My Husband has BP and im pregnant

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Is there anyone else on here in the same position? His Mum also has it. He has been on many different meds over the years and atm is quite stable on 550mg quetiapine xl. will his meds of effected the baby?

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  • Posted

    Bipolar is controlled by medication so he shouldn't come off them.

    Mental illness can also run in the family genes but it does not happen to everyone.

    I hope you manage ok he should be stable on the correct meds.



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  • Posted

    hey lizzielizzie

    I am Bipolar 1 but wasnt diagnosed til my forties, so didnt know abt the risk of heredity when i got pregnant with my wonderful son who is now 20 and at Uni!! I woudnt worry too much about heredity as its estimated around 50% - that is to say, half the people with Bipolar have NO family history of it, So it simply cannot be a simple matter of genetics. there are more factors at stake, and a lot of them are around attachment - the strength of the bond between mother and baby. So I would strongly advise that you care for your baby yourself as long as possible to reduce the risk, rather than going back to work too quick and putting a very small baby in daycare. Theres a lot of evidence that says if you can raise your baby yourself at home til the age of 3, it will protect your child from a whole range of mental distress and illness, and if you know your husband and his Mum have bipolar, that is quite a strong family history, so you can do your best to try and avoid your child becoming bipolar by building a really strong, close bond right from birth, better safe than sorry cos my bipolar has absolutely derailed my entire life and I really really would want to help anyone avoid it if possible!!

    Regarding medication, I know that they sometimes do say that meds can affect the DNA in sperm, and that hence you are worried about your baby bein afffected by your husbands quetiapine. But I personally have never heard of any ill effects caused by this medicine, and i beleive it has been used for quite a good amount of time for any dangers to have become apparent by now... 

    But, if you are really worried, you could alwaysask your husband to ask his psychiatrist or psych nurse next time he sees them? I am sure they would be very happy to look it up if only to put your mind at rest!!

    I wish you all the very, very best for a safe and happy pregnancy and birth, and  every good wish for your new arrival when the time comes!!! I am soooooooo jealous I get so broody sometimes!!!! i just love little babies. I hope your baby brings you both every happiness.

    But I deffinately - DEFINIATELY!! - agree with Richard (post above) - your husband MUST NOT come off his meds, especially if he is quite stable on them, as the stress of a new baby is considerable and  might trigger a relapse if he stops taking his quetiapine. And you will need him hale and hearty and in tip top health when the baby comes!!!

    All good wishes, 

    Christine x 

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    • Posted


      Thank you so much for your response, The docs want to reduce his meds down but im against it. ive asked to go with him to his next appointment. Im looking at starting my business from home so i dont have to put baby into child minding do to rushing back to work.

      Kind regards,


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    • Posted

      Hello Elisabeth,

      I think going along to your husbands next appointment would be an excellent idea - you can also ask if there's any support specifically for you as a carer? And it will concentrate their minds about the reality of the forthcoming period of transition in your husbands life - having a baby is simultaneously the most wonderful and most stressful life event for anybody.

      They may want to reduce his meds because if he is already on the highest available dose they want to have somewhere to go (leeway to increase dose) if his condition worsens. This sounds bizarre, but after a while on any dose of any meds you can sort of 'get used' to it. They are generally pretty cautious and conservative, although he may not have spoken to the doctor about the forthcoming baby (you know what men are like about opening up!) - so if you are there you can raise the subject of increased stress on your husbands condition - and hear the answers straight from the horses mouth and unfiltered by your husband!

      Re-reading my initial answer I didnt explain really fully and clearly what the evidence shows about childcare. Broadly speaking the stress hormone regulating 'thermostat' in the brain's levels are 'set' in about the first 6 months of life, so secure, strong attachment to one main caregiver (generally the mother) ensures the child is hypersensitised by the stress of a poor bond due to too many caregivers (eg a busy nursery with staff on shifts/high staff turnover etc). However .... if mum is depressed (not merely stressed - every new mum is stressed!) then sometimes alternative care arrangements are better than a baby being raised by a depressed mum who is too poorly to bond properly. However you sound like a solidly sensible, aware, caring lady who is coping squarely with a bipolar husband and a business - so if you are able to do business from home to look after the baby yourself, that sounds grand, and I think your baby will be just fine! As to your husband bonding with baby - there is actually some good evidence that, counterintuitively, people with mental health issues that include a poor sense of self (generally more severe illnesses, strangely) are actually extremely good at empathising with smal babies, because they understand only too well the fuzzy boundaries of 'ME/NOT ME' - the awareness of the world around them and how to interpret it - better than normal, sound, sane people who are solidly in the 'here and now'. In other words, they are good at intuiting what the baby is feeling and interpreting its needs. So I think your baby is very very lucky to have two such lovely parents.

      Because I had such a long battle with the medical profession to be recognised as bipolar I have done loads of research into it, hence the above bits of research I have discovered along the way - this area is controversial because obviously there are loads of women who simply dont have a choice about childcare and nobody wants to make them feel bad so it tends to be sort of hushed up or dismissed. But I think women have a right to know. 

      Hope it all goes well and anytime you want advice or a good whinge dont hesitate to message me!

      All the best


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    • Posted

      PS (my rusty touch typing sorry!!) two typos-

      Misspelled your name  - Elizabeth - sorry!!

      I meant to type ...'...ensures the child IS NOT hypersensitised....' not the opposite!

      All the best, C

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