The Management of Bipolar Disorder During Pregnancy

Zachary N. Stowe, MD; D. Jeffrey Newport, MD, MS, MDiv


December 14, 2007

In This Article

Impact of Maternal Bipolar Disorder on Outcome

The data regarding the potential effects of maternal BPD on obstetrical and infant outcome are limited. Given that the majority of BPD relapses during pregnancy are "depressive,"[14,16] it is feasible that symptomatic women with BPD may have the same risks as those with major depression. Studies have found an association between maternal depressive symptoms and poor neonatal outcome.[29,30] The burgeoning clinical and preclinical data indicate that even modest maternal depression/stress can adversely affect infant well-being.[31] These data underscore the value of maternal emotional well-being in optimizing outcome.

Ferreting out the impact of pharmacologic agents from the impact of active maternal illness remains a central focus of investigations of:


  • Maternal depression;

  • Anxiety;

  • BPD; and

  • Epilepsy.


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