During your pregnancy
Do I need any special monitoring during pregnancy because of my hypersomnia disorder?
Yes. Your doctor should carefully monitor any changes caused by your pregnancy that can lead to worsened fatigue and sleepiness.
Watch for new disorders affecting sleep that can start during pregnancy, such as:
These normally go away soon after pregnancy, but treating them during your pregnancy may help you feel better.
Check for anemia with these blood tests:
Is my medicine safe to take while pregnant?
You may be able to take some of your hypersomnia medicines during pregnancy.
Tell your doctor about all medicines you take — not just those for hypersomnias — and discuss the risks and benefits of taking them during pregnancy. You may decide to:
Change the type of medicine or the dose
Stop your medicine, which is not possible for everyone and has risks, such as:
Lower ability to drive
Lower ability to work
Continue your medicine during pregnancy, which may have risks to the baby, such as birth defects
Only you, with the help of your doctors, can weigh these risks to decide if you will stop or continue taking your medicines during pregnancy (including while you are trying to get pregnant). Making these decisions with your doctors is very important.
For detailed information, visit the section on our web page for doctors about the pregnancy risk profiles of common hypersomnia medicines.
If you still have concerns about taking medicines after talking with your OB/GYN and sleep doctor, you can see a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist. This is a specialist who’s expert in complex or high-risk pregnancies and can give more detail about the risks of medicines and hypersomnias on your baby. For more information or to help locate an MFM doctor near you, visit the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine’s web page.
If you decide to continue taking medicine during pregnancy, it is very helpful to report this to a pregnancy exposure registry. These registries track the experiences of people who take medicines during pregnancy. Researchers then study the information to learn more about risks and benefits of medicines in pregnancy. To learn more, visit the U.S. FDA’s web page “Pregnancy Exposure Registries” and our table below.
Pregnancy exposure registry table
How much caffeine is safe during pregnancy?
Many people with hypersomnias use caffeine to help their symptoms. Experts generally recommend limiting daily caffeine to 200 to 300 mg (about 2 to 3 6-ounce cups of coffee) during pregnancy and nursing due to possible risks to your baby. Weigh the risks and benefits as you do for prescription medicines.
Will my hypersomnia sleep disorder affect the birth (delivery) of my child?
It’s not likely that your hypersomnia, either idiopathic hypersomnia or narcolepsy type 1 or 2, will affect the birth of your baby.
If you have narcolepsy type 1 with cataplexy, you may be more likely to have a Cesarean delivery (C-section), but vaginal deliveries are still much more common. Cataplexy during delivery is rare. However, right after delivery cataplexy may be more likely due to the heightened emotions of childbirth, so you will need to take care when holding your baby for the first time.
Make a care plan
Your symptoms (including your sleep needs) and any medicines you’ve continued can complicate both hospital stays and anesthesia. Visit our web page “Preparing for anesthesia, hospital stays, and medical emergencies” and work with your doctors to develop your personal “Anesthesia and hospital stay care plan” well in advance of delivery or other hospital stays.