Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need special care during pregnancy if I have IBD?

People with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at a slightly greater risk for pregnancy complications than those without IBD. Yet with the right care to keep your disease under control, you can have a normal pregnancy and healthy baby. Most important, by seeking care and getting your IBD under control before you get pregnant, you can ensure good health for you and your baby. When your IBD is well managed, you are more likely to adequately absorb nutrients, maintain a healthy weight, and deliver your baby full term.

Can I pass IBD on to my baby?

You are not alone in asking this question and having concerns about getting pregnant with IBD. In fact, there is a higher rate of voluntary childlessness among people with IBD. The good news is that the risk of passing on IBD to your child, when you are the only parent with IBD, is thought to be less than 5%.

Are my IBD medications safe during pregnancy?

While it depends on the medication, most are safe to continue during pregnancy. There are a few that should be stopped or adjusted, so check with your doctor, or ask us and we will guide you along the way.

Can I still see my regular GI and OB doctors in my local area?

Yes! We welcome the chance to collaborate with your community doctors. We will provide an initial consultation appointment with your current doctors to create a care plan that’s best for you, then check in regularly.

What can I expect at my care appointments?

We see you all along your pregnancy journey. We start with a pre-conception visit to get your IBD under good control before you get pregnant. At this time, we review your medications and support your nutrition. During pregnancy, we see you every trimester to ensure that your IBD is stable and your pregnancy is progressing well, and to answer any questions you may have. As needed, we modify your treatment plan. After delivery, we help you manage any IBD flares and advise you on breastfeeding.

What is pregnancy care like at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health?

Our program’s care is part of the Johnson Center for Pregnancy and Newborn Services, a Stanford Medicine Children’s Health Center of Excellence. Within this center, we offer fertility, obstetric, fetal, newborn, child, and advanced maternal care all in one place—something that’s quite unique in the Bay Area and in the United States. With us, you and your baby have the backing of dozens of teams, including our Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program, which provides all-encompassing care for complex fetal conditions and pregnancy disorders; our renowned neonatology (newborn) care, ranked in the top 10 in the country by U.S. News & World Report; and our extensive pediatric specialty services. Should you need expert adult care, our children’s and adult hospitals are connected, and we collaborate closely. Put simply, we can give you and your baby the care you need at the right time, from the right expert, and in the right way.