We asked our community of IBD/Ostomy moms for their tips on how they navigate pregnancy with IBD and/or Ostomy:

  • Meet with your GI, GP, OB, and potentially MFM (high risk OB). Get them all on the same page. MANY if not most biologics are safe for pregnancy. The #1 tip I cannot emphasize enough: stay on your meds and follow up ESPECIALLY during postpartum- you’re more at risk for flaring at that time (you’ll obviously want to confirm this with your doctor).
  • The AGA (American Gastroenterological Association) recommends being in remission 3-6 months before trying to conceive
  • *please, please please* check to see if you can sign up for PIANO or any other IBD/ostomy and pregnancy study. You’re helping future mamas.
  • Regular pregnancy stuff to consider (if this is your first):
    • Hospital stay varies from 2-5ish days so pack ahead accordingly
    • You will get massive pads and a squirt bottle to keep things clean while you heal. Always ask for extras before you leave
    • On the note above, they typically want you to avoid TP if you have stitches down there. I would personally use the squirt bottle then more solid paper towel and/or cloth to dry off.
  • I saw a maternal fetal medicine specialist and she said as far as they knew humira was safe to keep taking throughout pregnancy and the benefits far outweigh any known risks. It is so much worse for mom and baby for mom to be in a flare, so doing extra self care, relaxation, therapy, gentle exercise, etc are very important both peri and postnatal.
  • Learn your triggers and create a plan. For example- I flare up when I’m stressed and get little sleep. Knowing that that for sure was going to happen postpartum, we organized family and friends to come help, make meals, clean, etc. it was hard but I accepted the help so I could rest.
  • I experienced diarrhea during pregnancy so I took electrolytes daily (I love Ultima replenisher), and constipation postpartum so I took magnesium and colace. Maybe be prepared for your bowel movements to be different!
  • For ostomy mum’s, be prepared for the hormones to change your skin, therefore the bags may not stick as well or have a reaction to something that normally works. Also be prepared to have to find different bags once your tummy starts getting bigger. Be extra careful with fibrous foods, they tend to cause a blockage quicker once the baby starts to get in the way.


In 2019, we hosted a chat on motherhood with IBD and ostomy. Check out this conversation here:

Watch Video


In Andrea’s blog, “From Broken to Beautiful: My Body Through UC and a Healthy Pregnancy,” she includes questions for pre-pregnancy GI appointments, and for a pre-pregnancy OB Consultation. Click the link below to read her questions.

View Blog


GWG Partnered with The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), and  the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation on the IBD Parenthood Project. Check out the resource here:

Learn More


For more information on IBD and pregnancy check out the IBD Academy pregnancy sections.

For more information on ostomy and pregnancy check out the United Ostomy Association of America’s pregnancy resources.



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