Second trimester of pregnancy with an ostomy

Over the weekend, I officially moved past the second trimester into the third trimester. It’s crazy to think that we’re already in the final stretch of this pregnancy and waiting for our little one to come in less than three months! pregnant baby conceive ostomies advice tips tricks stephanie hughes out of the bag colostomy ileostomy crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy blog stolen colon ileostomy colostomy urostomy second trimest 27 weeksThings are getting real and I am definitely feeling the pressure of everything that we need to get done and all of the decisions that need to be made. It is a lot to take in and can be quite overwhelming, but we are excited and trying to not get ourselves too stressed out. Just being the planner than I am, it’s hard being in a position where I have no idea what to expect and there’s not a whole lot that I can do to truly prepare myself, since I know that each pregnancy, birth and child is different. But I wanted to talk about some of the things I have experienced over the past three months and what I have learned during the second trimester.

What I have experienced so far:

  • I have been pleasantly surprised to be able to keep my ostomy bag on for a fairly normal period of time. Even with my stomach growing and stretching, I don’t feel like I’m having to change the bag constantly. I definitely have to pay a little closer attention to it, but I’m thankful that I’m not having to change it every other day.
  • I’m also glad that my ostomy is a little higher on my stomach (just a little lower than my belly button) because that has made it easier for changing the bag. If it was lower, I could see it being on the underneath of my belly, which would make changing the bag more complicated.
  • pregnant baby conceive ostomies advice tips tricks stephanie hughes out of the bag colostomy ileostomy crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy blog stolen colon ileostomy colostomy urostomy second trimesterMaternity pants are awesome! Like seriously, I had never thought about pregnancy pants for someone with an ostomy before, but it’s a great idea. They have the built-in panel, they don’t restrict the flow of output in the bag and they are really comfortable. (I’m planning on doing a little more about what to wear during pregnancy soon.)
  • Regardless of what I wear, my ostomy is more visible through my clothing than it is normally. This is due in part to it protruding farther forward, but also because most maternity clothes are fairly tight-fitting. It doesn’t bother me too much, but I’ve had a couple of comments so far of people noticing it and thinking it’s something baby-related.
  • I have been incredibly blessed to not have dealt with sickness and nausea during this pregnancy. I have still been tired, but not nearly to the extent that I was during the first few months.
  • I am ceasing to be comfortable a lot of the time. Whether it’s sitting at work or sleeping at night, it’s a struggle. I have one of those awesome pregnancy pillows which has helped tremendously at night, but laying on my right side is a little awkward with my bag sometimes.
  • This kid has been kicking up a storm, which is so crazy! I can’t describe what a strange feeling it is having something moving around and kicking inside of you.
  • I have an anterior placenta (meaning the placenta is attached at the front of the uterus, rather than the back, which is more typical) so this usually makes it a little harder to feel the kicks, at first. But what’s interesting, is that I’m pretty sure it’s right where my ostomy is, which I think has kept the baby from kicking right at my stoma spot. Just recently have I gotten a couple of quick jabs right at the ostomy. Thankfully nothing too bad yet, but I can see that becoming a bit more uncomfortable in the future.
  • My stoma has definitely changed shape and is a bit prolapsed (or pushing out farther). It’s close to 8mm larger than it was prior to pregnancy, so it’s good that I’m using cut-to-fit wafers for now, especially since the size keeps changing.

Things I am nervous about in the future:

  • I have been pretty worried about people touching my belly and therefore my ostomy bag. Since I know people have some odd desire to go touching pregnant women’s bellies, I would really prefer people to not go feeling on my bag, but I’m afraid it might be inevitable at some point. Thankfully, no random people have grabbed my belly yet! (Although I’ve had some family who has and has gotten confused about my bag…)
  • As my stomach gets bigger, I’m unsure what it’s going to be like having to empty my ostomy bag. So far, it has been find and I don’t feel like my big stomach is making it too difficult, but I can imagine that as I move into these final weeks that logistics could get tricky.
  • I know that blockages can become an issue later on in pregnancy, as the belly gets bigger and the part of the intestine that forms the ostomy opening can get pinched or restricted in some way. I am trying to be extra cautious about what I eat and making sure that I chew really well and drink lots of water, but it’s hard to think about that all of the time.
  • I’m hoping my stoma doesn’t prolapse more than it already is. I’m not entirely sure what to do if it continues to push forward.

