Parenting and epilepsy

Many of the people we interviewed discussed the impacts their epilepsy had had on parenting. If seizures are well-controlled, having epilepsy will not interfere greatly with looking after a child. If seizures are not well-controlled, then risks do exist and these risks will depend on the nature of the seizures the person has. If seizures are sudden and unpredictable, dressing, changing, feeding and bathing the child should be carried out on the floor. Some people discussed their concerns about safety when looking after young children. One woman also noted how her daughter reacted to her seizures and supported her.

Several people with young babies discussed their concerns about parenting. Those with older children often explained how their children reacted to their epilepsy. One woman reported that at first her daughter was angry and impatient because she could no longer depend on her mother in the same way. A man discussed some of the difficulties that children may face when a parent has epilepsy. He also advised that parents should accept help from others when needed.

One woman explained that her epilepsy had made her children more aware and understanding of the condition. Several people said that they would explain more about epilepsy to their children as they got older. Others discussed telling their children about the condition and how children might have to defend their parents if other people are unkind. One woman described how her seizures sometimes frightened her son when he was younger.

People also discussed how rewarding it was to have children. One man recalled his anxieties about having children and the risks that might have been involved. He praised the information he had been given by an epilepsy organisation. Another man said that he and his wife had decided against having children because of the possible risks.

Last reviewed May 2016.
Last updated March 2014.



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