Crohn’s Disease and Pregnancy

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When I walked into Dr. Sunanda Kane’s office at Mayo Clinic, I was crying. I had been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease not long before, and I was devastated by the news. I know some people who have Crohn’s, and they were not doing well. I had one baby and knew I wanted to have another, and I thought the diagnosis was basically a death sentence.

Before learning I had Crohn’s, I’d had 12 to 14 years of ups and downs with gastrointestinal issues. Doctors offered different diagnoses like irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety. It wasn’t until I had more intensive testing through Mayo’s Gastroenterology and Hepatology I Department that the Crohn’s was discovered.

I am fortunate to be an employee at Mayo. I’ve worked here for 10 years in secretarial and phone receptionist roles, and recently became a Registered Nurse. When I was working on the phones, I’d hear people’s opinions about the care and expertise at Mayo – how it was world-class. I feel very fortunate to have Mayo’s resources close to home.

One of my Mayo secretary friends recommended Dr. Kane to me. Dr. Kane focuses on pregnant women with Crohn’s. She has a great manner and personality and has been absolutely fantastic. She sat down with me and explained things like the different severities of the disease, which made me feel calm and more in control. Dr. Kane told me, “I promise you will not die from this disease.”

Mary and baby David

I was able to get pregnant, and I didn’t have any problems. My husband and I just had our baby boy, and we’re so excited! Although I was on Crohn’s medications before becoming pregnant, I didn’t need any during my pregnancy. Dr. Kane explained that some Crohn’s medications are safe to take if needed, which is very reassuring.

I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Kane. I hope to continue to stay healthy, and I plan on having more children in the future. Dr. Kane took me from being devastated to having hope and for that, I am very grateful.

Here is a photo of our new baby boy, David James!

David James

This post was written by Mary Diderrich, an RN at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, who recently gave birth to her second child.

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One Response to “Crohn’s Disease and Pregnancy”

  1. Linda Rockey Says:

    Mary – thanks for sharing your story about pregnancy and Crohn’s. When I was diagnosed 40 years ago, I was told I would never have children. I became pregnant and never felt so good in my life. No medication at all during the entire pregnancy and not so much as a headache. You mentioned the key factor though is to find a physician who specializes and understands. Please join our support group which meets at Methodist and share your story with others. They will find it inspirational. Stay healthy and happy.

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