Bipolar diagnosis in Mom makes pregnancy more risky

By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

  • .
  • Women with bipolar disorder had a significantly increased risk of adverse outcomes in pregnancy, regardless of whether the psychiatric condition was treated, investigators reported.

Bipolar disorder was associated with almost a twofold increase in the frequency of induced or planned C-section and a 50% higher risk of preterm birth, according to Robert Bodén, MD, of Uppsala University in Sweden, and co-authors.

Microencephaly, small for gestational age, and neonatal hypoglycemia all occurred more often among infants whose mothers had bipolar disorder, they reported online in BMJ.

“Our findings of increased risks for several of the investigated outcomes also in the untreated women suggest that mood-stabilizing treatment is probably not the sole reason for the increased risk of adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes,” the authors wrote in conclusion.

“The role of treatment is, however, still unclear as the overall analyses of variation in outcomes generally did not support a significant difference between treated and untreated women. The possibility of an anabolic drug effect with increased risks of gestational diabetes and reduced risks of fetal growth restriction should be noted.”

Bipolar disorder has been associated with a small increase in the risk of pregnancy complications, preterm birth, and delivery of small-for-gestational-age infants. Previous studies had not separated the effects of the condition from potential effects of treatment for bipolar disorder, the authors noted in their introduction.

>>> Click here to read the entire article

Losing Your Personal Bubble When Pregnant

By Mary Murry, R.N., C.N.M.

There are some interesting things that happen to you when you’re pregnant. It seems to begin as soon as people know you are pregnant.

Personal boundaries seem to melt away. You have no more personal bubble. Your belly is fair game for everyone from your great aunt May to the greeter at Wal-Mart.

I myself never had a problem with any family member giving my tummy a rub or pat. It was when people outside of the family reached for it that I cringed. I have to admit that with 9 and 10 pound babies, my tummy made a tempting target. I got very good at noticing the telltale signs; rapidly approaching, hands outstretched, the words “Oh you don’t mind …” uttered with a smile after her hands were already patting my tummy.

I would try to get my hands on it first and block the planned assault. Rarely was I successful. The little old ladies were the fastest of them all I think.

Another amazing phenomenon is the loss of discretion or sensitivity for your feelings. This takes different forms and the results are not nice. It causes people, friends, family, neighbors and complete strangers to comment on how big you are or aren’t.

They ask if you are having twins because you are so big. This loosening of tongues and sensitivities causes some people to feel free to comment on the amount of weight they think you have gained. I won’t even repeat some of the comments I have heard.

The third part to this unique experience is the one that baffles me the most. This is where all the women you know (and some you don’t) tell you all the horrible experiences they or a friend of theirs had or a relative, near or distant, had. We are so vulnerable, especially with our first baby and yet these well-meaning women strike terror into our souls with tales of 92-hour labors, epidurals that paralyzed them for 2 days, forced natural childbirth, bottoms that were never the same after episiotomies or stitches.

Let me not forget a subset of this group, the women who tell you how painful, uncomfortable and time-consuming breastfeeding is.

I, of course, have recommendations. Look at the woman talking to you. Does she have only one child? Is she still breastfeeding her 9-month-old? Don’t believe everything you hear. Take everything with a grain of salt. My strongest recommendation to everyone is don’t become one of these people. If you feel the phenomena starting to suck you in, resist! We can break the cycle.

Please share your experiences