First of all, shout out to all the people out there that live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and have given birth and/or will give birth in the future. Pregnancy is a journey for anyone, let alone someone living with something like IBD. Your body goes through amazing transformations to create a home for a tiny human for nine months, and it still manages to do all the other things it needs to do to keep you healthy. I was fortunate to have a really great pregnancy without complications, but I know that’s not the story for so many people living with IBD and carrying a child around.
Now childbirth? That is another story. I had no clue what to expect when it came to labor, and I ultimately ended up with an unplanned C-section. Looking back, that was the best option for both myself and my son, but at the time, it was an incredibly difficult reality to process. I’ve had many moments in life where I felt like my body was failing me (hi, ulcerative colitis!), and a C-section was probably the worst of those moments. I’m six months removed now, so I’ve had time to process and heal emotionally, but it was a tough couple of months.
If you’re preparing for labor and also living with IBD, it’s important to be prepared for any type of experience. (I didn’t poop on the table, but boy, was I ready for it – but that happens regardless of UC.) But in all seriousness, here are 10 things I discovered as a mom living with UC (I’m not a doctor, so this is 100% based on my personal experience only):
IBD doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to have complications. Quite the opposite for me, actually. My GI explained to me that a lot of parents actually feel their best with UC during pregnancy, if they’re in remission when they conceive.
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