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New Guidelines Introduced for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Pregnancy

Guidance explains best practices for managing patients across continuum of care and pregnancy

digestive system

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) report, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Pregnancy Clinical Care Pathway, was published online Jan. 15 in Gastroenterology.

Uma Mahadevan, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues created these evidence-based materials to empower patients and facilitate conversations with health care providers. The AGA developed the pathway in a multidisciplinary fashion in partnership with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the patient support network Girls With Guts.

The authors recommend pregnant women with IBD coordinate their care with a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) subspecialist to determine the type of monitoring needed and the necessary frequency of prenatal visits with an obstetric provider, while also being followed by a gastroenterologist with expertise in IBD. For patients without access to IBD experts and MFM subspecialists, any gastroenterologist, obstetrician/gynecologist, or specialized physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or midwife can follow the care pathway to optimize outcomes. Preconception planning should be a component of gastroenterologist visits, and an IBD diagnosis should be shared during an initial visit with an obstetric provider. The pathway also addresses fertility, genetics, treatment, delivery options, and overall postpartum care.

"With proper planning and care, women with inflammatory bowel disease can have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies; however, misperceptions and fears have driven many women with inflammatory bowel disease to delay pregnancy or be voluntarily childless," Mahadevan said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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