Starting a family

Having a baby can be an exciting and joyful time. But for some people with epilepsy, it can be a little more complicated. With the right knowledge and support, most parents with epilepsy will have healthy babies.

On this page we link you to our information on planning, having and looking after a baby.

Information about medicines

Some epilepsy medicines can cause problems if used during pregnancy. It’s important to be aware of the risks of your medicine and to get medical advice before making any changes to your treatment.

 

A selection of white, blue, yellow and red medical pills

Epilepsy medicines and pregnancy

A pregnant woman taking medicine

Sodium valproate risks in pregnancy

Epilepsy stories

Barbara’s story

Barbara shares her experiences of epilepsy, and how it related to her pregnancy journey.

Read Barbara’s story

Adoption and epilepsy

Some people with epilepsy choose to adopt. The adoption process is different depending on the agency. It normally takes around six months.

If you choose to adopt you will be visited by a social worker who will assess your suitability for adopting. You will also have a full medical examination. While your epilepsy will be considered in the assessment, it does not rule you out of adopting.

Before adopting, you should think about how having epilepsy might add to the challenges of bringing up a child.

Useful organisations

Family Planning Association (FPA)
Information and advice about sexual health, contraception, planning a pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy

National Childbirth Trust (NCT)
Information and advice about pregnancy, birth and parenting
Tel: 0300 330 0700

Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists
Factsheets on a wide range of topics related to pregnancy and birth

Adoption UK
A charity that connects people across the adoption community, support adopters and adoptees

The National Adoption Service for Wales
Promotes and supports best practice in adoption across Wales

Northern Ireland Adoption and Foster Care

Looking after a baby when you have epilepsy

If you have seizures, you may need to do some extra planning around how to look after your baby safely once they arrive.

It’s also important to take care of yourself.

Read our guide for parents and carers of children with epilepsy.

Find out more here

Here to support you

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Call the Epilepsy Action helpline

If you would like to talk to someone about epilepsy, our trained advisers are here to help.

0808 800 5050
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Send us your question

Send a question to our trained epilepsy advisers. (We aim to reply within two working days).

Contact us today
This information has been produced under the terms of the PIF TICK. The PIF TICK is the UK-wide Quality Mark for Health Information. Please contact website@epilepsy.org.uk if you would like a reference list for this information.
Published: May 2024
Last modified: May 2024
To be reviewed: May 2027
Tracking: LP06.01
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Here to support you

a graphic of a headset

Call the Epilepsy Action helpline

If you would like to talk to someone about epilepsy, our trained advisers are here to help.

0808 800 5050
A graphic of a email envolope

Send us your question

Send a question to our trained epilepsy advisers. (We aim to reply within two working days).

Contact us today