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Abstract Details

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: A Survey of People with Epilepsy about their Experiences and Attitudes
Epilepsy/Clinical Neurophysiology (EEG)
P14 - Poster Session 14 (11:45 AM-12:45 PM)
9-010
NA
To understand the experiences and attitudes of persons with epilepsy of gestational capacity (PWEGC) regarding pregnancy and breastfeeding. 
A market research firm recruited PWEGC ages 18-45 years old currently taking an antiseizure medication (ASM) from a nationally representative panel to complete a survey. Respondent groups were compared by chi-square analysis.

Of 199 respondents, 62 recently had a child, 30 were pregnant, 91 were considering pregnancy, and 16 decided not to have a child.

Over two-thirds of respondents believe that pregnancy is at least somewhat safe for PWEGC. A higher proportion of respondents who recently had a child or are pregnant/considering pregnancy believe that pregnancy planning is important compared to those who decided not to have a child (p<0.05).  

The most prevalent concerns cited by participants who were currently pregnant/considering pregnancy were prenatal exposure to ASMs (50%) and pregnancy impacting seizure control (50%). The most prevalent concern of participants who recently had a child was heritability of epilepsy (58%).

Seventy-five percent of participants who recently had a child, or who are pregnant/considering pregnancy, report that reassurance from their physician is the leading factor in deciding to have a child. Forty-eight percent of these respondents were prescribed a different ASM once considering pregnancy, with adjustments <3 months for most. Among participants who chose to breastfeed, 53% were told by physicians that breastfeeding is safe while taking ASMs. Among participants who chose not to breastfeed, 61% had concerns about transmission of ASMs to the baby and 21% reported that they were told by physicians not to breastfeed because of their ASMs. 

Findings illuminate concerns of PWEGC regarding reproductive health and highlight the provider’s important role in shared decision-making. Results may inform best practices for providers counseling and educational initiatives for patients and providers.
Authors/Disclosures
Denise Li, MD (UPMC Neurology)
PRESENTER
Dr. Li has nothing to disclose.
Laura Anne Kirkpatrick, MD (UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh) The institution of Dr. Kirkpatrick has received research support from American Epilepsy Society. The institution of Dr. Kirkpatrick has received research support from Child Neurologist Career Development Program. The institution of Dr. Kirkpatrick has received research support from Child Neurology Foundation. Dr. Kirkpatrick has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Meeting Attendee with One8 Foundation. Dr. Kirkpatrick has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Meeting Attendee with Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Elizabeth Gerard, MD (Northwestern University) Dr. Gerard has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for Greenwich Pharmaceuticals. The institution of Dr. Gerard has received research support from NIH/NINDS. The institution of Dr. Gerard has received research support from Xenon Pharmaceuticals. The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Gerard has received research support from NIH. The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Gerard has received research support from Novo Nordisk. The institution of Dr. Gerard has received research support from Eisai, Inc. (via Stanford University).
Paula Emanuela Voinescu, MD (Brigham and Women'S Hospital) The institution of Dr. Voinescu has received research support from Epilepsy Foundation of New England. The institution of Dr. Voinescu has received research support from BWH - Connors Center. The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Voinescu has received research support from American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Voinescu has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Speaker with Physicians' Education Resouce. Dr. Voinescu has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Speaker with Phillipines League Against Epilepsy. Dr. Voinescu has a non-compensated relationship as a Board Member and Chair with My Epilepsy Story that is relevant to AAN interests or activities. Dr. Voinescu has a non-compensated relationship as a Speaker with Epilepsy Foundation that is relevant to AAN interests or activities. Dr. Voinescu has a non-compensated relationship as a Grant Reviewer with Epilepsy Ireland that is relevant to AAN interests or activities. Dr. Voinescu has a non-compensated relationship as a Grant Reviewer with American Epilepsy Society that is relevant to AAN interests or activities. Dr. Voinescu has a non-compensated relationship as a Member of Scientific Advisory Committee with North American AED Pregnancy Registry that is relevant to AAN interests or activities.
Alison M. Pack, MD, FAAN (Neurological Institute, Columbia University) An immediate family member of Dr. Pack has received personal compensation for serving as an employee of REGENEXBIO. The institution of Dr. Pack has received research support from National Institutes of Health. Dr. Pack has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care.
Erica Kemp, PA (UPMC) Ms. Kemp has nothing to disclose.
Page B. Pennell, MD, FAAN (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine) The institution of Dr. Pennell has received research support from NIH. The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Pennell has received research support from Department of Defense. The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Pennell has received research support from Environmental Protection Agency. The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Pennell has received research support from NIH. The institution of an immediate family member of Dr. Pennell has received research support from Advanced Energy Consortium. Dr. Pennell has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care.