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Pregnancy With An Ostomy

Not having experienced pregnancy myself, I am always at a loss as to what to say to people when they ask me about pregnancy with an ostomy. All I know is that "yes", we can have a children and a normal pregnancy. Luckily for me and you, Evelyn has kindly written an article on the subject for me to include on my page. Thank you so much Evelyn! If anyone has anything they would like to add to this page, please fill in the form at the bottom of this page. This is what Evelyn has to say:

Pregnancy with an ostomy is as normal as one without one. I had one child before ostomy surgery and 2 afterwards. The pregnancies were normal, no problems. I had c sections for both, mainly because I had the first one that way. I actually thought the pregnancies after surgery were easier. I had no related health problems, everything went great. I would have loved to have more than 3 children, but my husband didn't.

It was hard to get pregnant after the surgery because my body had to heal. At the time of surgery I was down to 65 lbs.

Also I have a tipped uterus. I eventually got well and went on to have two more kids. I really don't know what to tell someone except the ostomy made no difference. No problems with sex, everything was great. Don't let an ostomy stop you from having children. The pregnancies are easy. The c sections are rough, but all major surgery is. I actually thought I had a worse time the first c section and I didn't have an ostomy.

I had a great doctor and things went well. I choose not to nurse. My husband thought it would tie us down too much.

If your ostomy is low on your stomach as your belly gets bigger you may have problems taking care of the ostomy. It is hard to see. That's where a good mirror comes in handy. You will learn tricks of the trade that will come in handy for you.

Good luck and please do not let an ostomy prevent you from having children. There is absolutely no reason.


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I am 38, ileostomy for 15 years. No problems getting pregnant... I had a great pregnancy and loved every minute of it. We were worried that I'd encounter problems but nothing except a prolapsed stoma from the baby pushing on it too much when I was 5 months. Delivered vaginally a beautiful and healthy baby girl 8 lbs 4 ozs - never let anyone lead you to think you cannot have a child with an ostomy. My wonderful little girl, Meredith, is almost 4 yrs old and well worth everything... she even helps me change my "boo-boo band" - that is what we call my pouch.


I am 25yrs old. I was born 10 weeks premature due to placenta previa. I weighed only 3lbs 2oz, and soon after developed an infection in my intestines, in the first year had an inch of colon removed, a colostomy and at eleven months a reversal. Growing up I have had numerous problems staying "regular", because of a narrowing where the colon was removed. I was in and out of the hospital through my adolesent years, luckily with no other surgeries needed. I was always told not to gain a lot of weight for fear of the scars and adhesions tearing and that I would not be able to carry a pregnancy to full-term or may not even get pregnant at all. That was always on my mind. I love children, being the last of four children, and both my sisters have kids, I knew I wanted a family of my own someday.
I saw many specialists over the years, who all told me not to even try to have children, that was the most devastating news. When I was 22 I met a wonderful man and we married when I was 23. We discussed the risks of having a child and I just knew everything would be ok. We put caution to the wind and two months after our wedding we found out we were expecting. The pregnancy itself was great until I started showing. In my 27 week (Superbowl Sunday) I went into preterm, fortunately it was stopped with the help of medication. A week after the first episode, I started having pains and felt as if I was just constipated, which was something I could relate to. The pains were just as bad, my mom picked me up from work and took me to the ER, after two hours of making sure it wasn't a blockage or strangulation I was brought to OB where they hooked me up to the fetal heart/contraction monitor and that showed my contractions were going off the chart!! All the medicine they were giving me for constipation was aggravating the contractions I was having to begin with!! Each week, as I grew, the contractions were continuious.
Well from the beginning of Feb to the end of April I was on bedrest and medication every 4hrs to prevent a premature delivery. It was found that the adhesions were irritating my uterus and causing the contractions. We (my baby and I) beat the odds. To everyone's suprise, including myself, I carried to my 40th week, went in for induction, stayed for two days, but was not dilating (only to 1-2). After convicing my Dr that the baby was NOT coming out vaginally, a C-section was scheduled for the next morning. My beautiful baby girl was April 23, 2003 at 12:32pm, healthy weighing 6lbs 15oz. It was found that her cord was tied in a complete knot, along with all the adhesions I had, she would not have survived another week in utero.
The day after her birth, one of the Drs that did the C-section came to see me and I asked him how bad it was "in there". He told me the adhestions were spiderwebbed to everything, my whole left side was completely covered. He couldn't seen my fallopian tubes, or ovaries and he has no idea how I even got pregnant in the first place. He told I could have more children but the pregnancies would be just as difficult if not more and I would always have to a C-section. Through my last few months of pregnancy, my belly was lopp-sided, she never went the my left side and if I laid on my left side I was in excruciating pain. She stayed all on my right, which makes sense now. I gained roughly 50lbs with her. Five months after her birth, I lost a baby about 7-8wks along, not knowing I was pregnant, not trying either. I was not on birth control yet, as I had just finished nursing. Next month I am consulting with a Plastic Surgeron in the state in hopes on having the adhesions loosened or removed and planning to have one more child in the next two years or so. Thanks for letting me share my story. I wish I would have found this site sooner, it is wonderful to know I am not alone anymore. Having my daughter, against all odds, was the best choice I have ever made. She truly is my angel.


