When you are dealing with celiac disease and pregnancy– that is another matter. That pressure may heighten a bit for women and their doctors.
New research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology looks into what kind of risk having celiac disease puts on the unborn baby and if it is a big concern.
Researchers looked at data on pregnancies from 1997-2012. Of more than 360,000 live birth or stillbirths, nearly 900 were among women with celiac disease. Researchers concluded there was not an increased risk associated with women’s celiac disease (CD) and “pregnancy complications” (antepartum and postpartum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, and mode of delivery) or “adverse birth outcomes” (preterm birth, stillbirth, and low birth weight). And it reported, “We found no increased risk of any pregnancy complication among those with undiagnosed CD”
“The risk of postpartum hemorrhage and assisted delivery was slightly higher among pregnant women with diagnosed CD,” the research abstract reported.
But this information may not be the same message celiac women or their doctors have heard. The Celiac Awareness Campaign from the National Institutes of Health says “Several studies report miscarriage rates to be substantially higher among women with untreated celiac disease than among healthy women, with one study finding the rate of spontaneous abortion to be nearly nine times higher. The incidence of low birth-weight babies is reportedly almost six times higher in women with untreated celiac disease. The risk of intrauterine growth retardation may be increased three-fold.”
The University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center reports minimal/accidental exposure to gluten for a celiac mom should not hurt the pregnancy. But it did add “In women with undiagnosed celiac disease, however, gluten has been related to an increased risk of infertility and miscarriages.”
Another resource is Celiac.com which has a large selection of articles regarding infertility, miscarriage and other pregnancy and birth questions related to celiac disease. Click here to see those articles.
So what is the official word on this? It really is hard to say. Always consult your doctor with questions like these. The safest thing is do your research and stay the course with compliance on the gluten-free diet.