motherhood and a stoma

motherhood and a stoma

We spoke to Alannah, A.K.A @glitterygutsx about pregnancy and motherhood with a stoma and here is what she had to say!

"Being a mom with an ostomy can have its challenges, but it can also have many rewards.

In this post, I'm going to be talking about its challenges and its highlights.

During pregnancy, I had many issues with my health and stoma, and as there is very little information/advice out there, I was left to my own devices, as the midwives I had were not trained in stoma care.

The most important thing that I found during pregnancy was staying hydrated. I struggled to keep hydrated during the entire pregnancy and even now. My stoma also prolapsed which caused a lot of pain and leaks. Any opportunity that you get during your pregnancy to air out your skin, do it! Keeping cool as possible really helps too.

Dioralyte or sports drinks are great to keep you hydrated. You may find your tolerances to food change and it's important to notice those changes and adapt your diet. I got blockages so frequently, that a liquid diet for best for me to try.

My son is 9 months old now and my stoma is 7 years old. As I've been an ostomate for so long, I have already been able to adapt to many things. When my bag leaks, I always make sure that my son is either in his baby walker, jumperoo or on the floor. This is to ensure he is safe and not going to hurt himself.

If you need to change your bag and your baby/child loves food, pop them somewhere safe, sitting upright and giving them a snack to distract them. This makes the bag change less stressful as you can take your time.

One thing I find great about having a stoma is that I don’t have to worry about rushing to the toilet when my bowel plays up. Before my stoma, I lived my life on the toilet and I am so grateful that my stoma has stopped that, or at least lessened that! I get that a lot of women may be put off trying for a family for a variety of reasons such as worrying about their IBD flaring, stoma complications, being told their fertility may not be good or their general health.

Please don't let having an ostomy put you off from trying for a family if you want children! It's really helpful to talk to your GP and medical team who look after you, for a plan to be made in advance and any medications they may prescribe you to take whilst trying to conceive.

As long as you keep in contact with your doctors, you can get the help you need along the way!

Always try to make sure and communicate with your general doctors and your midwife team. Sometimes communication isn't great which can lead to a lot of frustration and things being missed.

On the days I’m really poorly, I’m lucky to have my partner (if he isn’t at work), when he is at work, it can be incredibly difficult and I know some of my chronically ill mum friends have to do it alone and I can’t even imagine. For the days you are unwell or if you're a single parent, prep is everything!

Being ahead of tomorrow helps A LOT; having bottles cleaned, meals and snacks planned and looking out for clothes, all within close range so you don’t have to spend time looking for things or organising meals.

The same goes for you e.g ostomy supplies are stocked and clothes looked out.

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