Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bipolar pregnancy

I started this blog while I was pregnant and having serious mental health issues.  One of the most frustrating problems I faced was a complete lack of information about mental health during pregnancy.  There's a ton of information -- both online and in print -- about postpartum depression and mental illness in the postpartum period, which is a good thing, but very little information about mental illness while one is actually pregnant.

There are a couple of books on that discuss having bipolar disorder during pregnancy:  Bipolar and Pregnant..., and Ride at Your Own Risk...   The first is more about managing your bipolar disorder before you get pregnant (therefore avoiding problems during pregnancy), and the second seems to be more of a personal memoir.  Both also suffer from the "way too long title" disease.  There is a good book called Pregnancy Blues that addresses mental illness during pregnancy, but it's written by a doctor and it's a little inaccessible to the Average Josephine.

With all this lack of information, I was initially excited to see a new article posted at titled "Pregnancy Planning for Women with Bipolar Disorder."  The article has good information about how to talk to your doctor about your Bipolar Disorder and pregnancy, what drugs to stay away from, and what drugs may be less effective with birth control (and what drugs make birth control less effective).

Of course, my excitement flagged a little when I realized the article that it is about planning, and not about what to do once you're pregnant (yes, that's what the title says, so I shouldn't have been surprised). Out of curiosity, I did a search on "bipolar pregnancy" on Psych Central, and it yielded exactly two results:  the aforementioned article, and something about teen marriage.  I understand that pregnant women with bipolar disorder are probably a small population, but shouldn't there be something for them?  I was one of them, and it may have helped if I found even just one piece of information about how to deal.  In the world of the internet, where every tiny little personality quirk and population is indulged, how is this population being ignored?