Christmas with a stoma

It's that time of year again, and so here are some tips and tricks to make the most of Christmas if you have a stoma.

Travelling with a stoma at Christmas

Christmas is a chance for spending some quality time with friends and family, and so it’s often the case that you will be doing some visiting; whether that’s round the corner, or across the UK, or even across the world.

It can be quite daunting the first time you stay over somewhere after surgery.  Perhaps you’re staying over somewhere new, or with someone you’ve not told about the surgery, or you are just nervous that you might have a leak, or run out of supplies. But with the right preparation, you should be able to relax and enjoy the festivities.

Bringing enough supplies

It’s a good idea to check that you are bringing enough ostomy supplies to cover your stay, plus a couple of days extra, in case any bad winter weather hits or if you need to use more than usual for some reason – that way you won’t be caught short and it's one less thing to worry about during the holidays! Find out more about Charter, our home delivery service.

Telling others

You don't have to tell anyone that you have a stoma, but if you’re really nervous about staying somewhere new after your surgery, it could be a good idea to let someone who you’re staying with know that you’ve had surgery recently. You don’t even have to say what kind, you could just say that you’re recovering from surgery and that you’re a bit nervous being away from home. Read more about what to tell others about your stoma.

Planning ahead

If you’re worried about having a leak, it’s easier to plan for something and then for it to not happen, than the other way round. Try to check your surroundings, and know where the facilities are, and make sure you have all your supplies that you may need in case of a leak. Hopefully you won't need to use your 'emergency' plan, but it's good to have it in your mind just in case. Find out more about Wheelmate, the app which helps identify accessible toilets and parking.

Travelling abroad

If you’re travelling abroad, just make sure you have enough supplies with you. Also if it’s air travel, remember that you can’t take scissors or aerosol cans with you in hand luggage, so pre-cut your baseplates and swap any sprays such as the Brava Adhesive Remover or the Brava Skin Barrier for the wipe versions instead! Read some more tips on travelling with a stoma.

Christmas food and drink with a stoma

Christmas is a time for celebrating, and that might mean going out and socialising, perhaps for a meal out with friends or the work Christmas party!

It's important to remember that certain foods can affect the output from your stoma, so just make sure you try a small amount to see if you can tolerate it first. You can download our free PDF on which foods have different effects on the output from your stoma: Download the dietary requirements PDF here.

Can you drink alcohol with a stoma?

It is possible to drink alcohol with a stoma, but as always be responsible. People with a stoma can get dehydrated easier, and drinking alcohol can make you dehydrated, so make sure to drink enough water, especially if you’re off dancing the night away! 

Eating out at restaurants with a stoma

If you are going out for a meal with friends, a lot of restaurants will have their menu online, so search for the restaurant’s website to check ahead for suitable menu choices. Most places will cater for different dietary requirements so don't be afraid to ask for your food to be prepared in a certain way.


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