If you are a parent or soon-to-be parent and you have epilepsy, it is natural to have some concerns when it comes to caring for your children. Most people living with epilepsy lead full lives, and it certainly will not keep you from being a good and loving parent. However, you still need to take some precautions to keep you and your child(ren) safe.
Safety is Key
For those who have seizures that cause a loss of consciousness, you should ensure that you have safety protocols in place in the home. Consider some of the things that you will be doing with your children, such as changing diapers, bathing and feeding them. You will need to make some adjustments to ensure both you and your children remain safe. For example, you may want to change your baby on the floor. If you were to have a seizure, then the baby would not be left on the changing table.
Ask For Help When You Need It!
Those who regularly have seizures that affect awareness and consciousness will likely need to employ more safety elements in their home. It may even be prudent to consider having someone come over, such as another family member, who can help with some of the tasks that could prove dangerous such as bathing an infant or small child.
- Make sure your home is safe for you and your child(ren).
- Do not be afraid to enlist help. If you have a family member or friend who is willing to assist, let them know you need help.
Take Steps To Control Your Seizures
Other precautions include taking your medications on a regular basis. It is easy to get distracted by the needs of a newborn baby or small children, so set an alarm if necessary to make sure you take your meds on time and your system remains regulated. Be sure to follow all standard advice for seizure control such as not missing meals and getting plenty of sleep. If possible, have someone come over to watch the baby or the children so you get the sleep you need.
Another helpful step for self-care is meditation. It is easy to do and helps the mind and body to relax. Meditation can also help with sleep quality. Since sleep deprivation can increase the risk of seizures, meditation can be a useful stress reducing tool.
What Do You Do If You Are Constantly Worrying?
Another concern that some parents have is a feeling of insecurity when it comes to caring for their children. Some people constantly worry about having a seizure that would put the child in danger. Typically, as long as the parent takes proper safety precautions, stays on their medications and follows their doctor’s advice, they can control or minimize their seizures and raise their children in a safe and healthy environment. Often, the feeling of insecurity is a psychological issue that can diminish with time. Others find comfort in talking with a therapist. Worrying solves nothing, but taking steps to alleviate your concerns can help.
Talk With Your Kids About Your Epilepsy
When you have children, you need to do your best to explain your condition so that they can understand what is happening should you have a seizure. It can be frightening to a child who does not understand what is happening, so even when the child is relatively young, you need to try to explain things in as simple terms as possible. Let them know what they should do if they see you having a seizure. Make them a part of the solution instead of trying to hide the problem from them. It will only cause fear if you have a seizure and they have no idea what is happening.
Reach Out And Meet Other Parents Who Have The Same Challenges As You
The web is a great place to find resources: websites dedicated to epilepsy, studies and news about epilepsy treatments, and even other parents going through the same thing as you are. Talk with other parents to help alleviate your fears. The Epilepsy Foundation has a very active forum, which makes it nice to be able to reach out to other parents who know exactly what you are feeling and going through.