How can I Deal with Colitis During Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 February 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Dealing with colitis during pregnancy can be tricky, although most babies do well even in mothers with an active condition. There are medications which can be taken that are considered safe for both pregnancy and breastfeeding, so speak with your doctor about going on one of these, or switching from your current medication to one more compatible with pregnancy. You should also avoid foods which may result in ulcerative colitis episodes, or cause bacterial-induced versions.

Colitis is any inflammation of the bowel or colon which causes cramps, diarrhea, and bloating. It can be caused by an infection due to bacteria or a virus, or can come as a result of a chronic condition such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Treatment may depend on which version you have.

For bacterial infection-induced colitis during pregnancy, the best thing to do is to drink plenty of fluids if you have diarrhea and get plenty of rest. Most infections will clear up without treatment, although antibiotics may be recommended for viral infections. If symptoms persist, you should discuss it with your doctor to rule out any underlying conditions. Keep in mind that diarrhea and bloating are also potential symptoms of pregnancy.


More chronic cases of colitis during pregnancy should be monitored more closely. Babies born to mother with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are more like to be born via Cesarean section or to be born prematurely. This puts them at higher risk for complications. To avoid pre-term delivery, be sure you go to all prenatal appointments to stay on top of any developing issues. You should also report any stomach cramps or contractions to your doctor or midwife right away.

You should be aware that drugs that are safe for colitis during pregnancy may not also be safe for breastfeeding. If you intend to breastfeed, discuss this with your doctor as soon as possible so that you can start a safe drug before your baby is born. Medications should help with any pain and discomfort, but if they persist, report symptoms to your doctor for further treatment options.

Another way to deal with colitis during pregnancy is to avoid foods which are hard to digest or which have a history of causing symptoms to flare. This list of foods may be unique to you, so keep a food journal and pay attention to which foods are consumed on days when symptoms are worse. By doing so, you will be able to reduce or cut down on items that cause you problems.



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