This may seem like a horrible question, but it’s one that many women with bipolar disorder face. Should I get pregnant? What are the risks? And what can I do to manage them?
A woman’s decision to have a child or children is highly personal. In general, giving birth is not without risk for both the mother and the child. With improvements in public health, nutrition, sanitation, and modern obstetrical techniques, these risks have diminished markedly in the past century. Infant and maternal mortality rates are low, and many of the concerns women used to face are minimal.
That said, women with bipolar disorder who wish to get pregnant are taking on a variety of risks, both to their own health and to that of their unborn child. If the decision is to go ahead and get pregnant, finding strategies to diminish these added risks, such as the high risk of a mood episode toward the end of pregnancy and the postpartum period, the risk of exposing the fetus to various medications, etc., is important.