Considerations for Parents and Pregnant Women with Bipolar Disorder


Considerations for Parents and Pregnant Women with Bipolar Disorder

There are a lot of worries and unknowns when becoming a parent. If you have bipolar disorder, you might worry about stigma, raising your kids, and going through mood swings.

Many patients with bipolar disorder live in stable families with wholesome connections. Bipolar disorder management and informing loved ones, particularly children, about the condition frequently lead to stability.

Having children while treating bipolar illness

Anyone can find parenting challenging, but having bipolar disorder can add complications. People with bipolar disorder frequently have to balance caring for a kid while simultaneously managing their treatment, which may include medication and talk therapy.

Bipolar disorder may require regulating triggers and preventing mood swings with counselling and a regular schedule.

People with bipolar disorder have more stressful life events prior to a manic or depressive episode, according to a 2017 meta-analysis of research. Giving birth was listed as a stressful life event in the study, and it was discovered that those with bipolar disorder were more likely to experience a relapse after giving birth than those with other mental health conditions, such as major depression.

Bipolar disorder sufferers are capable of being devoted parents. Parents may give their children the care and attention they require until they are adults, even if they themselves have bipolar disorder.

The family dynamic may be complex since a parent with bipolar disorder may relate to their children differently than someone without the condition.

A review of studies from 2020 Parents reported poorer family cohesion in their homes than parents of families where mental health concerns weren't present, according to a Trusted Source study on bipolar disorder and family situations.

However, the study also pointed out that bipolar disorder's impact on the home environment did not differ noticeably from those of other mental health illnesses.

Chance of passing on the bipolar disease to future generations

Bipolar disorder risk may be influenced by family history. Though not always, bipolar disorder does not always run in families.

A study review from 2018 According to Trusted Source, there is a 40% to 70% chance that if one identical twin has bipolar disorder, the other will as well. According to the same analysis, there is a 5–10% probability that a child or sibling of a person with bipolar disorder will also become ill (7 times higher than the general population).

However, even if they have a close cousin who has bipolar disorder, the analysis points out that those relatives are really more likely to have depression than bipolar disorder.

Tips for parenting children with bipolar disorder and family planning

Many people who suffer from bipolar disorder make great parents. However, it's normal to feel anxious and afraid as you start your parenting journey. You might feel more validated if you know that others with bipolar disorder have similar worries to your own.

Pregnancy with bipolar disorder: What to know first

In a 2016 study, remarks from bipolar women who were thinking about getting pregnant were gathered. These women had a variety of worries, among them:

·       How adverse drug reactions like obesity could lead to more complicated deliveries. 

·       That the pregnancy and childbirth may cause a relapse or a mood crisis. 

·       The stigma associated with being a mother with a mental illness. 

·       Newborns must be bottle-fed in order to shield them from lithium-containing bipolar illness drugs. 

·       Managing sleep deprivation while providing for a newborn, which is a known trigger for mood disorders

Participants in the study stated that having a supportive partner and family helped lessen some of these anxieties.

There is some evidence that pregnancy has no impact on how bipolar disorder develops.

Bipolar disorder does not progress any differently in pregnant women than it does in non-pregnant women, according to a 2021 study. This conclusion was reached by analysis of the daily mood scores. 2019 research Furthermore, Trusted Source discovered no distinction in pregnancy outcomes between women with and without bipolar disorder.

However, a 2016 analysis indicated that pregnant women with bipolar disorder had worse results than pregnant women without the condition.

You might wish to act wisely for yourself as a person with bipolar disorder. You might want to think about how the symptoms of bipolar disorder might impact your life as a parent as part of that journey.

You can listen to our podcast "Inside Bipolar Podcast: Pregnancy Considerations with Bipolar Disorder" for more information on this subject.

Manic episode agitation is a symptom

Some people link agitation to a manic episode. However, a 2018 study of 583 patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder discovered that agitation was more frequently felt inward as:

·       tension

·       restlessness

·       unease

In this group, agitation did happen, with an average of 22 moderate episodes per year.

In this study, roughly two-thirds of individuals were able to identify when they were agitated or likely to become so. Many folks went to the doctor. Others made an effort to self-manage by continuing their medicine or talking to their doctor, family, or friends.

While agitation may be a person's own warning sign of a manic episode, talking to a mental health professional about learning to spot the clinical indications of mania may be beneficial. Investigate self-management strategies that you might employ to strike a balance between your experience and your parental responsibilities.

Lack of motivation is a sign of depression

Because the drugs for depression and bipolar disorder depression are different, treating bipolar depression can be challenging. Researchers emphasise that sometimes symptoms can get worse if a patient is given an antidepressant rather than a mood stabiliser, such as when someone has:

·       Bipolar disorder with fast cycling

·       A mixed-state episode

Your self-care is crucial for both you as a parent and as a person. Consider seeing a doctor or your neighbourhood emergency room if you have the low motivation or suicidal thoughts.

When you have bipolar depression, having a daily schedule can help you feel more motivated.

Leaning toward euthymic cycles as a symptom

You might appreciate the respite from symptoms when you're in euthymia, or when you aren't going through a mood episode. You can also decide to use this time to complete important tasks if you're a parent or someone who is managing a mental health problem.

When you discuss bipolar disorder with your child, you can be in a euthymic condition. You can also keep a mood journal and make a plan for how others might assist you in the event of a future mood episode as steps toward managing bipolar disorder.

Psychosis and unanticipated stimuli are symptoms

Occasionally, it's impossible to forecast when a mood episode may occur. Your family may play a crucial role as a source of support if you suffer from psychosis.

When a person with bipolar disorder experiences:

·       delusions

·       hallucinations

·       false assertions

A depressive or manic condition may include psychosis. Examples include having exceptional abilities or being financially ruinous.

It is beneficial as a parent to have a mental health crisis plan in place for situations like these. If your child is experiencing an episode alone and doesn't have the assistance of another parent or family member, talk to them about Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers can help make the situation less frightening and manageable for them.

Talking with your youngster about how to handle stressful situations is a smart idea. Create a list of people to call in this situation so they can get the assistance they require. The list can include trusted friends and family members who are aware of your family's condition as well as emergency personnel.


Bipolar disorder sufferers are capable of raising loving and responsible children. It is normal to feel anxious and fearful before becoming pregnant or starting a family. Your family can thrive in a healthy atmosphere if you take care of your health and make emergency plans.

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