IBD & Pregnancy: Advice From The Blogger
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!
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.
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.