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What care should be taken before pregnancy to prevent mental illness in child ?

Answered by
Dr. Sundar Gnanavel


Practicing since :2009

Answered : 632 Questions

Posted on Fri, 1 Feb 2013 in Genetics
Question: what are prenatal things to be taken care during and prior pregnancy to prevent mental illness(depression, schizophrenia) in upcoming kids ?
Answered by Dr. Sundar Gnanavel 16 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

I guess there is a family history of mental illness in your/ your spouse's family that has prompted you to ask this question.

There are multiple drugs like sedatives/sleeping pills, mood stabilizers as well as nicotine and alcohol that can result in behavioural abnormalities in the child. Similarly, febrile illness, high blood pressure, blood sugar and seizures (fits) during pregnancy (called as obstetric complications) can predispose to behavioural abnormalities/ neurodevelopmental delay/ mental illnesses like schizophrenia.
Hence, avoiding smoking / alcohol as well as unprescribed over the counter medication is mandatory.

Additionally, healthy diet, exercises and a healthy lifestyle may be beneficial.

Any of the above illnesses I mentioned should be appropriately managed during pregnancy. If there is family history of mental illness or current psychotropic medication use by your spouse, kindly send me the information so that I can adequately respond in that regard.

Dr Sundar G

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Sundar Gnanavel 54 minutes later
Thanks for your response!!.

My wife family has history of schizophrenia ( her Mother and her elder brother have)...In case my family( father side_mother side) I dont have any history of mental illness...My wife and I are not having any mental disorder..Hence we both do not use any kind of psychotropic medicence(pills) ...My wife does not have high blood pressure/blood sugar/tyroid.

My wife has been taking folic acid from last 2 months .Now from last 15 days she has started T-Biopreg and while taking this tablet she avoids folic acid as this tablet has folic acid.Along with this we both takes a piece of walnut including other dry fruits. We are trying to maintain healthy diet too. However we need your suggestion to make sure we are on right path..please suggest..

Do we have genetic test available in india or abroad for schizophrenia mutli gentic disorder??.Please confirm and suggest.

I have heard of B12 good for brain..Can my wife takes bicosule capsules along with Biopreg??

My wife had MTP on july 2012 becouse she had taken some antibiotics (fynaloz 9levofloxacin)--2 tabbs, azee 500mg --3 tabs, cetirizine, betnesol- 5 tabs) during first month of her pregnancy as she was not knowing she was pregnant.

Now we are planning to have baby after march 2013.If you can suggest what best we can eat, execise, prenatal ills that most suit in our case.

Thanks again for your prompt response!!

Answered by Dr. Sundar Gnanavel 1 hour later

I understand your concern. Since both the parents do not have mental illness but the grand parent has, the chances of the child developing the mental illness would be <10%. Taking folate, B 12 is welcome as they are indeed good for the developing baby's brain/neurological development. There is no genetic test in India to identify future development of schizophrenia. Infact, the genetic studies of the disease are underway now only and we might be clear regarding the exact genes only 10/15 years later ! There is one test marketed in western countries which again has failed.

Avoid any unnecessary/ un-prescribed medication. She can take more of XXXXXXX vegetables, soya, milk and white meat if non vegetarian along with plenty of fruits. Simple walking exercises should be fine for her. Would like to wish both of you-the expectant parents all the best.

Dr Sundar Gnanavel
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Sundar Gnanavel 6 hours later

Thanks for your clarification on my questions and suggestions .

Just to avoid confusion I am re asking the Q in my previous post as I did not ask the Q for pregnancy period.Hope you understand my concern.

Q: What I understand from you that as of now there is no genetic test available in the market that can be carried out during pregnancy on infant or post pregnancy .??

Indeed your suggestion is worth that there is no genetic test available globally that can be carried any stage of life i.e during pregnancy, post pregnancy or in adult phase.It is better to focus on preventive measures .As you said, we hope we will have the genetic test available in coming decades..

Thanks for your wishes we have given us a lot of strength !!

With warm regards,
Answered by Dr. Sundar Gnanavel 1 hour later
Hi XXXXXXX.......
You have got my points right. Wishing you all the best.
Dr Sundar
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli

The User accepted the expert's answer

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