ACOG educational bulletin. Seizure disorders in pregnancy. Number 231, December 1996. Committee on Educational Bulletins of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1997 Mar;56(3):279-86.


With close cooperation and communication among the obstetrician, neurologist, pediatrician, and patient, most women with idiopathic epilepsy who become pregnant will have an uneventful pregnancy with an excellent outcome. To optimize the neonatal outcome in a patient requiring medication, using a single drug at the lowest possible dose that keeps her free of seizures is preferable. The prevention of tonic-clonic seizures, however, is of utmost importance. Simple interventions such as avoiding sleep deprivation, having the patients take folic acid before conception, and giving the infant a vitamin K injection at birth will help optimize the outcome. There is an increase of congenital malformations in infants born to women with epilepsy; however, the incidence is low. Most women with epilepsy will experience normal pregnancy and labor and will have spontaneous vaginal deliveries of healthy babies.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Avitaminosis / chemically induced
  • Avitaminosis / therapy
  • Congenital Abnormalities / etiology
  • Contraceptives, Oral / pharmacology
  • Contraindications
  • Drug Interactions
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Prenatal Care* / standards
  • Seizures / drug therapy
  • Seizures / physiopathology


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Contraceptives, Oral