A. Women with IBD are thought to be just as fertile (or able to conceive) as those who don't have it. However, your fertility can be jeopardized if your disease is not under control or if you've had specific surgeries that may have given you scar tissue in your pelvic region.
Learn more about how your IBD and surgical history can impact your ability to become pregnant here.
A. Not necessarily—there are many factors that determine your child's hereditary risk for developing IBD. However, your child will have a higher risk of developing the disease if one or both parents report a family history of IBD.
We go into depth about the risk of a child inheriting IBD here.
A. All mothers-to-be need to make sure they're getting adequate vitamin and mineral intake to help their baby develop properly. But as a woman with IBD, you'll need to monitor this more closely than a woman without the disease. You'll want to talk to your doctor several months before trying to conceive, but generally you'll need to make sure you're getting extra folic acid, vitamin D and iron throughout your pregnancy.
Determine if your IBD situation puts you at additional risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies here.
A. As a pregnant woman with IBD, you'll just need to approach your pregnancy differently than a woman without the disease. You and your doctor will need to adjust your diet strategically and vigilantly monitor your condition and treatment.
Learn more about what special care you'll need to take as a pregnant woman with IBD here.
A. There are many IBD medications and they all work with your body (and your baby's) differently. That's why the best way to find out if your medication is safe during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding is to discuss your situation with your doctor.
We've outlined the effects of certain IBD drugs and their safety considerations in the Drug Safety section of our site which you can access here.
A. Every woman has a risk of delivering a baby with birth defects (3%-5% chance), this is called her "background risk." And, fortunately, women with IBD do not appear to have a greater risk than women without the disease. However, there are some IBD medications that can be detrimental to your unborn baby and his or her development. Talk to your doctor about which drugs will work best for you during your pregnancy.
Learn more about which IBD drugs aren't as safe during pregnancy here.
A. Having IBD can make delivering your child more complicated if you have or have had certain conditions (such as active perianal disease) or surgeries. However, vaginal deliveries are a common delivery mode in women with IBD.
Talk to your doctor about what is best for you and learn more about your options here.
A. Vaccinations are a very important part of your newborns care. However, there are certain vaccinations that can pose a risk for your little one if you took certain IBD medications while you were pregnant.
Find out if your IBD medications may conflict with your child's vaccination safety here.
A. In general, breastfeeding is the best option for your baby's health even if you're taking IBD medication throughout this period. But it's important to talk to your doctor about what's right for you and your baby.
Learn more about the benefits and potential concerns for breastfeeding here.