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Epilepsy and baby safety

Understanding your epilepsy and knowing what possible triggers for seizures are can help you put in some safety measures to lower risks for you and your baby. Some common triggers are forgetting to take anti-epileptic drugs, not getting enough sleep, missing meals, getting over-tired and being under stress. 

To reduce risks of accidents to you and your baby:

  • Remember to take your anti-epileptic drugs by using an alarm clock, alarm on your mobile phone or a pill box.
  • Avoid interruptions to your sleep and try to get plenty of rest. Share night-time feeds with your partner, family member or a friend. If you are breastfeeding, express and build up a milk store for family members or friends to help you with the feeds, so that you can rest when you need to. Expressing breast milk before you take your anti-epileptic drugs can reduce the amount of the drug in the breast milk.
  • Try to get your baby into an early bedtime routine so you can get to sleep earlier.
  • Try to rest and sleep at the same time as your baby but do not sleep with your baby. 
  • If possible, ask another adult to carry your baby up and down stairs. If this is not possible you should carry baby in a car seat with straps secured in case of a fall. 
  • Use a pushchair to move your baby around rather than carrying your baby.

Bathing, changing and dressing your baby

You should wait until another adult is with you before bathing your baby if you are experiencing or at risk of having seizures. If you are by yourself, you can wash baby with water from a shallow bowl using a cloth or sponge. Change your baby on the floor and keep nappies and spare changing materials nearby. 

Feeding your baby 

We recommend breastfeeding your baby. Contact your GP if your baby shows excessive sedation, difficulty feeding and/or sign of a rash.

Sit on the floor, on a thick rug, with your back well supported to feed your baby. This should reduce the risk of the baby falling onto a hard surface if you have a seizure. 

Useful information and resources