Jenna Farmer is gut health geek who knows all about IBD living, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease several years ago, Jenna is now expecting her first child – a journey she shares about regularly on her blog, A Balanced Belly.

Disarmingly honest about her fertility struggles and the culture that makes pregnancy seem like an instantaneous wish-fulfillment, Jenna provides not only an interesting account but a lot of sound advice and insight as well. Her experience is not reflective of every woman who pursues pregnancy while living with IBD but those of you looking into starting a family might find comfort in her writing.

We know how important reassurance from someone who has similar experience can be, so today as we promised you can read Jenna’s advice about IBD pregnancy on the FindMeCure blog. Then, hop on her blog to find out more about her story – we’re telling you, you won’t be able to stop reading!   

 

Things to be aware of with IBD and pregnancy

 

Make sure you make an appointment as soon as the second line appears!

Even if you’re in remission with IBD, things can change so quickly and

you’ll need to see your medical team much more closely. Be willing to

research the various medications even if you’re currently not taking

any. Many women feel guilty about taking medication when pregnant but

the most important thing is keeping the illness at bay to ensure you and

your baby is healthy. Be aware that your hormones might completely

change your digestion. I felt really poorly in the first trimester but

researched and found this was the same for many women. In my 3rd

trimester, I’m now experiencing constipation which I never thought I’d

experience with IBD!

 

Myths

 

It’s a bit of a myth that those of us with IBD have small babies. Of

course, I won’t know for sure until he arrives but mine has been

perfectly average on his growth scans so far. Don’t assume that if

you’re suffering, your baby is too! Often we can feel worse because the

baby is happily taking everything they need! Although pregnancies with

IBD are often labelled ‘high risk’ be reassured this is the standard

protocol for women with chronic conditions and just means you get extra

care or attention-rather than meaning your baby is necessarily at risk.

 

Top Tips

 

Keeping on top of vitamin deficiencies are important-especially since

you might struggle to digest prenatals. Ask your doctor to check your

vitamin D, B12, Iron and Calcium. Consider taking liquid drops which are

more easy to absorb.

 

If you want to lend your story and experience to science, search for observational clinical trials on FindMeCure – IBD research can benefit from more accounts of IBD pregnancy. More people participating in studies means more reliable statistics and as a result – better care for both moms and babies.

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