Things I am excited about in the future:pregnant baby conceive ostomies advice tips tricks stephanie hughes out of the bag colostomy ileostomy crohn's disease ulcerative colitis inflammatory bowel disease ibd ostomy blog stolen colon ileostomy colostomy urostomy second trimester

  • I’m excited about these final months and everything starts coming together. I’m looking forward to getting the nursery set up and ready and having some time to celebrate our new little one in the coming weeks!
  • I’m not sure there’s a whole lot to “look forward to” in the third trimester (you know, other than backaches and swelling and contractions), since the fun stuff like getting to find out the gender and feeling the baby kick for the first time is already past. I do enjoying feeling the movement, so I’ll continue to be excited about that, but more than anything I’m just excited about getting to meet the little one! I feel like these final 12 or so weeks are simply about making all of the final preparations and then waiting for the little one to arrive.

For any other mamas out there who have been through/are going through pregnancy with an ostomy, what was your experience like? For those who have not, what are some of your concerns if you decide to do so?

Here’s a little more about my experience getting pregnant with an ostomy and my first trimester with an ostomy.

23 thoughts on “Second trimester of pregnancy with an ostomy

  1. tj

    Are you putting lotion/cream on your skin for stretch marks? If so, are you just avoiding the area around your stoma when applying?

    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      I have been putting lotion on my stomach, but not religiously. And I usually do it with my ostomy bag on, so that way it’s not affecting the skin around the stoma.

  2. Jes

    You are going to be one great momma! My funniest experience is when I had a friend who thought my stoma was a baby’s body part protruding. She did not know I had an ostomy, since I met her post surgery and was something that never came up in conversation. She now knows I have an ostomy, but at the time, I just chuckled and “played” along.

  3. Maggee Davis

    I never had a problem changing my bag. I found I had to wear soft one piece appliances rather than the two piece I usually wear. Baby never kicked the stoma to any great purpose of result.

    I had a Csec. Have your ps tony nurse reassure your Ob/Gyn that there is no such thing as a sterile appliance. Insist on keeping your original bag on in delivery room.

    1. Debby

      Was in labor over 18 hours w / first baby. Pushing for atleast 8 of those hours The scare tissue from when they closed up my rectum wasn’t stretching. Thank god I had a fantastic nurse that realized that and told the drs. I was rushed into ER and they made a cut and an intern got on top of me and pushed I don’t remember that but my husband saw the whole thing. My daughter had a cone head from all my pushing but she was fine.

      1. Lucila

        Hi Debby. So you had a proctectomy and had a baby afterwards? Could you please tell me more about the healing process and how long did you have to wait to get pregnant after the proctectomy. I’m scheduled to have proctectomy next week.

  4. Molly B

    You are so mad cute with your baby bump! I can’t believe I haven’t seen it in person when you are down at the in-laws!

  5. Ginger Atkinson

    Hi Stephanie, you are doing an awesome job on your blog! So proud of you and the role you are playing to create a safe and helpful place to blog about living with an ileostomy. Staying tuned for… the baby!

  6. Colette

    I just have to say that I am really glad that I stumbled upon your site. You are an inspiration to anyone who reads these posts. Thanks for letting me be a part of this. And most of all thanks for sharing your experiences, I am sure that you are helping more people than you realize.

  7. david gardiner

    Having a stoma & being pregnant is something I’d not even thought about ! I’m a father of 4 & now a grandfather of 5 & have been an ostomate myself for almost8 years. I admire you greatly & wish you all the happiness !

  8. Linda

    Hi, I’m pregnant for 21 weeks now and have a ileostomy! I am a little bit scared for the coming weeks when my belly really starts to grow, but luckily I have an appointment with a specialized (ostomies and pregnancies) doctor next week, so I can ask him everything I want to know.

