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    Seizure disorders are the most frequent major neurologic complication in pregnancy, affecting 0.3% to 0.8% of all gestations. Women of childbearing age with epilepsy require special care related to pregnancy. This article provides up-to-date information to guide practitioners in the management of epilepsy in pregnancy. Ongoing multicenter pregnancy registries and studies continue to provide important information on issues related to pregnancy in women with epilepsy. Valproate poses a special risk for malformations and cognitive/behavioral impairments. A few antiseizure medications pose low risks (eg, lamotrigine, levetiracetam), but the risks for many antiseizure medications remain uncertain. Although pregnancy rates differ, a prospective study found no difference in fertility rates between women with epilepsy who were attempting to get pregnant and healthy controls. During pregnancy, folic acid supplementation is important, and a dose greater than 400 mcg/d during early pregnancy (ie, first 12 weeks) is associated with better neurodevelopmental outcome in children of women with epilepsy. Breastfeeding is not harmful and should be encouraged in women with epilepsy even when they are on antiseizure medication treatment. Women with epilepsy should be counseled early and regularly about reproductive health. Practitioners should discuss the risks of various obstetric complications; potential anatomic teratogenicity and neurodevelopmental dysfunction related to fetal antiseizure medication exposure; and a plan of care during pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. Women with epilepsy should also be reassured that the majority of pregnancies are uneventful. Copyright © 2022 American Academy of Neurology.


    Yi Li, Kimford J Meador. Epilepsy and Pregnancy. Continuum (Minneapolis, Minn.). 2022 Feb 01;28(1):34-54

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    PMID: 35133310

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