One of the questions I get asked a lot is how do you choose clothes to wear with your ileostomy bag, and so I thought Id do a little post on the question…
Its a funny one because my first reaction is ‘Wear whatever the hell you want to” and that is my general rule. But there are a few things I wear for comfort and ease…
1. Maternity trousers
I know, I know, wearing maternity trousers when you aren’t pregnant seems awful, but they are FANTASTIC. You can get a ton of different styles these days from most high street stores and they are really affordable.
I went for maternity jeans because from the crotch down they look like any other pair of trousers, but that soft stretchy band above makes them super comfortable and holds your bag snugly against your stomach so it just feels so safe. Wearing these means I happily wear jeans and a vest and don’t even think about my bag.
2. Don’t feel that you have to hide it
The fact is that sometimes you will be able to make out the shape of your bag under your clothes, but seriously who cares? What is the absolute worse that will happen? Someone will ask you what it is, you tell them. The End. Wear what make you feel good, if you can see the bag, own it and make it awesome…
I love this tshirt and didn’t want to go bigger and get a baggy top, I know you can see the shape of my bag through and so what!
I bought this is Australia and its totally see through… I think Im rocking it!
3. In there like swimwear
I looked at a few ileostomy swimming costumes and never found one I liked and so I just wear what I already have! On the beach or sunbathing I am happy to wear a bikini and just let is all hang out…
If I want to cover up on the beach, or at the local swimming pool I wear a one piece, if you are bothered about people seeing it, go for a large pattern.
4. Tight fitting clothes.
You had your bowel removed, you did not become a nun. If you liked wearing tight fitting clothes before there is no reason you can’t still wear them. It comes down to confidence and self esteem – your bag has probably saved your life, its not something to be ashamed of, wear what makes you feel amazing.
5. Loose women
If you want to go baggy then do it, but do it because you love the dress, not because you want to cover everything up.
6. In the bedroom
I don’t usually talk about ‘bedroom stuff’ just because it isn’t really something I want my mum or kids to read, but regarding clothes Ill talk a bit. There are some specialist lingerie sets for ostomates, I have had a look and to be honest they aren’t for me. There are specialist wraps but in a way I find them a little bit offensive, its like saying I need to cover up my bag for my partner to find me sexually attractive.
I tend to wear a vest in bed because I feel more comfortable when my bag is close against my skin, but honestly, with the right partner, you really don’t need to worry about what you are wearing in the bedroom. I think sex is about trust and respect, if my partner didn’t want to see my bag during sex, he probably wouldn’t be the right partner for me.
I tend to wear big panties, you know the high waisted ones, I do this because I prefer to have the cotton between my skin and the bag. Its total personal preference, you can buy specialist underwear that has a pouch in it for your bag. I haven’t bothered with these so far as Im comfortable in what I have.
8. Wear what makes you feel amazing…
This is the main point. Clothes are such a personal choice, there is little reason for you to change your style because of your bag. There are a few things I avoid nowadays because of the position of my stoma, waistbands need to go above or below my stoma to feel comfortable. I’d never stop wearing something that I loved unless it was ridiculously impractical or uncomfortable.
Wear what makes you feel awesome and amazing, you deserve it xxx
Love Sam xxx