Most mums with epilepsy will have a 'normal’ seizure-free labour. But as Kim explained to me, it’s a good idea to think about your epilepsy as you write your birth plan.
Don’t be afraid to include your epilepsy care in your birth plan
1. Remember, you are the expert in your condition. Information you provide about your epilepsy and seizures will be a valued part of your shared care plan.
2. If you are worried about having a seizure during labour, speak to your midwife, nurse or doctor. Knowing that plans are in place to deal with any seizures that happen, will help you to feel safer.
Consider the different birthing options alongside your epilepsy
3. Due to the risk of drowning if a seizure happens, water births and baths are not recommended for mums-to-be with epilepsy.
Choose the right pain relief for you
4. Tiredness, exhaustion, stress, and pain are seizure triggers for some people. So it’s a good idea to think about the support and pain relief you might need. A few points to note:
- Gas and air (Entonox) is OK. However it’s advisable to only use it when your midwife is in the room to guide you. This is because over-breathing increases the risk of having a seizure.
- Pethidine is not recommended, as it is might trigger seizures in some people. However, ask your midwife about possible alternatives to pethidine.
- TENS and epidurals are considered safe for women with epilepsy. However if you might want an epidural, you will need permission from the anesthetist.
Support during labour is important too
5. Continue to take your epilepsy medicines as prescribed. If you feel nauseous, please ask for an injection to stop you feeling sick.
6. If your birth partner needs to leave the room, ask your midwife to stay with you. This is to make sure that you are safe, if a seizure happens.