and that will go with medications as well. Nothing we do will ever make everyone happy and that’s okay. Only you have to be happy with the decisions you make regarding your body. You don’t have to explain your actions to anyone.
While I chose to medicate through my pregnancy, many woman chose not to medicate. I suggest that you try to have a plan in place on how you are going to handle your mood swings without medication. For some people pregnancy hormones seem to stabilize us. I can remember all my previous pregnancies being the most stable I had ever been in my entire life. It wasn’t until my last pregnancy that I had a breakdown so big it sent me to the emergency room for help.
I’m happy with the decision I made to medicate through my last pregnancy, but I regret not being more informed of my illness before I had gotten pregnant. Not that it would have changed my mind about having children, but I would have been better prepared for what was to come.
Until next time…..