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When women with chronic diseases, such as epilepsy, diabetes or lupus, decide to start or grow a family, they may face anxieties and decisions far beyond what others experience during these stages of life. Too often these women must weigh their own health, their pregnancy, or the health of their baby against the management of their chronic condition. Compounding these challenges are the uncertainties and pressures to make decisions without a clear understanding of the benefits and risks involved.

Today, a significant lack of data and research is leaving women without the information they need to make vital health decisions. Approximately 70% of pregnant women take at least one prescription medicine, but, shockingly, only 5% of medications are properly monitored, tested, and labelled for use during this time.

BRIDGE (Better Research, Information and Data Generation for Empowerment) is a voluntary, multidisciplinary group of physicians, researchers, patients, and women’s health advocates working to empower women with chronic diseases to make shared decisions about their treatment before, during, and/or after pregnancy.

The Commission’s goal is to advance practical and action-oriented solutions to overcome information gaps that affect women’s health during pregnancy and breastfeeding — the first of which will be detailed in a report due out in early 2024.

“I’m delighted to be a part of this multidisciplinary group of experts working to make sure that individuals with chronic diseases are equipped with the right data to make shared decisions about their treatment before, during, and after pregnancy.” Anne Drapkin Lyerly, BRIDGE Commission Member

Find out more about BRIDGE, its members, and updates by visiting the new website The development of the website has been supported by UCB.