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Crohn's Disease Forum » Pregnancy, Trying to Conceive & Breast Feeding with IBD » Can I have a baby? (Would love to hear from a physician)


08-13-2011, 07:05 PM   #1
Nella
 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Syracuse, New York
Can I have a baby? (Would love to hear from a physician)

Hello, I am a 34 year old wife who has had Crohn's disease for over 20 years now (diagnosed at age 11). My husband and I have been married for four years, and since I will finally be graduating, God willing, next May, with my Bachelors in Adolescent Education, we figured that next year would be a good time to start a family (assuming I can get a job as a teacher in this economy).
I have a plethora of concerns however:
The first is that after having Toxic-Megacolon at age 22 (12 years ago), I immediately had to have literally all (with the exception of four inches) of my colon removed. The fact that I have upwards to 5 to 10 bowel movements a day hasn't and doesn't faze me a bit. However because of the surgery (originally it was an ileostomy in which I had to wait 9 months to reverse because of first a coma and then not soon after, my incision split open leaving a huge gaping whole in my stomach in where my muscle walls still haven't closed completely), I am left with not only an abdominal area that I am not sure will withold the stretching of the abdominal walls that pregnancy obviously brings, but also malbsorption, which I have suffered from on and off throughout the past 20 years, including right now.
So to make a long story short, I have two main questions that concern me greatly everytime my husband and I talk about starting a family:

The first is, Can my abdominal walls, which have not fully closed after my incision split open (if I place my fingers on my incision and push, I can go down probably over 5 inches), withstand the serious stretching of the abdominal area that obviously comes with pregnancy, and
Secondly, how can I circumvent (if at all) malabsorption and what risk(s) would it pose to my baby and myself? My aunt, who is a nurse, explained to me that if I did become pregnant, whatever nutrients I did absorb would automatically go to the baby, which upon hearing, relieved me, but did little to assuage my husband's fears, as he is not willing to sacrifice his wife to have a child (obviously, this is a concern for me as well).
I realize that I would be considered a high-risk pregnancy, as that, not only do I have the normal medical issues that Crohn's patients hoping to become pregnant face, but additionally, I have to deal with the serious complication of not having my large intestine, and the medical predictaments that it presents as well.
Lastly, I am curious if anyone at all knows of any excellent obstetricians that specialize in high-risk pregnancies in the Central New York state region as well as any notable gastroenterologists (actually I would even say anywhere in New York state in general since I am more than willing to drive), Although I am actually from Central New York, I just moved back only recently after living out of state for over 15 years).
Anyone is more than welcome to respond (in fact the more the better with all the possible ideas and experiences you all can bring to the table!), but I would be extremely grateful to hear from a medical professional, especially one in the gastroenterology and/or obstetrics field, if at all possible.
Thank you,
Nella
08-13-2011, 07:17 PM   #2
Lydia
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Well most of your vitamins are absorbed in the small intestine, so if you have most of that you are good. I have had a couple surgeries and my belly stretched just fine, even though I have a gap in the muscle right down the middle. Even though I was labelled high risk my pregnancy was wonderful. I felt great, went full term and had a good size baby. I just had a couple extra ultrasounds compared to most women.

Some vitamins like b12 and iron can be given via injection or IV so if you get low they can help you.

You should be taking a prenatal vitamin everyday if you are thinking of becoming pregnant. Your doctor can prescribe a liquid or chewable formula if you think you will have trouble absorbing a pill.

Most crohns medications can be taken through out pregnancy with the exception of methotrexate, which must be stopped 3 months before you attempt to get pregnant.

Most women with crohns are able to get pregnant and have a baby even with previous surgery.
08-18-2011, 08:29 PM   #3
dragonfly
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
i had the same thing Toxic-Megacolon & removal of my entire colon when i was 15, they thought i had UC and therefore i was cured...i have a j-pouch and waited 3 months to heal before the reconnect after the reconnect i was told it was crohns not UC and no longer had i been cured!! i now have crohns, multiple fistulas and just recently dx with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). long story short, i have 2 children. both were delivered via c-section. there was concern about too much scar tissue well hell there was many concerns about many things but both pregnancies were very high risk, i thank God everyday i have 2 beautiful happy healthy girls! my oldest will be 5 soon and my youngest turned 2 in may!! my drs never told me i "couldnt" have children they did stress very much that i "shouldnt" my 1st pregnancy was very much a suprize, a very nice suprize i must add!! but to be honest i was terrified so was my husband we didnt know what would happen. my ob/gyn was wonderful she worked with my GI and everything was well. my 1st daughter was 7.14 lbs and my 2nd was 10.14 lbs!! in a way im very thankful for the c-section!! my drs biggest concern was for my j-pouch not sure how it would holdup to the pressure, but everything worked out and i feel very lucky. i wish you nothing but the best!!! good luck to you!!
08-22-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
Nella
 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Syracuse, New York

