I have a Bipolar diagnosis since age 19, im 27 years old now. I have had 3 manic episodes (2 included psychosis) and many untreated depressive episodes since my diagnosis. I have only ever been on medication during crisis with the 3 manic episodes and have managed without medication to stay reasonably stable over the years in between episodes.
I am single and currently 26 weeks pregnant with twins (this is my first pregnancy). I am under a perinatal mental health team who have advised me that I am at increased risk of relapse because of my Bipolar Diagnosis and that at increased risk of 60% of suffering with postpartum psychosis following the birth of my babies. The psychiatrist has prescribed me Quatiapine to take in my pregnancy as a preventative measure- I have not been on this medication before and haven't yet made the decision to start it yet. I was wondering what other people's experiences with Quatiapine have been and if you started it in pregnancy (at how many weeks gestation?) Or waited to start after birth as a preventative measure instead? I would like to protect myself from any possible relapse and stay well but I am very reluctant to start medication in my pregnancy although I have been told it is relatively safe for my babies? I am worried and anxious about side effects (especially weight gain and increased risk of gestational diabetes), how it will affect my unborn children, and how long I will have to take it for ( I haven't been on any medications for a long time now ).
I am open to take this medication however I would like to start it as late as possible in my pregnancy if I have to or ideally after birth all together. I am really anxious to take meds whilst pregnant but just as much anxious about the possibility of becoming unwell- really stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment and not sure how to proceed.
I have been advised I can breastfeed safely whilst taking Quatiapine as it only passes into breastmilk in very small amounts which is a positive I guess.
Any advice or personal experiences will be useful. Thank you in advance x