I've had a perm ileostomy due to UC since 94; after 2 yrs of trying to conceive, no luck with Clomid, & 2 failed artificial insemination attempts, my husband and I were finally successful with IVF. We now have 4 yr old boy/girl twins! I figure after all I went through with UC and surgeries, God was giving me a break!
Other than having to seek scientific intervention to actually GET pregnant, the pregnancy itself was completely normal. I LOVED being pregnant! No trouble with my stoma or the appliance. Had to make a few adjustments but not a big deal. I did have to have my stoma "repaired" so to speak 1 year after I gave birth, because it had prolapsed some, so my colorectal surgeon "tucked" it back in. Also, I now have a peristomal hernia, which I believe is due to my stomach stretching from the pregnancy, but that's just a suspicion I have. I'd love to have more kids - another set of twins would be great!


I've had indeterminate colitis since age 9. I've had 11 abdominal surgeries and 2 failed jpouches.I've had a permanent ileostomy since 1995 (age 20). My doctors said I'd never have a baby due to adhesions and scaring of the fallopian tubes.What do they know! I conceived in May of 2002 ( without even trying - SURPRISE! ) and had a perfectly healthy 9lb11oz girl in Feb 2003.I had a problem free pregnancy and delivered her C- section because she was breech. Don't ever let a doctor's report dictate what you can and can not do. Only God knows everything!


I got UC when I was 19, finally agreed to have an ileostomy at 22. Got married at 26. I'm 33 now and have 2 beautiful children. Bailey,3 & Walker,1 were both vaginal deliveries...(no stitches or tears either) Gained 30-35 lbs. each time. Nursed both 1-2 years. Thank God for giving me the opportunity to experience such a beautiful miracle.

Stacey Graham

I was born with reflux disease and had my urostomy surgery when I was 8/9 years old. My doctor told my parents and me that I should be able to have children, lots if I wanted. Then after I grew up and began puberty, my mom took me to see the doctor so he could tell me, one, maybe two children at the most, but advised against it. There was major damage done to my kidneys before the disease was discovered and treated, the diversion, thus, the caution on having children. Anway, as a young woman who always wanted at least one child (son), got pregnant. I was sick, very very sick all through the pregancy and was hospitalized several times.
I was put in the hospital for high blood pressure and a month later had my healthy baby boy, this was 24 years ago this past March. He has had no health problems. Unfortunately now, my working kidney is now failing. If I had known then what I know now, I would have adopted, I could have caused us both to die. .

Sherie White

I have one daughter who was conceived while I had UC. Great pregnancy and normal vaginal delivery. However, six months after her birth I got REALLY sick and had to have surgery. I now have a j-pouch and feel great! My doctor told me that having more children is not a problem and that I should be able to have them vaginally because I had such a normal delivery the first time. I want to speak to someone else who has had a VD with a j-pouch. These people are hard to come across so if anyone has any info please let me know.


