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May 10
Aimee Frank, Senior Director, Communications, American Gastroenterological Association
AGA IBD Parenthood Project provides guidance about pregnancy for women with IBD and their health care team

A key underserved patient population is women of childbearing age managing chronic conditions. In honor of Mother’s Day, Aimee Frank, Senior Director of Communications at the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), shares about the IBD Parenthood Project, an effort led by the AGA with support by UCB, to help address the misperceptions women with inflammatory bowel disease and their healthcare providers experience throughout family planning.

“Caring for women of childbearing age with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) requires complex decisions and coordination among multiple medical specialists. Unfortunately, women with IBD feel the weight of this responsibility and often receive inconsistent medical advice from health care providers.

"In our research, we were surprised to learn women often stop treatment on their family planning journey and — more often than not — do not discuss this decision with their clinicians. Women with IBD and their families need more information on what to do at key decision points related to pregnancy.

"To address this need, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), with support from UCB, launched the IBD Parenthood Project, which aims to address misperceptions and fears women with IBD and their HCPs experience throughout all phases of family planning. AGA developed the IBD Parenthood Project in partnership with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and Girls With Guts, a patient support network.

"To support patients and their providers, AGA created a new online resource, www.IBDParenthoodProject.org, which houses medical facts about IBD and pregnancy. The website provides answers to common questions and a downloadable patient toolkit featuring visual and patient-friendly information. Resources include easy-to-digest lists of key questions to ask a provider as women are thinking of becoming pregnant, a flow chart outlining the various health care providers potentially involved in a woman’s care, a guide to postnatal care and provider locator tools.

"Through our continued partnership, AGA hopes to expand the reach and resources available as part of the IBD Parenthood Project.”

About the Author – Aimee Frank is the Senior Director, Communications, for the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). Learn more about the AGA. Frank is not affiliated with UCB, and UCB does not endorse and is not responsible for the content on a website not sponsored by UCB.

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