Psychosis and Pregnancy

Laura Markham's picture

QUESTION

Dr Laura,
I`m a 31-year-old German. My husband and I are thinking of having our first child next year.

I'm looking forward to that happening but I have one concern: I am schizophrenic for 5 years now. What do I have to do to have a normal pregnancy as possible?

Probably I can`t stop taking drugs. The information I have is that I have to change the drug I am taking at the moment. Risperdal affects the fertility. There is a certain risk for me of having an episode while being pregnant or after the birth. Therefore I need a careful supervision by my doctors.

I would be grateful if you could give me some more information.

Kind regards,
Anne

ANSWER

Dear Anne,
Congratulations on your decision to have a child! I wish you all blessings on this journey.

I am a psychologist, not an MD, which means I can't prescribe medication. Therefore, while I am trained in treating schizophrenia, I am not equipped to advise you regarding medication that is safe for pregnancy.

I agree with your assessment that you will want careful supervision from your doctors, including before conception, during pregnancy, and after the birth of the baby. As you probably know, hormones can affect mood regulation and psychological balance.

My advice is to find a psychiatrist who is experienced in treating schizophrenia and who is also experienced in treatment during pregnancy.

Good luck!

--Dr. Laura