“How can I sleep well with an ostomy?”
After getting ostomy surgery, you might find that it may take a period of adjustment to get used to this change in lifestyle. You may need to experiment with different sleeping positions – try using a body pillow or an extra pillow between your knees, under your knees, or tucked along your side to support your pouch. You do not have to be restricted to only back-sleeping. If you are having issues with leaking, you may choose to use a towel or waterproof pad with your bedding initially until your pouching system is more predictable and reliable. Wearing an ostomy belt that hooks into a pouch with loops or wearing a belly band can help secure your seal. Consider having your larger meal at noon and finishing eating and drinking (other than sips) by 6pm or 7pm if you find you have a lot of output overnight. Plan to empty once or twice overnight (eg, every 4-6 hours) if required. Over the first 2-3 months post-operatively, your system and bowel pattern should normalize and you may not need to empty overnight ongoing. See your NSWOC to discuss further.
Expertise from Meggan Chung, NSWOC (Nightingale Medical Supplies)
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