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World J Gastroenterol. Jun 14, 2011; 17(22): 2696-2701
Published online Jun 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i22.2696
Inflammatory bowel disease in pregnancy
Dawn B Beaulieu, Sunanda Kane
Dawn B Beaulieu, Division of Gastroenterology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, United States
Sunanda Kane, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, United States
Author contributions: Beaulieu DB and Kane S contributed equally to this work.
Correspondence to: Sunanda Kane, MD, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, United States.
Telephone: +1-507-2840959 Fax: +1-507-26600538
Received: April 27, 2010
Revised: June 15, 2010
Accepted: June 22, 2010
Published online: June 14, 2011

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect women in their child-bearing years. Family planning has come to be a common discussion between the gastroenterologist and the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patient. Disease control prior to desired conception and throughout pregnancy is the most important thing to keep in mind when caring for the IBD patient. Continued medical management during pregnancy is crucial in optimizing outcomes. Studies indicate that quiescent disease prior to conception infer the best pregnancy outcomes, similar to those in the general population. Active disease prior to and during pregnancy, can lead to complications such as pre-term labor, low birth weight, and small for gestational age infants. Although there are no definitive long term effects of pregnancy on IBD, there are some limited studies that suggest that it may alter the disease course. Understanding the literature and its limitations is important in the modern era of IBD care. Educating the patient and taking a team approach with the obstetrician will help achieve successful outcomes for mother and baby.

Keywords: Inflammatory bowel disease, Pregnancy, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, Breastfeeding