New Online Resource Aimed at Helping IBD Patients with Family Planning

New Online Resource Aimed at Helping IBD Patients with Family Planning
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has introduced a new online resource aimed at offering inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients and their healthcare providers guidance and reassurance when it comes to family planning. Hoping to address misperceptions and concerns throughout all stages of maternity planning, the IBD Parenthood Project was designed by gastroenterologists and maternal-fetal medicine subspecialists, along with patients.  The project’s website provides scientific facts about IBD and pregnancy as well as answers to frequently asked questions. It also offers an easy-to-use downloadable patient toolkit. For those considering pregnancy, the resource includes visual guides, a fact sheet, specific questions to ask healthcare providers, an outline of the kinds of medical experts patients could encounter, a postnatal care guide and provider locator tools. A 2018 survey concerning IBD and family planning, conducted by AGA along with digital parenting resource BabyCenter, found that female IBD patients are in need of additional and improved information about disease management. It included 286 female IBD patients in the U.S. who either were trying to conceive, were pregnant, or had given birth in the past 12 months.  Findings revealed that 65% disagreed that IBD medicines were safe to use during pregnancy, or were unsure. And 57% worried about medication harming their infant, yet more than half rarely or never discussed concerns with their obstetrician during preconception planning. Understanding the effects of IBD on pregnancy can help medical professionals and patients create plans to minimize risks of complications, particularly an IBD flare, a return of symptoms following remission. In fact, according to the AGA, unin
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