What to expect when you’re expecting (and an ostomate) - GoldCare

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What to expect when you’re expecting (and an ostomate)

With the arrival of the Royal baby, we thought now would be a great time to write a post about being pregnant whilst having a stoma. Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy on Monday April 23rd and it seems the whole country has baby fever as a result, but what about ostomates who are trying to get pregnant, what should they expect?

First of all, having a stoma should not affect your ability to conceive, although the condition that resulted in your stoma might so it’s always worth discussing things with your stoma nurse or GP beforehand.

How long should you wait after surgery

If planned, it’s not advisable to try and get pregnant immediately after surgery. For your own good, it’s worth waiting a few months at least until the surgery has fully healed in order to ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible during pregnancy. Again, it’s worth seeking the advice of a medical professional as to just how long you should wait.

How pregnancy might affect your stoma

It goes without saying that your abdomen will go through changes during pregnancy, which means it’s highly likely that so will your stoma. It’s quite common for a stoma to change shape and size throughout a pregnancy. This simply means that you have to be careful to monitor it and ensure you have the right sized supplies, it may become oval shaped which will require a new pouch system.

Your stoma should return to normal size within 4 weeks of your delivery.

Could it hurt more?

This varies from person to person. If you have scar tissue or have had multiple surgeries then you may experience some additional discomfort, although in general, you shouldn’t feel too much pain. This should cause no harm to you or your pregnancy. If you do feel intense pain then we recommend that you seek medical advice immediately.


Your stoma shouldn’t affect the delivery of your baby. A natural delivery is the preferred method over a caesarean section, mainly due to the adhesions and scars that have already likely formed when you had stoma surgery.  

Some tips to bear in mind:

  • Be extra careful to stay hydrated during pregnancy and increase your water intake.
  • Try to get more rest than you normally would.
  • Take a change of pouch to scans as the gel used can affect the adhesion of your pouch.
  • Measure your stoma regularly to account for any changes in size so you’re prepared.

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