My feed

to access all these features

Get updates on how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy by signing up to the Mumsnet Pregnancy Newsletters.


pregnancy with ibs

16 replies

momtolupi · 25/08/2003 21:34

I have been recently diagnosed with ibs. My husband and I are wanting to start trying to have a second child. My GI doctor has said that he does not recommend women with ibs to become pregnant due to the risks. I was wondering if anyone that has irritable bowel syndrome (ibs)has either gone through a pregnancy or is currently pregnant and if so, what was your experience. I appreciate anyone taking to time to respond as this is something that has been weighing heavy on my mind. Thank you.

OP posts:
Ghosty · 25/08/2003 21:39

Momtolupi ... I have never heard of IBS being a reason not to have children. I have a good friend who had two successful pregnancies and two healthy babies and she suffered from IBS ... I don't know whether the severity of the condition has an impact but this is new to me ...
Maybe someone else will know more about it ... Sorry not to be more helpful ...

tamum · 25/08/2003 21:42

No personal experience, but you might want to look here if you haven't already. It sounds as though your doctor is being over-cautious really; as ghosty says, it's the first I've heard of this. You would have to be careful with medication, that's all.
Good luck!

momtolupi · 25/08/2003 22:29

tamum, thank you for that site you recommended. that was very heplful. i hadn't read that one yet. i also think that my dr seems to be over-reacting some. it is almost like it would be easier for HIM if i didn't become pregnant! ghosty, are you aware of anything your friend used while she was pregnant to help any flare-ups during the pregnancy? i am open to any advice she may have also. thanks for both of your quick responses.

OP posts:
Ghosty · 25/08/2003 22:31

I will ask her for you Momtolupi ... you will have to bear with me though as I have to e-mail her ... she's in the UK and I am in NZ ..

judetheobscure · 25/08/2003 23:28

I suffer from occasional ibs and no-one told me that it might be a problem - although I'm not on any medication just have to be careful with my diet. The only problem I had was a few times when I had a flare up being worried that I was about to miscarry as the pains are very like contractions ... you'll be well prepared for the first stage of labour

momtolupi · 26/08/2003 02:15

ghosty, no problem. i appreciate u asking her. jusetheobscure, are u currently pregnant or did u already have your baby? what did u find helped you during your flare-ups? that is my main concern is if i get a bad flare-up and cant take anything to relieve the pain. with my 2 really bad episodes, i ended up in the hospital on pain meds and i know i cant do that if i am pregnant. i have joked that the childbirth with my 1st child was easier than the bad times of my ibs. at least with labour u can have an epidural and feel nothing!!! haha

OP posts:
bunnyrabbit · 26/08/2003 11:11

Hi momtolupi,
Very surprised to hear what your doctor said. My doctor said absolutely nothing about my IBS being a problem when I got pregnant. It's in my notes and none of the midwifes have said anything either.

I was on Fibogel with mebevrin before I was pg, but you cannot take mebevrin when you're pg, so I started taking the normal non-perscription fobogel. I avoided all the other drugs, except for pain killers, before I was pregnant anyway.

I upped my fibre intake dramatically and tried to eat more natural and organic foods and reduced my starch intake by steering clear of rice, pasta and most refined products (white flour, white bread etc etc) not an easy thing to do I know as most high fibre foods tend to be very starchy. I also think the lack of alcohol has helped a great deal as I drank far too much before and know that this is an IBS trigger for me.

As for flare ups, well all I can say is it's good practice for your breathing! I took paracetomol and surprisingly this did help a bit, although it never has in the past. I'm lucky that none of the flare-ups I've had have not been biggies, but it is weird having them with a baby inside, and yes, I have worried that it might affect the baby, but they're hardy little parasites you know.

My one thought has been that, as stress triggers my IBS, the chances are as soon as I go into labour (without being too graphic), I should get a good clear out so at least they'll be no embarrassing mess in the delivery room. And, as Judetheobscure says, at least we're used to pain!!

Anything else you need to know, just ask. I am due on Friday so nearly there.

Sorry about the long post.

motherinferior · 26/08/2003 12:33

Good grief, never heard THAT one before. My IBS cleared up during both pregnancies - about the only comfortable thing about them!

momtolupi · 26/08/2003 18:02

bunnyrabbit, thank you for your long response. yes i was shocked at what i heard from the dr too. i found it hard to believe that women with ibs have such a hard time while they are pregnant. what exacly is the fobogel for? when i do have flare-ups or bad days, i get bad lower abdominal pain/cramps. i also have constipation from the ibs. i can handle these while i am not pregnant because i know i can treat them. my husband is mainly concerned that i will be in a lot of pain at some point during pregnancy or have a bad pregnancy because my first was so good. and did u notice that breathing helped u when u were having abdominal pain from the ibs? i havebeen trying to do that as a method of treatment also. thanks again for your time. if i dont hear from u good luck friday!!!