I was diagnosed with UC and just a few days after finding out that I was pregnant. I got very sick very fast and had emergency ostomy surgery about 2 weeks later while I was 8 weeks pregnant. I was very scared as they explained to me the risks of loosing my baby from the surgery. I was blessed and had a healthy baby girl who is perfect! The pregnancy was easy - no pouching problems. I had a C-section because I was a candidate for the J-pouch and my surgeon didn't want to risk damaging the rectal muscles from a vaginal delivery. I did have pouching problems after delivery, from my skin being so loose and my body changing shape. I changed to a stiffer wafer and all was fine. About 3 months after delivery, I had my colon removed and the J-pouch constructed. Then five months later had ileostomy closure. After numerous surgeries, ostructions, and all of the problems, I take one look at my precious child (now 10 months) and realize that she is worth it - my light at the end of the tunnel.


I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when I was 11 years old. I became pregnant with my first child when I was 22. I had no problems conceiving, carrying the pregnancy or delivering the baby, in fact I felt better during pregnancy then I had in years. 3 years later I FINALLY had an ileostomy. I wish I had done it sooner. That was 6 years ago. I wanted to have another baby this year, but I was very concerned about scar tissue. I was so worried I wouldn't be able to conceive. Well I am happy to say it took 1 MONTH to conceive and I am now 5 weeks pregnant and VERY happy!.... I will let you know how it goes!


I got my total proctocolectomy when I was 20. There was a great deal of scar tissue and the surgery blocked one of my tubes. Many doctors told me that I would not get pregnant and because of the scar tissue, sex was difficult. I am glad to say that I found a great doctor. We tried fertility drugs and after 4 years of trying.. we are expecting our first baby in January. It has been a difficult pregnancy so far. My Crohn's disease is flared up and I am very sick but we are so happy and will do it again. We are expecting a C-section for the baby because of the tilted uterus due to the removal of the rectum. But with all the surgeries that I have had, it should be a walk in the park to get such a precious gift. This time I will bring home a baby and not a new stoma, haha


My story is a little different to others, I had emergency surgery to create my ileostomy when I was 13 weeks pregnant. Luckily my baby came through that part with me. Unfortunately 8 weeks later I suffered from a water infection as my immune system was so low post op and at 21 weeks gestation I gave birth to a beautiful perfect little girl, she was just born too soon but still born an angel, I am an unfortunate person and I do believe this was because after becoming pregnant I fell seriously ill ending in my surgery, however I do want more children and would love to share any similiar experience and success storis with other people.

Helen Appleby

I've been an ileostomate for over 25 years. I had Ulcerative Colitis as a teenager. Since that time I married, completed college and have given birth to six kids. I have a son 19 and a daughter 6 and 4 other kids in between. Pregnancy was not a problem. And my first child weighed in at 9 pounds, 10 ounces. All were vaginal deliveries.

Avis Hester

I have had an ileostomy for 2 years as a result of UC. I was diagnosed when I was 3 months pregnant with my first daughter. I am now 5 months pregnant with my second child and I am doing great! I was so concerned about my stomy protruding with my growing belly and not being able to conceal my pouch, but I haven't had any problems at all. I am looking forward to a vaginal birth and I pray all will go well.


I've had a urostomy for many years due to congenital defects. Because of that, I was sure I wouldn't get pregnant. After six years, I got pregnant and had a wonderful pregnancy. When my son was 8 months old, I again got pregnant and now have two great boys, 9 years and almost 11 years old.

Donna Wildberger

I have had my ileostomy for 5 years now, after only having UC for 2 months, medications did not work. A year after my surgery, after only trying for 3 months I got pregnant. Everything was great. No problems at all concerning my ostomy, just normal pregnancy issues. I had to have a C-Section but not due to the ileostomy, but because babies head was tilted back. Two years later I got pregnant again. Only thing that was wrong this time was 3 minor blockages ( no hospitalisation needed.) Also gave birth naturally this time.
Now I have a girl 3, and a boy 4 months. I would tell anyone who wants to get pregnant, don't let the ostomy stop you.

