childbirth and afterwards

 A woman with Crohn’s disease, who has an abscess or fistula around the rectum, or previous severe Crohn’s disease around the anus, would be advised to have a caesarean section. In most other cases, normal vaginal deliveries are recommended and caesarean sections are performed for obstetric reasons only.

Can I breastfeed?

If the condition is active at the time of delivery, not enough breast milk may be produced. If a woman takes certain medications, breastfeeding should be avoided. These are methotrexate, anti diarrhoeals and antibiotics.

However, 5-ASA’s, steroids, biologicals and immunosuppressive medications (azathioprine and mercaptopurine) are compatible with breastfeeding.

If active Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis complicates one pregnancy, are future pregnancies likely to be affected in the same way?

One cannot predict the course or behaviour of IBD. Previous pregnancies do not set a pattern, good or bad, for subsequent pregnancies.


The ability to become pregnant when desired and to raise happy and healthy children are issues many people face. Having IBD adds to the many challenges. However, it can be done and it can be done well.

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