Thoughts and considerations of women with Bipolar Disorder about family planning and pregnancy: A qualitative study

Anja Wilhelmina Margaretha Maria Stevens*, Thea Henrica Daggenvoorde, Samuel Martinus Dianshah van der Klis, Ralph Werner Kupka, Peter Jan Joseph Goossens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Women with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of relapse during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and they often express broad concerns about family planning. OBJECTIVE: To explore the thoughts and considerations of women of childbearing age with bipolar disorder, about family planning and pregnancy. DESIGN: A qualitative study was conducted: 15 women with bipolar I disorder were individually interviewed. Content analysis was applied. RESULTS: Women worried about heritability of bipolar disorder, medication issues, and risk of relapse during pregnancy. They mentioned their fear to be incompetent as a mother during future mood episodes. Support of partner, family/friends, and professionals was mentioned as essential. CONCLUSIONS: Family planning is an essential topic in the treatment of every woman with bipolar disorder of childbearing age. These women expect early consultation with professionals for support, and specific information about heritability of the illness and use of medication during and after pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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