Being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) was a hard pill to swallow. I had to change my diet, which was very difficult physically and mentally. Switching to a low-FODMAP diet, I constantly felt like I was starving because I didn’t know what to eat. It took about 6 months for me to find new meals and “go-to” snacks. The harder part of being diagnosed was putting off trying to get pregnant until my UC was in remission. Note, that there is no direct path to remission. Everyone’s Ulcerative Colitis is different, what works for one person may or may not work for another person.
When we were lucky enough to get and stay pregnant I was faced with a new challenge… sticking to my new diet while eating enough during pregnancy. I want to share how I had a healthy pregnancy with Ulcerative Colitis (UC).
Here goes, being pregnant with ulcerative colitis. First things first, TAKE YOUR PRESCRIBED MEDICATION(S)! Your body is going to go through massive hormone changes and that can screw with your Ulcerative Colitis, or even worse cause you to have a flare. If you know, you know. If you don’t, you can consult google about an Ulcerative Colitis Flare during pregnancy.
The first trimester was tricky because when you’re diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis you are supposed to cut the following food types out of your diet. This is called a low-FODMAP diet.
– Fatty Foods
– Spicy Foods
So… regular saltine crackers are off the table and the morning sickness was strong with this baby.
I ate a lot of gluten-free toast with dairy-free butter. Some days for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When gluten-free bread was difficult to find I made gluten-free bread in a bread maker.
This is the recipe I used.
Gluten-Free Bread Recipe for Bread Machinehttps://amzn.to/4bgtwdQ
– 1 1/4 cup water
– 1/4 oil (or 4 Tbsp dairy free butter)
– 3 eggs
– 1 1/4 tsp salt
– 3 Tbsp honey or sugar
– 3 1/4 gluten-free 1-to-1 flour
– 2 tsp active dry yeast
I also heard that potato chips help with morning sickness. So I ventured down the gluten-free aisle at my local Walmart and found these pringle-like chips by The Good Crisp Company. They are really tasty for a gluten-free chip. Even my very picky kiddo likes them. I should’ve bought stock in the company for how many containers I went through in this pregnancy.
It is recommended that you start taking prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant. My stomach struggles with multivitamins, but I found that my stomach could handle MaryRuth’s Prenatal & Postnatal Liquid Multivitamin (Note: I love MaryRuth’s products! #NotSponsored). So if you struggle with pill or capsule multivitamins, try a liquid one.
The second trimester was easier, I was able to go back to a more normal diet while still taking my liquid prenatal vitamins from MaryRuth’s. I also added their prenatal probiotic.
I started eating more organic fruit; strawberries, cantaloupe, apples, raspberries, and blueberries. Then added meat back in, mostly chicken and beef, but sometimes pork.
– Toast with Kerrygold Butter (sunflower butter or almond butter if you want more protein)
Call me fancy, but if I’m going to have dairy then it’s going to be the good stuff!
– Gluten-free tortilla with sunflower butter
– Overnight oats with oat or almond milk
– Scrambled eggs with leftover meat from a previous dinner and spinach
– Leftovers from dinner
– Gluten-free corndogs (you crave what you crave).
– Protein shake (Boobie Body, Baby Booster, Ritual)
* If I could only pick one, I would recommend trying Ritual. You can make it into a shake AND you can bake with it. I baked it into muffins and added it to my protein bars.
– Gluten-free Perdue chicken tenders
– ThinkThin bars
– Nature’s Bakery Fig bar
– Gluten-free pretzels
– Homemade Gluten-free granola bars (I added additional ingredients like gluten-free protein powder, coconut flakes, crushed pecans, or walnuts)
I tried to limit dessert to once or twice a week because my Ulcerative Colitis doesn’t do well with sugar.
Luckily for me, my nausea was completely gone in the third trimester. However, I did struggle with being lightheaded A LOT. I had to make sure to have 80+ ounces of water daily and eat enough food every day. To ensure that happened, I tried to eat several small meals a day instead of the standard American meal schedule of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This was not easy and required me to dedicate time to meal and snack prepping weekly. I also made sure to keep up with my Mary Ruth Liquid Multi-vitamin.
As we got closer to our Due date, I also had to think about what to pack in the hospital bag. Sadly, food was the first thing I worried about. Since having Ulcerative Colitis and my limited diet. So early December I grabbed my hospital bag and immediately put my go-to, non-perishable snacks inside with Boobie Hyrdr0-Mom drink packets and a 40 oz tumbler. Since I planned to breastfeed and this is my second time around, I knew a lot of water was a must.
To find out what else was in my hospital bag, click here 🙂
Doctors stressed that I could have an Ulcerative Colitis flare after giving birth because of the large hormone shift in my body. So to prepare myself for that, I was strict with my prescription medicine and made sure to limit sugar as much as possible.
I have learned that sugar and stress are my two triggers, so I tried to limit those as much as humanly possible. My pregnant self did not travel in my third trimester. We kept our schedules light and avoided making many plans back to back. I set expectations that after the baby was born we would not be traveling until the spring at the earliest. Lastly, I made sure to rest when my body needed to rest and get a full night’s sleep. That last one was challenging because I am one to tends to keep busy.
We made it to 39 weeks. Delivery went very quickly and we were in the hospital for 2 days. Honestly, it was two days too long for me. I just wanted to get home and be in my own space, enjoying my little whirlwind of a baby and eating my food.
The hospital was very accommodating to my food limitations and I appreciate that, but there is something to be said about being home. I worried that I would run out of snacks, and I just wanted to roam my pantry full of Gluten-Free goodies instead of the limited options I had with me.
If you’d like to read more about my post-partum adventure with Ulcerative Colitis continue reading here.
Until the next adventure!