10 Ways To Prepare For A Medicated Pregnancy

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  1. Start as early as possible. It took me almost ten months to get off certain medications and I expected the whole withdrawal process to last two months.
  2. Choose doctors you trust. This is a delicate journey you’re on and there may be times you second-guess every decision you’ve ever made. Don’t let one of those decisions be who your provider should be.
  3. Have your doctors be in contact with each other. My psychiatrist had my OBGYN’s info and vice versa. If unexpected situations arise, sometimes they need to problem solve with or even for you.
  4. Have back up plans for your back up plans. For example, I knew that if getting off drug A got me in trouble I could take drug B. I knew that if drug B gave me nasty side effects then we could use drug C. If drug C didn’t work out, going back on drug A was a better solution. It was better to be on drug A than nothing.
  5. Consider location. Both OBGYN and labor and delivery were a 15 minute drive, which was great because I had to go there for emergencies (unrelated to bipolar disorder) multiple times. My psychiatrist is 45 minutes away. If he was unable to respond to phone calls immediately then this distance would have been a nightmare because I ended up being on bed rest for seven months.
  6. Figure out whom you’re going to tell about your pregnancy or preparing for your pregnancy. I was so scared and nervous I told everyone – but that made me vulnerable to comments like “your books can be your kids, you don’t need to be a mom” or “my friend went off her meds to get pregnant and ended up in a psych ward” or “could you even live with yourself if your child ends up being crazy, too?” However! Realize you might not have a choice on who knows. At a mother’s day party for my mom I was on the floor rocking back and forth on the floor from stomach pain from klonopin withdrawal. I’m pretty sure everyone knew something was up.
  7. Take care of your mind and body. Work with a therapist. Eat clean. Take vitamins. Exercise. Meditate. Take walks in nature. Read. These are things you can control! And that’s a beautiful thing.
  8. Keep a journal. Write down your worries but also write affirmative affirmations. Write on really good days as well as the really bad days. This will help you remember this is a journey.
  9. Don’t confide with groups or pregnancy apps with people having “typical” pregnancies. They are not thinking about the same things you’re thinking about. If I asked if anyone else was taking Prozac, maybe one or two people would say yes. Most of the comments were about how I shouldn’t be taking anything or that if I’m someone who has to take Prozac, I shouldn’t have children. Even though I was on top of the research and working with great doctors, it still pained me and made me second guess myself when I would get these comments.
  10. Don’t try to make the goal ZERO medication during pregnancy. Some medications are safe during pregnancy. I was weaned off three medications and stayed on two medications – and then added another medication in my second trimester. Every single one of these medications has been researched and I was on a therapeutic but low dose. My baby girl was totally fine. When the benefits outweigh the risks, trust your doctors.

 

 

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