Mummy’s Health Matters


How often do we, as mums, let our health slide a little in preference to that of those around us, under our care? How often do we fail to look after ourselves because there’s so much else pressing on our time?

If you’re like me, the answer is way too often.


I have recently been unwell and, as usual I let things slide for a while, until they got to the point where my husband spurred me into action. My stomach was so distended that I looked about five months pregnant and knowing that I wasn’t, hubby said: “You need to get that checked out. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you look pregnant. That’s not right.”

So I did. And the verdict was diverticular disease – the combination of diverticulosis and diverticulitis – which was something I’d never heard of before but as the doctor explained what it was, I was not surprised.

The truth is I have an underlying digestive problem that I’ve failed to address adequately. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and for years I’ve been fairly laid back in my approach to the strict diet. This is mostly because it’s not like say, coeliacs disease where there are alternative options when you eat out. Adhering to a low carb, high fibre, lactose and/or dairy free diet which also excludes vegetables and fruits based on their ability to be digested easily, when you’re out or visiting friends and family is almost impossible.

And the truth is, I enjoy the food I’m not supposed to eat which doesn’t really help the situation.

For the last two years my symptoms have gradually worsened and my specialist advised me that pregnancy hormones make IBS progressively worse, therefore the more kids I have the worse my symptoms will get. So, I got back on the wagon for a bit, though half-heartedly and as life got busier and more chaotic I let it slide.

And so I found myself more recently, unwell and in a lot of abdominal pain, but it wasn’t classic IBS. However, the doctor’s diagnosis and explanation made it very clear that I was suffering from diverticular disease because I hadn’t looked after my IBS and it was, in effect, uncontrolled.

Lesson learned. I’m now adhering to a strict diet and drinking close to 3 litres of water a day. As well as adhering to the IBS diet which is already strict I’m also having to avoid foods such as tomato, cucumber and lettuce because of the diverticular disease. I cannot eat nuts unless they are ground to a pulp, wholemeal is the only bread safe to eat and even then 2 slices a day is the limit. And still, the progress, as the doctor promised, is slow.

Weeks after finishing the course of medication and adhering to the diet my digestive track is tender from top to bottom. My stomach is still distended and I’m uncomfortable a lot.

And it’s all my fault. I could have prevented it all by adhering to the guidelines – which, had it been my husband or children I would have preserved and made them do it – so why is it different for me?

Yes, my role as a mother is important, vitally so, but not at the expense of my health. Take heart from what I have shared here and look after yourself!

A mother’s health matters, immensely, because an unwell mother is not fully up to the task of providing for and nurturing her children. She is less patient and not always a joy to be around.

So make sure you take the time to look after your own health, physically, emotionally and spiritually so that you are the best possible version of you for your family.


Filed Under: Family HealthFeaturedHealth & FitnessJust For Mum

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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