What Expectant Mothers Should Know About Seizures During Pregnancy


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Pregnancy can be such an exciting time in a parent's life. With so much change in the mother's body, however, the potential for health risks is high - a frightening prospect.  One health complication an expectant mother may experience is a seizure.

Seizures are usually very easy to identify.  The person having a seizure will exhibit rapid, involuntary body movements, shaking of the arms and legs, and difficulty breathing.  People who have seizures may suffer some degree of amnesia related to it, and will likely not remember the events leading up to it. 

Seizures are dangerous, especially in pregnant women.  Some possible consequences of having a seizure while pregnant include:

  • Injuries to the mother's head or other body parts due to convulsing
  • Trauma to the fetus if the mother injures her abdomen
  • Oxygen deprivations to both mother and baby, leading to slower heart rates and the impairment of oxygen flow to the brain

Pregnant women who have seizures may need to be transferred to an intensive care unit for observation following the incident. If she injures herself during the seizure, rehabilitative care may be necessary for some time. Unborn babies are also at much greater risk of injury and trauma, and may need to be observed after the seizure in case of damage.

There are a few common risk factors related to seizures in pregnant women. High blood pressure is a symptom of preeclampsia, which can ultimately lead to maternal seizures. A low blood sugar incident in a diabetic mother can also cause a seizure. Perfectly healthy expectant mothers can experience seizures, too. If an otherwise healthy mother has an accident that causes a head lesion, for instance, she may have a seizure.

In the cases of pregnant women with diabetes or preeclampsia, the improper management of these serious health conditions by doctors can lead to long-term consequences for the mother and child. 

If you or someone you know has experienced a seizure during pregnancy, reach out to a support team for advice and information.

A talented medical expert with over three decades of experience, Dr. Charles Bowers, Jr. is an esteemed member of Ross Feller Casey, LLP's Medical Forensic Evaluations Department.  

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