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JME and pregnancy

I am a 25 year old woman and was diagnosed with JME when I had a grand mal seizure at the age of 15. I have a mild form of JME that is controlled with a 500 mg/daily dose of Depakote and a strict sleeping schedule. I have had a few petit mal seizures since I was diagnosed, most of them brought on by sleep deprivation and computer use. Any discussion I have with my husband about having children is complicated with speculation about whether I would be able to adapt to the difficult lifestyle of first-time parents. My first question is whether any mother can tell me about the types of medications she has taken while pregnant. My neurologist has explained to me that I would be taken off Depakote and put on another drug that is safe to take during pregnancy but didn't go into details about what that drug would be or how it would differ from Depakote (which I have had good success with).Do any mothers have any information about epilepsy medication and breastfeeding? Are there medications that are safe to take while breastfeeding and has anyone had any personal experiences with these medications while breastfeeding?My main concern about having children is that I can't figure how I would deal with the sleep-deprivation that occurs during the first year (and past that) of babyhood. My husband is very sensitive and will probably do more than his fair share of getting up at night but I know that after two days of having interrupted sleep I would have a seizure. I don't plan on having children for another 5 or 6 years but these are concerns that I think of often because I don't know any epileptic women who have dealt with these problems themselves. What's been your experience as a new sleep deprived mother? I have adapted my life to being an epileptic but I can't imagine how I would be able to do the same faced with the challenges of early motherhood. Thank you for your help!


Re: JME and pregnancy

I also have JME. Was on Tegretol only during both pregnancies and breast feeding, but didn't control myoclonus (small jerks).  From this I dropped one of my infants and so I stopped breast feeding and went back on the Depakote. The Tegretol was great for my grand mals, so I could still drive during the day.   If you can't breast feed, don't beat yourself up.  You taking care of yourself for your baby is way more important.  For me, and it sounds like it is the same for you, sleep is a huge priority, so make sure hubby knows he has night time duty. Good luck and God bless.

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