Tina Polem

My name is Michelle and I am 31 yrs of age. I have Crohn's disease and have had an ileostomy for two and half years. I am seven and a half months pregnant and so far no crohn's - I am having a Caesar due to scar tissue not allowing a natural birth-this does not worry me as I just want a healthy baby and a healthy me. My pregnancy has been trouble free although the doctor thinks I may have placenta previa which I am having an ultrasound shortly to find out. Anyway would like to talk to anyone with the same situation as me or just let people know having a baby is possible it only took 5 months to fall pregnant also. good luck!!!!!!!!

Michelle Morris

I had one pregnancy before my ileostomy. It was a terrible pregnancy since I was very sick with UC and the baby only weighed 5 pounds 8 oz. When she was 3 months old, I had the surgery. 8 years later, I was pregnant real problems getting that way. Sex was problems there either, but I too have a tipped uterus. It was a wonderful pregnancy, I gain 40 pounds and never felt better in my life. That baby was 9 pounds 1 ounce. Then, two years later, it happened again. Another 40 pound weight gain, and another 9 pound baby. Very healthy pregnancies, and very healthy babies. Three years later...again...45 pound weight gain and another 9 pound baby. I am done now. I've had my ileostomy for nearly 20 years. The only problems I had with the stoma and changing my pouch was that my belly grew so fast, that I had to change more often and my skin got a little irritated. The stoma changed a little, protruding just a little more than usual. All in all, the pregnancies after the surgery were far better than the one before it.

Dawn Pitts

I am pregnant right now, third time around. Two picture perfect pregnancies, this one is too, so far. Normal vaginal deliveries, very little weight gain. Best thing about it is not showing much. Not only do I have extra room because of my ileostomy, I am also six feet tall! I have had my ostomy since I was eleven, a result of Ulcerative Colitis. The most amazing thing I have found, is explaining my ostomy to doctors. How, why, etc..


Although I would do it all over again, I had a horrible pregnancy. I got pregnant, no problem. But when I was 5 months pregnant, the uterus growing caused a bowel obstruction. I had emergency surgery to correct that, and then the wound got infected. I am prone to infection. After all that, my stomach wouldn't go back together so I had a huge hole in my stomach and my uterus was exposed. They took 33 inches of skin from my thigh and placed in the open wound to cover the uterus. I carried her full term, in fact I never went into labor. I had a c section and she was beautiful and healthy. 3 months later I had the skin graft removed from my stomach. My doctors think the same thing would happen again if I were to get pregnant, but I didn't care. I wanted another one. But, my tubes are blocked so that is not possible. I am so thankful for my daughter. She was heaven sent. I would do it all over again for her.

Pam Durbin

Having a baby with an ostomy is NO problem. My baby is now 23 and is a new father. I took birth control pills to help depression caused from all the codeine I was taking to slow the gut. I didn't get the birth control pills--a baby instead. There were so many doctors at the birth, I should have charged admission. The pain doesn't come close to Crohn's Disease pain. I really felt good during pregnancy and my body worked great. Got off Codeine. I ate and ate and ate and gained 20 lbs--over 6 of it was the baby. Since I didn't "show" much, a good-looking guy flurted with me about a week before Tony was born. I really got a laugh out of that. I was able to breast feed some but did suppliment with formula. Just be sure your nutrition is good and you will have no trouble having a baby. Enjoy....

Dee Svaldi

Please fill in this form if you would like to share your experience of pregnancy with an ostomy and help others.
Please Note: This is only for those who have experienced pregnancy since ostomy surgery. For those of you looking for contacts who can help with questions before you become pregnant, please check out The Pregnancy After Ostomy Surgery Contact List and email the contacts on the list. Thanks.

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