Pregnancy and celiac disease story

My sister-in-law recalls her story of pregnancy and celiac disease.

I am a Mum of two, who whilst in the early stages of pregnancy with my second child was identified as suffering from celiac disease. This meant that I never knew if I was feeling rough from my celiac symptoms or if it was just the delights of morning sickness!

I was ill throughout my first trimester, and until I had my diagnosis confirmed by endoscopy I had to continue eating normally.

Going gluten free

Once the second trimester started, and the doctor confirmed that I had celiac, I was delighted to embark on a gluten free diet. I say delighted, as I had felt so rough for so long, that the Doctor's promise that I would feel "like you have never felt before" was something I couldn't wait to experience!

So I cleared the kitchen of all foods containing gluten, not an easy feat with a husband and daughter who both have an incredibly sweet tooth, and I scrubbed the kitchen cupboards, drawers and surfaces.

Once the second trimester started, and the doctor confirmed that I had celiac, I was delighted to embark on a gluten free diet. I say delighted, as I had felt so rough for so long, that the Doctor's promise that I would feel "like you have never felt before" was something I couldn't wait to experience!

So I cleared the kitchen of all foods containing gluten, not an easy feat with a husband and daughter who both have an incredibly sweet tooth, and I scrubbed the kitchen cupboards, drawers and surfaces.

Next I ordered myself some separate equipment; a new food processor, a toaster, a George Forman grill and chopping boards. Seems a little extreme? My colleagues at work thought so, but the though of NOT being ill, drove me to make the investment in my future health!

Of course there were a few hiccups where I was inadvertently glutened by something, and I noticed that as time went by even the smallest crumb could set things in motion, if you know what I mean. My sensitivity to gluten had increased as my body adjusted to not having to deal with it on a daily basis.

Having a young daughter did not help.

She is not celiac and I now view her as a walking cross contamination source! I love her dearly, of course, but have to be careful when giving her a kiss, helping her with her food, and defending my own plate so that she can't put something near it that would cause me harm.

She is only 4 and although she understands some elements she is a smart cookie and she realises there are some things Mummy cannot eat. But as of yet, she doesn't understand why, and that is difficult to explain to one so young. She does witness the evidence if a mistake is made though, and her Mum ends up spending lots of time in the bathroom!

The baby arrives

My pregnancy continued and in March 2010 we were able to welcome Aidan into the world. Beth, my daughter, dotes on him, and for the first time I am on a gluten free diet, not pregnant and actually feeling pretty great! I have also managed to lose over 40 pounds in weight. I am no longer feeling constantly hungry, as what I do eat is providing the nutrients I require.

As for the baby, he is now reaching the weaning stage. He has had difficulty putting on weight, and due to this we have started him on solid foods a little early. At last he is beginning to grow.

We are keeping him on a gluten free diet for the time being. We will try introducing him to gluten at around 7 months to see how he fares.

After coping with pregnancy and celiac disease diagnosis at the same time, we are happy to take things slowly where the baby is concerned.

I started by using jars of commercial baby food, but prefer to make my own. At meal times I cater for four, and I puree and freeze any left over.

He is loving eating food! Should he turn out to be a celiac he is fortunate enough to not know a normal diet and therefore not to have to change his diet later on.

Although we don't believe my daughter suffers from the condition, at the request of our pediatrician she is going to have the blood test just in case.


- - Pregnancy and CD


  

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