The patience, strength, and determination required to deal with IBD are also great qualities when you become a parent

I used to think living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) was the hardest thing I would ever go through until I became a mom

Being a mom is really tough – and after 9 months of excitement come the hard parts: the sleepless nights, the hormonal changes, and learning how to take care of a little person

Experiencing all of this on top of IBD can be even more difficult, especially since about a third of mothers with IBD have a torch within a year of giving birth

Like most aspects of living with inflammatory bowel disease, it can be challenging and stressful, but you will get there

As the proud mother of an energetic 18-month-old, I’ve learned some tips to help me survive this difficult first year after giving birth

The good news is that many popular IBD medications can be safely taken while breastfeeding, The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation says azathioprine / 6-mercaptopurine and biological medications can be safely taken while breastfeeding

I would recommend joining the Breastfeeding With IBD Facebook group to connect with mothers in a similar position

Also note that breastfeeding can be stressful and stressful alongside living with a chronic medical condition So, plan ways that others can support you – whether you’re expressing yourself across the board or agreeing with your partner or family, take over after feeding so you can rest

I don’t think I understood how important sleep was to me until I stopped having it

Previous research has shown that people with IBD generally sleep worse So here’s my warning: you need to get some sleep whenever you can. When the baby is asleep, sleep! If someone offers to watch the baby, sleep!

It’s not forever and soon your baby will sleep through the night (although the definition of “soon” is different for all of us) Meanwhile, take advantage of every chance you get to sleep

It is really difficult to prepare 3 meals a day at first Therefore, having some stomach-friendly meals in the freezer before the baby arrives can be life-saving

If you’re like me, junk food and irregular eating habits can make your IBD worse So it is really important to be prepared

If you temporarily stopped medication during pregnancy or if you feel like you are flickering after giving birth, it is important to have a plan for your post-baby treatment

A lot of people postpone this until they really feel uncomfortable from focusing on their little one so much that they neglect their own body

Your doctor should monitor you closely and have a plan to get you back on track

One thing you’ll learn quickly: you really can’t turn your back on a baby, especially when he hits the crawling milestone

Many mothers have a diaper trolley in every room for this reason, but why not keep your important things too?

For example, if you are taking many types of medication, you may not necessarily come back to the kitchen to take them again and again So keep them in your room caddy (out of the reach of children, of course)

You can also toss things like water bottles, a heating pad, a change of clothes, and snacks in when you feel you need them

Let me be real with you: if your body is like my body, the bathroom will be your baby’s most visited room

When your baby is younger, it’s safe to throw them in the bassinet.If they’re crying or crawling, they’ll likely need to go to the bathroom with you

Most of us IBD mothers were put in the bathroom with a baby on our lap so I have some entertainment there, like a book or toy, to distract my son (and keep him from closing the door open and run away)

Many of us are regulated on our prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, but you may or may not need to continue taking vitamins after your baby is born

Iron deficiency anemia is a common problem for many of us Research shows that 60 to 70 percent of people with IBD have insufficient vitamin D levels

Just because you no longer take these for your baby doesn’t mean you still don’t need them So it might be worth checking your postpartum scores or speaking to your doctors to see what they recommend

In the early days, the thought of abandoning our babies makes us heartbroken, which is why some mothers with IBD may fail to get the help they need for their own health

If you’re hospitalized for IBD, your baby can likely come into the room with you – and that doesn’t mean you can’t breastfeed

Many of us are well aware of the signs of postpartum depression, but it’s also important to know that people with IBD may be at increased risk of a new onset psychiatric diagnosis in the postpartum period, according to a 2019 study / p>

Mental illnesses are common in people with IBD in general Therefore, it is important that you take care of both your mental and physical health during this time after the birth

Every IBD mother I know (myself included) feels guilty for accepting help.We were taught that a baby needs its mother around the clock, but in fact, they need a mother who is happy and healthy is

IBD may mean you still have some hurdles to overcome in your first year as a mom, but hopefully these tips will help you navigate

Those of us with IBD are used to having the patience, strength, and determination to overcome setbacks. Thankfully, these are all great qualities to share as parents

Jenna Farmer is a UK-based freelance journalist who specializes in writing about her journey with Crohn’s Disease. She is passionate about raising awareness about living a full life with IBD. Visit her blog, A Balanced Belly, or visit her blog find her on Instagram

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