Looking at the challenges faced by mothers with Inflammatory BowelDisease (IBD) in order to provide valuable information to women, their partners, and healthcare providers.
What did this research look at?
Pregnancy and early motherhood can be one of the most joyful but also one of the most demanding phases of a woman’s life. They can be even more challenging when a woman has a serious long-term condition such as Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
Active Crohn’scan reduce a woman’s fertility. Crohn's and Colitis can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and birth, and also reduce the energy a woman can muster to care for young children.
However, even if a woman has active Crohn's or Colitis at the time of conception, 1 in 3 will get no worse and 1 in 3 will actually experience improvement in their symptoms during pregnancy.
The aim of this research was to inform women, their partners, and healthcare providers about the experience of planning and starting a family, and coping with young children in the context of living with Crohn's or Colitis.
22 mums from various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds across the UK took part. Researchers interviewed them about their experiences and explored:
What the researchers found
The women identified many parallels between the transition to living with Crohn’s or Colitis and becoming a mum. These included the need for maturity, changes in lifestyle such as developing new regimes, sleep and support networks. Researchers also highlighted the need for proactive advice, information and discussion on reproductive health as soon as appropriate after diagnosis with Crohn’s or Colitis. And a need for better integration of IBD and maternity services. Based on these findings and in partnership with the mums who took part in the study the team developed a suite of You Tube videos. These share the experiences of women with Crohn’s and Colitis who have already become mothers.
If you want to follow IBD and Mums to Be on social media, find the links below:
What the researchers think this could mean for people with Crohn's or Colitis?
The videos support informed choice for women with Crohn’s or Colitis through access to the experience of women living with the conditions who are now mums.
The resources and findings will also help health professionals and support services understand the concerns and needs of women with IBD who are considering starting a family, who are pregnant, or who are struggling to cope with young children.
Who led this research: Prof. Anna Madill, Ms J Goyareb - University of Leeds Our Funding: £82,500 Duration: 36 months Official title of application: Mothers-to-be and IBD Tags: Pregnancy
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