Thank you Lydia, your reply helped give me a some peace of mind, and just seeing your beautiful daughter made me so much more optimistic ~ Thank you again! Nella












Well most of your vitamins are absorbed in the small intestine, so if you have most of that you are good. I have had a couple surgeries and my belly stretched just fine, even though I have a gap in the muscle right down the middle. Even though I was labelled high risk my pregnancy was wonderful. I felt great, went full term and had a good size baby. I just had a couple extra ultrasounds compared to most women.

Some vitamins like b12 and iron can be given via injection or IV so if you get low they can help you.

You should be taking a prenatal vitamin everyday if you are thinking of becoming pregnant. Your doctor can prescribe a liquid or chewable formula if you think you will have trouble absorbing a pill.

Most crohns medications can be taken through out pregnancy with the exception of methotrexate, which must be stopped 3 months before you attempt to get pregnant.

Most women with crohns are able to get pregnant and have a baby even with previous surgery.
08-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
Nella
 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Syracuse, New York
Thank you Dragonfly! Wow you went through alot too, even with a j-pouch still delivering two health babies! I am so excited now ~ Still cautious, but very excited!
Thanks again,
Nella :sun
:



i had the same thing Toxic-Megacolon & removal of my entire colon when i was 15, they thought i had UC and therefore i was cured...i have a j-pouch and waited 3 months to heal before the reconnect after the reconnect i was told it was crohns not UC and no longer had i been cured!! i now have crohns, multiple fistulas and just recently dx with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). long story short, i have 2 children. both were delivered via c-section. there was concern about too much scar tissue well hell there was many concerns about many things but both pregnancies were very high risk, i thank God everyday i have 2 beautiful happy healthy girls! my oldest will be 5 soon and my youngest turned 2 in may!! my drs never told me i "couldnt" have children they did stress very much that i "shouldnt" my 1st pregnancy was very much a suprize, a very nice suprize i must add!! but to be honest i was terrified so was my husband we didnt know what would happen. my ob/gyn was wonderful she worked with my GI and everything was well. my 1st daughter was 7.14 lbs and my 2nd was 10.14 lbs!! in a way im very thankful for the c-section!! my drs biggest concern was for my j-pouch not sure how it would holdup to the pressure, but everything worked out and i feel very lucky. i wish you nothing but the best!!! good luck to you!!
08-22-2011, 03:21 PM   #6
dragonfly
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
i dont blame you at all for being cautious, believe me i was too!! but yes do be excited and hopeful there is no reason to give up hope of having children! best of luck to you!!
10-28-2011, 03:03 PM   #7
sararay
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Oregon
I am not a doc, but I have Crohns and I did work in an OB/Gyn clinic for about 7 years. I started a sublingual B-vitamin + Folic acid supplement before I got pregnant because a lot of it can be absorbed by the capillaries under your tongue. I have also recently started taking sublingual D3. The only deficiency I encountered in pregnancy was iron which I cannot take iron supplements (severe constipation issues) so in the last trimester I went in for IV infusions of iron at a hematologist office. I don't mind needle sticks so that was easy for me and after I finished the infusions I felt great! It was the first time in about a decade that I wasn't anemic and it lasted through the first year after my daughter was born. Iron deficiency can cause problems with milk production and the OB and midwife I was seeing were concerned about that since they knew I wanted to BF. I am sure if you have other deficiencies you are concerned about you could ask about IV infusions. Until I asked about it they didn't even think about giving me the iron infusions and they said they were very happy that I did ask about that because they would rather give iron before the delivery than a blood transfusion after.

I don't know if you have Trader Joes where you live but they carry a sublingual B with folic acid.
10-28-2011, 04:38 PM   #8
stupidbody!
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Billings, Montana
Here's a link to one of my favorite websites on drs: http://www.ratemds.com/filecache/top...roenterologist Just put in the city you want your dr. and it shows you the top ten rated specialists. Sweet! I'm really picky about doctors. My gastro recommended an obgyn specialist that I really like. Maybe if you can find a gastro you really like he can refer you to a specialist. Good luck!
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