Hello All. I have some concerns about breastfeeding. I need to give a little bit of back story first so bear with me.

I've had my jpouch for 16 years. About 3 years ago I started having more issues with my diet and scar tissue. I eat a reduced residue diet regularly which keeps things moving, but I get constipated really easily. I feel like I have to opposite problem of most jpouchers. I started fertility treatments a year and a half ago, from IUIs to IVF there was a lot of different meds. Most of them my body hated, mostly resulted in awful digestion/jpouch issues. IVF was successful and I am having a csection on March 1st. Throughout this whole pregnancy I've had so many issues. My diet is low residue and I've had to have 2 dilations, one under anesthetic, and I drink prune juice daily just to get things moving.

I'm ready for things to normalize and to get my body back after pregnancy. It honestly makes me not want to breastfeed. I'm worried about the dehydration and an increase in food intake, which are both things that cause me issues. I'm not opposed to formula but obviously I want to do what is best for the baby and breast milk has the added benefit of increased immunity. I'm thinking that it might be good to go half breastfeeding and half formula to decrease the stress this might cause on my body.

Any thoughts or experiences are appreciated. Thanks!

Original Post

Have you thought about donor milk?  Our Women's hospital has a donor milk bank for those Mom's who are unable, for whatever reason, unable to feed their babies with their own milk.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with formula.  A fed baby is a happy and healthy baby.  The love and care you will give to your little one is the most important part of a well infant.

First off, so sorry and congratulations (so rate that we can say those 2 things in one sentence!)...what wonderful news!

Secondly, I have no personal experience with breastfeeding but I do have an opinion (on most everything lately)...Nothing is worth destroying your health or your pouch for...nothing is worth making you ill...if you are going to put your body, your pouch or your general health under stress that may lead to danger then please, don't...

You have been through enough...you need to be healthy and strong for your baby...

On the other hand, if you want to make yourself smoothies, blend healthy fruits and veggies and add some essential oils to the mix for a huge vitamin and mineral boost...then go ahead...you can even add protein powder to the mix for a super wallop that won't plug your pouch or your guts up.

What is stopping you from trying while still in the hospital? The most important part is the 1st 3 days when your baby gets the colostrum...so you could try that and see how your body behaves with that.

If you can handle it then go slowly and alternate with a bottle to get your baby used to it quickly, just in case...if for any reason you don't feel up to it or that it has an adverse effect on your body then switch out.

Good luck no matter what you chose or can manage to do.


Hi Chantalworld...sounds like we are on the same path. I've had my pouch for about 12-13 years now. Went through quite a few fertility treatments and IVF worked for us as well. My c-section is scheduled for March 3rd. During pregnancy my bowels have definetly been acting differently and have been backed up a bit. Fresh fruit always helps. One thing I find that has helped me in terms of keeping things moving along- and keeping myself full and happy are adding protein shakes in the morning.  Sometimes I blend my own with fruits( berries and bananas), protein from either almond or peanut butter, almond milk and maybe some chia seeds. Or I'll even make my own veggie juices ( only problem with juicing is lack of protein) so would need to add that to your breakfast some other way). I also really like Orgain plant based protein powder in chocolate flavor. You can mix it with just water and some crushed ice...or blend it with bananas and almond milk. I find this shake to really fill me and help keeps things moving along as well. I plan to use it while breastfeeding. There are concerns I have with breastfeeding as well...I will have to switch medication again and am nervous how I'll respond( I have chronic pouchitis) . I'm also nervous how I'll do recovering from the c-section in general. Either way- taking care of yourself is important so you can care for baby! So do whatever you feel is right for your family. Good Luck! 



Thanks for the responses.

Jaypea - I didn't know that donor milk was used outside of the NICU. It might be something to look into while I am at the hospital. I have no issues with formula feeding, honestly it's probably the way we will end up going. Fed is best!

Sharon - I think we have all been through a lot. And I think pregnancy compounded by the previous IVF and other fertility treatments has been harder on my body than I realized it would be.  Smoothies are definitely going to be part of the plan post-partum, I just have to get back into them. There is nothing really stopping me from trying (and I do plan to) other than my own thoughts. I think that we will mix it up while still in the hospital, with both colostrum and formula to see what the baby takes to. This will hopefully make it easier on me, but if I'm still having issues we will go to full formula. I want to be able to enjoy the time with my baby and not stress any more than usual about my pouch.

Yogijano - We are definitely pretty close! It's coming up so fast. Sorry to hear about the chronic pouchitis, and I cannot imagine having to switch medication right after the birth, new meds are always tough. Protein shakes used to be my go to before pregnancy. They added lots of vitamins I couldn't get through food. Unfortunately I got very sick from them in the first trimester. It got to the point when if I even saw anything related to the protein shakes I would feel like throwing up. I made my husband hide everything protein shake related, even the bottles we used! I haven't been able to get back into them, but I'm really hoping to be able to once we are home and settled in. I'm just worried about counting on them. Juicing has been great for me, since fiber tends to be the culprit for my jpouch acting up. I'm ready for my body to return to its form of normal. I hope everything goes well for you on the 3rd, and afterwards too! 


@chantalword how did everything go? I would love an update. I am in the exact same boat as you, I've had 4 partial blockages his pregnancy and am on a completely low residue diet. I drink 13 glasses of fluid a day to maintain my fluid intake and to prevent another block (which my doctor said would be devastating ). I am 28 weeks now and I plan to breastfeed, although I do agree that fed is best. I have all the emotions as you, everyone talks about their pregnancy being about the same as normal but that hasn't been the case for me.

Little Greeny, I have to say things are going pretty well now, or as well as I could expect. I had my csection March 3rd and it was a pretty rough go the first couple days. There was a mix up with my pain management in that it hurt so much to even talk let alone hold or even breastfeed my baby. We switched to formula and I was given stronger drugs to get things under control. The narcotics tend to cause constipation so that was a big issue in the beginning as well. But things are definitely getting better now. I haven't really gotten my appetite back though so I'm not eating much, makes the pouch function seem a bit better, and I'm still eating low residue. I'm still taking a stool softener and drinking prune juice to keep things moving, but it's working really well. I'm pumping to try and get some breast milk in combination with the formula and so far I don't think it has caused much in the way of dehydration. Although I don't have much milk so that could contribute. I do feel as if things are slowly normalizing with my body, which is a very nice feeling. Pregnancy was difficult with me feeling partially blocked the whole time. The tiny human makes it totally worth it though.

I hope you don't get another blockage, but you are almost there! 


Little Greeny, I expected pregnancy to be difficult but not as difficult as it ended up being. And although it was a tough few days right after she was born, I'm doing far better at this point than I did with any of my other surgeries. I would do it again as well, but I will be slightly better prepared next time so hopefully it will be smoother.  

Feel free to pm me if you want to chat about anything. 

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