Monday, April 21, 2008

Crohn's Disease and Pregnancy

I've been getting a lot of traffic lately searching about Crohn's Disease and pregnancy so I thought I'd take a moment and write a post about it.

Crohn's Disease is very tricky when it comes to pregnancy. For some its the best nine months of their lives with no symptoms and bundles of energy. For others is pure misery with horrible pain and living in the bathroom. There is no definite way to tell how pregnancy will effect your Crohn's Disease till your pregnant.

For me I had just finished my second round of bowel resection surgery so I was technically in remission. I got pregnant 3 months after my surgery and my pregnancy was a dream. I hadn't felt that good since before I was diagnosed at age 12 (which was 10 years prior). I noticed a huge decrease in bathroom trips, my energy level was up and there was no mind numbing pain in my stomach. I had the normal aversions to some foods but most pregnant women go through the same thing. For me I didn't have any morning sickness. Again that is something that will vary from person to person, with or without Crohn's.

I would definitely recommend that you see a Perinatologist for care or a High Risk OB. Crohn's does but you in a high risk category and you will want to be watched more closely than that of a normal pregnancy. I never had any issues with weight gain or the babies growth either. My Peri told me that the general rule of thumb is that if you are in remission WHEN you get pregnant that you should stay in remission for the pregnancy. On the flip of that if you are in a flare WHEN you get pregnant then your pregnancy will be rough and you'll stay in a flare.

There are many Crohn's medications that are up in the air about their safety. Don't be surprised if you are taking a med and have to stop it or if you are asked a lot of questions during your pregnancy while taking it. For me I was on Remicade. We decided that I should continue Remicade treatments. I was asked to answer some questions from the manufacturer so that they could try and document safety during pregnancy. I personally had no trouble taking the Remicade during pregnancy. I did have to stop taking Imuran during early pregnancy but your Peri/OB will be able to advise you on your specific situation.

My son was born early (not due to Crohn's) but still weighed a healthy 6lbs 8oz. He went home when I did and he has not had any side effects from any mediation that I took. I did notice that about 3 months after he was born (and about that time your hormones are getting back to normal) I began to flare. So that might be something to watch out for after delivery as well.

I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have or if you have experiences that you want to share please feel free to post them. Crohn's is tough enough as it is so I'm all about helping others when I can.

2 comments:

Dana said...

Thank you for sharing this story. My daughter has been having some problems for the last couple of months and Crohn's is one of the things the doctors are thinking of. We'll know more next week, but I may be back with a ton of questions if that is the diagnosis.

Chadwick said...

Tonya:

Just found your blog through a search. Very interesting perspective on Crohn's during pregnancy.

My sister had her second set of twins 2 years ago, but was just diagnosed with Crohn's last December.

Come visit us over at www.confessionsofacrohnspatient.blogspot.com. We'd love to have a new mother perspective on Crohn's writing with us. Check us out & see what you think. Let me know if you would be interested in writing.

Hope you've had a good day today.

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