Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) often affects people in their childbearing years and has implications for pregnancy outcomes, particularly as related to increased risk of preterm delivery and effects of immunosuppressive medications on the fetus. Ideally, people with IBD should attempt conception at a time when their disease is in remission to optimize pregnancy outcomes and reduce risks of flares. Generally, pregnant individuals should continue immunosuppressive medications throughout gestation in an attempt to control the disease. Maternal risks of IBD in pregnancy include exacerbated anemia, disease flare, cesarean delivery, and treatment risks. Fetal and neonatal risks include preterm birth, low birthweight, and medication exposures. There are too few clinical trials that include pregnant or breastfeeding patients to analyze the risk/benefit profile of immunosuppressive medications for IBD treatment during pregnancy, limiting the amount of data available to guide medical treatment in this population. More studies are needed on IBD therapies, particularly as more biologics are developed and become the mainstay of treatment. Neonatal clinicians should be aware of in utero medication exposure to help guide decisions regarding newborn care.
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