    Besides that, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to carry and lift my babyboy without rupturing or breaking the ostomy/the muscels around it. So we bought a SUV (we already had to buy a new car) and a lightweight, higher than normal, stroller, to prevent heavy lifting situations.

    I love your blog, there’s not much written in Dutch about pregnancies with an ostomy, so thank you so much!

  9. Rossana

    What an awesome story. I’ve had Crohn’s for 20 years and have now seriously started to consider an ostomy but was wondering about being able to get pregnant. This story is exactly what I needed. Thank you!!!!❤️

  10. Meagan

    Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am only 10 weeks pregnant with an Ostomy and have already experienced a significant prolapse which scared the daylight a out of me. Laying on my back with my knees drawn to my chest has helped shorten the length of the prolapsed intestine for short periods of time. But I am with you on hoping it doesn’t get any longer.

  11. LaShun Cloud

    Hi your story is so up lifting. I had my surgery September of 2015 now I am faced with having an ileostomy for a while until my insurance kicks in. My husband and I lost our son of nine months in 2007 and now we really would like to have another child. It scares me and him to be pregnant with a stoma but now that I’m online looking at all the wonderful stories of how women are having babies with stomas and surviving. It does my heart good to see so many success stories I am much older now but I know God still has a plan in my life. Please send more update on how you’re doing with the new baby. Best wishes The Clouds

  12. Teriqueka Cucrera

    Hi , My name is Teriqueka Cucrera and I’m from High Point North Carolina I come across my searching of pregnancy with a colostomy because I have one myself since I was 3 months I’m 19 now also was very curious about if one day I’ll have a baby will there be a chance ? I loved to see my friends go through the pregnancy with their babies . It’s a Blessing that I’ve read your story I never knew that one day I may have one on my own.

  13. Allison Anderson

    Hello! I am 10 weeks pregnant with an ileostomy, and so far so good! Your story has really inspired me and captured my concerns as well, such as how scar tissue will affect the later months as well as delivery. I will continue to check in with you to see how things are going! Thanks for all you do.

  14. Claudia

    Hello! I’m 21 weeks pregnant, and I’m just drinking juice, tea, water and Soups bevouse I have pain on my intestines when I eat… I think it’s too early to have pain and I’m scared Becouse the baby is very small😞
    I have an ileostomy pernanten, 4 surgery’s becouse of UC and no rectum.
    Do you think the pain is going to be worst during de third trimester also I’m have just solids? Sorry for the English I hope you understand me well
    Thanks for the blog

    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      Claudia, it’s hard to know what’s “too early” because everyone is different. But I know how scary it is. Have you noticed any change in output? It might be worth going on a low residue diet. I made a lot of smoothies and juiced to get the vegetables and nutrients. I hope for a smooth rest of your pregnancy! Let me know if you have other questions. Congratulations on your little one!

  15. Hannah

    Hello! My name is Hannah from UK. We lost our baby at 18 weeks last year 2017 which then kicked off the biggest flare of my life admitting me to hospital for 4 weeks then had emergency ileotomy surgery. Still have rectum at moment but told it needs to be removed within 3 years. Yesterday I found out I am pregnant again! I have no clue about pregnancy with a Stoma and any advice to help in these gruelling first 12 weeks would be amazing thank you!

    1. Stephanie Hughes Post author

      Hi Hannah, I’m so sorry to hear about your previous loss. I can’t imagine going through that and having to have surgery at the same time. But congratulations on your new pregnancy! That’s so exciting! I’ve included a bunch of posts on here about my pregnancy experience, so you’ll find a lot there. But the first 12 weeks were really no different for me than what they seem to be with others. Just really tired, for the most part, but I did not personally deal with the morning sickness that so many others do. The most important thing I can suggest is just making sure to stay extra hydrated. I would get dehydrated so easily so really had to stay on top of drinking a ton of water. Other than that, I’m not sure there’s much more you need to do in the first trimester. In the future, be aware of stoma changes (mine got bigger and prolapsed some), so you may need to adjust the bags that you use. Also blockages were a big issue for me. I would really avoid any items that have given you trouble in the past and try to cut down on the fiber some. Again, congratulations! Let me know if you have any other questions.


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