It is absolutely safe to have a baby with UC. I just did on February 8th!
I took Asacol and Rowasa throughout my entire pregnancy with no issues. I had a minor flare during my first trimester and ended up on a four-week taper of Prednisone... no issues with that either. My son is perfectly healthy. In fact, I just saw my GI for a follow-up last week, and he encouraged us to try for number two. He is ready for us to have another one... but we aren't sure we are ready!
My husband and I did A LOT of research on pregnancy and UC and everything we discovered said there is no risk of birth defects associated with UC. There can be a risk from certain medications we take or from other conditions that you may have in relation to the UC (i.e. anemia), but not from the disease itself. In addition to discussing with my GI and OB/GYN, we also met with a genetic counselor and had genetic testing done to learn more about
the risk of me passing this disease onto our child. That was extremely informative.
Here are a couple of tips I would give based upon my experience:
- Do not try to conceive during a flare. There is a risk of miscarriage associated with a flare - especially during the first trimester. It is best for both you and the baby if you conceive while in remission.
- It is IMPERATIVE that you have an OB and GI that will work together. They will need to be in regular contact during your pregnancy, especially if you flare at some point. As an example, my GI requested a c-section, but my OB wasn't on board until after they discussed.
- Start taking folic acid and prenatal vitamins before you conceive. That way, you can make sure your body is in its best form before you conceive.
A couple of other points...
(1) As you do your research, you will find a ton of conflicting information on pregnancy and UC medications. Be prepared for that. The general consensus, though, is that the mesalamine medications are safe for use. It's important that you have a GI that can help you navigate the maze. I agree with everyone's comments above... perhaps a different GI with a different perspective would be helpful for you.
(2) Regarding breastfeeding... there is also A TON of conflicting information. Talk to your OB/GYN and to a pediatrician. After discussing breastfeeding on Asacol and Rowasa with my GI, OB, and three pediatricians, I have opted to formula-feed. All of them felt it was not good to breastfeed on those medications. That being said, there are a lot of women on this forum who will disagree with me and have breastfed on my meds and on even stronger meds. You just have to do the research and make a decision that you are most comfortable with. There is no black and white in this arena... only a lot of grey, unfortunately.
There is always a ton of conversation on this board and on the Crohn's board re: pregnancy. Be sure to search for those old posts in order to pick up more information.
Finally, kb5 went to a conference several months ago on pregnancy and UC and brought back a ton of information on this topic. It was extremely helpful. Be sure to search for that in previous posts.
I hope this post is helpful. Good luck on your baby-making (and enjoy it, of course)! If I can answer any other questions based upon my experience, just let me know.
Proud new mom of a beautiful baby boy!
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)