OP posts:
bunnyrabbit · 26/08/2003 23:06

Hi mumtolupi,
I also get the pain, but I tend to get the opposite reaction to you, if you see what I mean (I always carry a pack of moist toilet paper with me!!)

You can buy Fibogel in most chemist and it's supposed to be for people with constipation, bowel problems etc. and I seem to remember seeing an advert where they recommended it for pregnant women. It's basically a good way of getting high doses of fibre into your system. You should ask your doctor if it's OK to take. The Fibogel with mebevrin is only available on perscription. Mebevrin is an anti-spasmodic which is why you cannot take this version when you are pregnant.

Not sure how much you know about IBS, don't want to teach you to suck eggs, but there is much research to show that starch is one of the triggers. Lowering your starch intake is supposed to help, and as I said before, so is making sure you keep up your fibre intake.

I find breathing helps because it helps me to relax and take my mind off what my tummy/bowels are doing. I find it helps break the "oh no, here we go again " cycle, which hopefully stops you getting too upset, which inturn means you're not screwing yourself up in a little ball (literally and figuratively).

Have been told to go to bed now but if you want to contact me tomorrow, feel free.

Sorry for another long post

momtolupi · 27/08/2003 16:24

bunnyrabbit, i will have to def look into the fibogel a little more. it might be what i would need to help me if i need it. i hae been taking the anti-spasmadic med BENTYL until now and my dr says that is also safe for pregnancy. i have been trying to increase the amount of fiber in my diet also. i have been having metamucil everyday and eating more wheat and bran and things. the breathing sounds like a good idea. i am taking an airplane trip ina few weeks that i am conerned about because of the anxiety problems i have had with this but i think if i practice the breathing it will help me get thru it. and don't apologize for the long posts. i appreciate any info u have. how is the pregnancy going? any contractions yet? hope all is going ok for u.

OP posts:
moosh · 27/08/2003 16:46

Hi just thought I'd join in. I developed IBS after first son was born am 13 weeks pregnant now and my doctor has told me nothing about it being dangerous. I wouldn't have thought so, it depends what type of IBS you have, I have severe bouts of the runs if I get really stressed, bloating and cramping. Over the years I have tried to change certain lifestyle habits in order to help reduce my outbursts of IBS. And the best thing I have done and will continue to have now I am over the first trimester is Reflexology Treatments. I first visited my reflexologist about 12 months ago because I didn't want to take anymore pills and they didn't seem to help at all. Since then I have had only two or three attacks in the last year when I used to get bouts about 3 times a month. As well as a change in lifestyle, which is eat little and often, avoid overeating and rest for at least an hour after eating, yoga and breathing excersises and I avoid spicy foods and change my attitude to reduce stress. Now I am over the first trimester, I will continue to have my once a month Reflexology treatments they are perfectly safe when you are pg after 12 weeks. They really work for me, it may be worth you giving it a go. Sorry to waffle but I hope this has helped.

bunnyrabbit · 27/08/2003 22:46

Sounds like you get the same sort of IBS as me. Never thought to try reflexomlogy so might give it a go.

Am having contractions now actually....


judetheobscure · 27/08/2003 23:31

good luck bunnyrabbit!
I basically control the IBS by eating little and often. If I leave it too long between meals then my digestive system (colon) goes into spasm with similar results to bunnyrabbits. As I say I took no medication - breathing helped a bit, as did eating although usually took at least an hour to take effect. Not pg now btw

moosh · 28/08/2003 12:38

Hi Bunnyrabbit, hope all is well with contractions(as well as it can be with contractions!). Yes cannot fault Reflexology, it really works for me, it may not work for some people, they can find it too powerful on the relaxation system. But I can highly recommend it especially after baba is born and your stress and worry levels are extremly high. You have nothing to loose by going to an experienced reflexologist, try it for a few treatments and see.

MsBump · 15/08/2008 16:54

HI Mumtolupi

I'm 7 weeks pregnant and have severe IBS... strangely my Doctor told me it would probably clear up when I got pregnant - but so far it's got worse...but having been back to the Docs they've never said there were any health problems...

This site is very useful but the long and the short of it is IBS affects everybody in a different way but I guess its about management especially when it comes down to pregnancy. So far I have found eating small amounts and regularly is the best option... but am currently suffering with a lot of pain at night...and BLOATING - already look 6 months at least now I don't have to try and hold it in haha

however the one thing I would say is that if you are used to having pains with IBS you need to monitor yourself well as I waited days of pain out before I went to the docs and they said the pain could be ectopic P (turned out is was a burst cyst causing the pain) but the point is all along I just thought it was my IBS....

good luck

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.