Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may affect a woman's ability to conceive or experience a normal, healthy pregnancy, but researchers are also interested in the possible effects of the condition on offspring. Researchers out of Tel Aviv, Israel gathered 334 participants for an IBD study and collected data from more than 800 births.

Infants born to mothers with IBD were more likely to weigh less at birth, suffer limb abnormalities and neurological developmental delays. IBD infants breastfed less time than infants born to mothers in the control group. Researchers also noted fewer multiples born to the IBD group than the control group.

Conclusion: Having inflammatory bowel disease may cause immediate and long-term problems with fertility, pregnancy and infant health and development. Further study is needed to investigate possible treatment/educational options for women with IBD.

Source: Dotan I, Alper A, Rachmilewitz D, Israeli E, Odes S, Chermesh I, Naftali T, Fraser G, Shitrit AB, Peles V, Reif S. Maternal inflammatory bowel disease has short and long-term effects on the health of their offspring: A multicenter study in Israel. J Crohns Colitis. 2012 Oct 1. pii: S1873-9946(12)00390-X. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2012.08.012. Pubmed.