Going through pregnancy, labour and birth has a dramatic effect on a mother’s body. Postnatally, our own health care is often neglected because our attentions are so fixed on protecting and caring for this little person that has just been brought into the world. My first pregnancy had little effect on my digestive health, but my second pregnancy was tainted because of the issues I experienced.
I suffered with low iron levels in my pregnancy of Q, and so my midwife prescribed me supplements. If you’ve ever experienced these, you’ll know the symptoms I mean… If you don’t, you can find out about them here. I was so uncomfortable and I suffered terribly. I tried eating fruits and vegetables and other high fibre foods until they came out of my ears but it made no difference at all. Eventually, the consultant changed my prescription which did help a little.
It got to a point where it was so painful that I had to stop putting off going to my GP. Funnily enough, Johnson & Johnson have carried out a survey that shows that 40% of women under 30 (like me) say that they wouldn’t speak to the pharmacist or GP because they are too embarrassed. I’m not going to lie; I’ve never been so embarrassed in all my life. I remember going into my appointment because I had no idea what else to do and I burst into tears. I felt ashamed. My GP was absolutely lovely about it. She told me that digestive health issues were more common in second (and more) pregnancies. She also said she sees, says and hears about things that are a lot worse – so I wasn’t to worry!
Things definitely improved after I gave birth, but I’m so glad that I made that trip to the doctors. Digestive health is definitely up there in my priorities now – eating a good and varied diet, trying to be as stress-free as possible, drinking plenty of water and getting regular exercise are all things that help. If you’re struggling with your digestive health, please know that you are not alone and it’s okay to seek help. You don’t need to suffer in silence. Visit your pharmacist or GP. There is a variety of over-the-counter medicine available to help with a variety of digestive health issues.
Don’t be afraid to ask. It takes guts to talk about digestive health.
*This is a collaborative post.