Explains what antipsychotics are used for, how the medication works, possible side effects and information about withdrawal.
Expecting a baby is an emotional time for anyone, but it can be particularly challenging if you experience a mental health problem like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder which you usually manage with antipsychotic medication. This page covers:
All antipsychotic drugs carry some risks in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Ultimately, you will need to balance the possible risks to your baby against any potential harmful consequences of not taking your medication (such as potential relapse) and then come to your own decision about what's best for you and your family.
For more information about risks in pregnancy with a specific drug, you can look it up in our antipsychotics A-Z.
Coming to a decision you feel comfortable with about what's right for you and your baby can be difficult, and it's understandable to feel conflicted. As well as talking to your doctor or psychiatrist, you might find it helpful to explore these options for extra support:
You might also find it helpful to read our pages on how to cope as a parent with a mental health problem, which includes information on helping yourself, looking after children, and other kinds of support available.
This information was published in 2016. We will revise it in 2019.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.