Epileptic women may require vigilant pregnancy monitoring

One of the primary concerns of many expecting mothers in Texas is health. Both their own health, as well as that of their unborn child, is almost always a priority. Pregnant women often take many steps to avoid pregnancy-related injuries, from driving more safely to avoiding certain sports and recreational activities. However, for women with existing health conditions, avoiding danger is often a near-constant task. Moreover, the woman's doctor and healthcare team must also be vigilant throughout the pregnancy in order to safeguard the woman's health and the baby's well-being.

For women with epilepsy, pregnancy poses many challenges. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder; most people recognize it as the cause of seizures in those who have it. A recent study out of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health highlighted some concerns about pregnant women with epilepsy. The study found that the subjects with epilepsy had a mortality risk that was ten times higher than the non-epileptic subjects during delivery hospitalization.

In addition, the study found that epileptic pregnant women were also at a higher risk of other pregnancy complications. These include preterm labor, stillbirth and preeclampsia. The lead author of the study noted that pregnant women with epilepsy tend to have a "potentially unappreciated risk of harm" during delivery admission. The researcher stressed the importance of choosing a hospital carefully for epileptic women who anticipate becoming pregnant.

Epileptic women, as well as other women with existing medical issues, may be at risk of negligent monitoring during their pregnancies. Careful monitoring is critical in every pregnancy, but especially in those where the mother or unborn child has an existing illness, disorder or disease.

Source: Medical Daily, "Pregnant women with epilepsy may find increased risk of dying, though dying during pregnancy remains 'exceedingly rare,'" Stephanie Castillo, July 7, 2015