Follow Your Gut – We Have the Info You Need on IBD, Pregnancy, & Breastfeeding
Disclaimer: This page houses important information and resources pertaining to IBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, including links to our evidence-based Fact Sheets. However, the resources here should not replace the care and advice of a medical professional.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for conditions that cause chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The two most common forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Most studies find that the risk of birth defects does not seem to be increased in women with IBD. However, women with active disease may have a harder time getting pregnant and may have a greater risk of pregnancy-related complications, like premature birth or having a low birth weight baby.
Reference: Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation: The Facts about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
There are many types of medications used to treat IBD. The risk of taking them during pregnancy has to be weighed against the benefits of keeping IBD inactive, which is important because a flare can be associated with risks during pregnancy. Be sure to discuss treatment options with your gastroenterologist when planning your pregnancy, or as soon as you learn that you are pregnant.
“If you are a woman with IBD, it is important to understand how the events in a woman’s life- menses, pregnancy, and menopause-can affect the course of your disease, and how your disease, in turn, can affect these milestones.”— Chrohn’s & Colitis Foundation
Join Our Inflammatory Bowel Disease Study
If you’re pregnant and have IBD, please consider enrolling into our observational study to give moms-to-be better answers about how IBD and its management can affect a pregnancy and a developing baby. You will not be asked to take or change any medications, and you can participate from the comfort of your home
Please see our library of resources below on IBD during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Related Fact Sheets
Related Baby Blogs
- Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation: Pregnancy Fact Sheet
- IBD Parenthood Project: Patient Toolkit
- IBD Parenthood Project: Questions You May Have About Pregnancy and IBD
- IBD Parenthood Project: Women with IBD Can (and Do) Have Healthy Pregnancies
- Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
- Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM)
- The Mighty