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Ileostomate with first pregnancy

Tue Aug 03, 2021 12:20 am

Hi All,

New here and this is my first post. I'm wondering if any women here have experience being a pregnant ostomate? 

I'm 20 weeks now and having near constant problems with partial blockages and terrible gas build up. I was hospitalized for 3 days last week with a blockage, and my system STILL doesn't seem to be functioning normally. I seem to have gas pressure all the time and everything feels sluggish. It's leading to trouble eating because I'm nervous of causing another blockage, or I just feel too bloated to eat anything. I'm starting to worry about not getting enough nutrition to baby. For example, all I ate all day today was two pieces of toast. That's NOT enough food when you're pregnant ☹️

I've struggled with partial blockages since getting my ostomy in 2009, and the only relief I ever experienced was when I went on the keto diet for 2.5 years. My gut health was amazing and had zero blockages during that time.

Are these issues possibly a consequence of my intestines being squished by my growing uterus? Has anyone else dealt with this? How did you handle it? Any suggestions at all on what I can do to mitigate this? I'm convinced I need to go keto again but it's not recommended during pregnancy. But I'm really miserable and uncomfortable and I'm only half way through this pregnancy.


These are the top 5 issues ostomates face:

1. Dating and relationships
2. Concealing the pouch
3. Foods to eat and avoid
4. Losing or gaining weight
5. Pouch ballooning

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Tue Aug 03, 2021 2:09 am

Hi Emjay

3 months after I had a Koch Pouch continent ileostomy, I became pregnant with my first and only child. Instead of having the typical type of ileostomy (which I had for 16 years before in got the Koch Pouch. My concern I had was that she wouldn't have the space in which to grow. Also, the Pouch could be loud with gas moving around in it or gas being delivered from my small intestines. Had most my small intestines. Was concerned her hearing would be affected. Even though I probably had less space than you, I didn't have any issues. When I had the regular ostomy with wearing a heavy rubber large bag (That was 1964 til 1980.), only had a bad case of constipation....No blockages, ever. 
While on this site, many people have serious issues with blockages. It seems to a more current issue. However, I never had any support person/people. I had the first ileostomy at Stanford University Hospital where the surgeons were some of best in the world. 
With your situation, I would high protein shakes for 2 reasons. One is because of your blockages. The second reason is you'll have the ability absorb nutrients more efficiently. Ostomates do not absorb well from foods, and your special Vitamins during your pregnancy. Be sure to always have Folate Acid, a B vitamin. 
i would read the contents of your pregnancy vitamins which are in pill/capsule form. 
I would check with obstetrician and/or a nutritionist to see how you take change the hard pill form into liquid form. HOWEVER, don't do this alone. 
I had to issues with taking my vitamins during my pregnancy. My daughter was a healthy little infant.  
What types of foods do you think that are causing the blockages??  If you know, eliminate them. 
You can liquify anything. For regular food, can you tolerate calves live or raw with salads. How about boiled eggs. Mac n Cheese maybe good. 
what foods do you like? Toward the last month of pregnancy, I'd go to the well air conditioned mall and enjoy my milk shake. My daughter became a "choco-holic she claimed to be. But she does have dark chocolate once in awhile. As long as you get your proper nutrients from your shakes, take your vitamins the best way you can and eat food that satisfies....Cake, ice cream whatever that keeps you feel better. 
Go to a Nutrition Or Health Food store. They may have a liquid vitamins for pregnancy. 
Write me again. Please let me know how things are going. Could be I'm wrong about any of these. 
Take care, EmJay.

Tue Aug 03, 2021 10:14 pm

hey there EmJay, 

If you were having blockage issues before you were pregnant it's probably not an issue now because of the fetus growing, although as you get closer to 40 weeks that might become an issue--it did for me about week 38, and I gave birth in week 39. baby was totally healthy though, even though I lost weight through month 7 because of awful morning sickness.  Deziner above already gave you some good advice and I will echo that here as well.  If you can figure out what foods are more difficult/causing blockages you might have to swap them out from solid to purée or even juiced forms (with your OB/GYN/medical team supervision). if prenatal vitamins are an issue in solid state ask if there is a liquid or gummy version available.  it might also be worth talking to your GI doctor (or whichever dr you see related to the ostomy) so they're aware you're having gut issues.  they may also be able to advise about nutritional options that would be well suited to your particular case. 

best of luck-please let us know how you're doing and if you need anything else! 

Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:36 am


Sorry to hear you have problems. Luckily for me I had 2 pregnancies without problems, many years ago, but then I didn't have problems before being pregnant or after. May I also suggest you use a blender or go on a soft diet. Talk to your nurse about vitamin pills too. Maybe keep a record of your intake to find out what foods to avoid. Take care and I wish you all the best for the future with your baby

Fri Aug 13, 2021 10:36 pm

My biggest problem was really loud horrible gas. It sounded like an humorous fart .. very embarrassing sometimes so carry a light jacket or sweater to muffle the noise.

Sat Aug 14, 2021 12:41 am


  Maried wrote:  

My biggest problem was really loud horrible gas. It sounded like an humorous fart .. very embarrassing sometimes so carry a light jacket or sweater to muffle the noise.


How I relate to you regarding GAS!!!

When 16 and during after lunch in quiet math or science classes, I'd release gas. The whole class could hear it. That was for grades 10, 11, and 12th. I attended a very small high school; so we all knew each other.

Back in the day, their were pouches that had a little valve at the top of pouch. You could release gas when you wanted. Gas tends to be at the top. Not sure if you do this, but try releasing gas by open your pouch and coach your gas out of your bag.

You also my try to find a manufacturer that makes pouches that have little gas valves at the top. If they don't make them, they should as this a problem is an issue for anyone who wears an outside appliance.

You could also, put a cotton diaper over your pouch to muffle the sound. Taking a sweater is a great idea, EmJay.

Take care,



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