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Crohn's Disease and Pregnancy

Tests and Procedures

You may need tests to monitor your Crohn's while you're pregnant. Some are OK, but there are other tests you may want to put off until after your baby is born. Your doctor can guide you on this decision.

  • Ultrasounds, MRIs, and fetal monitoring devices are considered safe. If you are on steroids or have moderate to severe flares while pregnant, you may have frequent ultrasounds to check on your baby’s growth.
  • X-rays and CT scans may be necessary during pregnancy. To limit radiation exposure, abdominal shielding can be used.
  • It’s considered safe to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy, where a tube with a camera is placed in your colon to look for any problems. It is probably not a good idea to have a colonoscopy. The tests take a long time and patients usually get drugs to put them to sleep.

You should also avoid X-rays and CT scans if possible. The radiation isn’t good for a developing baby.

Delivery and Breastfeeding

Discuss your labor and delivery plans with your doctor well before your due date.

  • If you have fistulas, abnormal passageways between organs, or other areas around your vagina or rectum that have been affected by Crohn's, your doctor may recommend you have a C-section.

If you plan to breastfeed, talk to your doctor about your medications and if they're safe for your new baby. Breastfeeding shouldn't make your Crohn's worse, and it offers many health benefits to you and your baby.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on September 20, 2015
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