Front title of book titled Gut FeelingA new book, 'Gut Feeling' published in collaboration between Nicola Stewart and Evelina London, is set to provide insight for parents and carers of children with digestive disorders. By sharing her family's personal experience, Nicola wants to make it easier for parents to understand the gastrointestinal system and medical jargon. Read on to find out what motivated Nicola to tell her story...

How 'Gut Feeling' came about

"Eating is a basic thing we take for granted, but when you have a child with medical issues around digestion, it can become immensely complex. I am the parent of such a child - Spike, now 10 - who was born four months prematurely. I came from a background of sports massage and had a good grasp of physiology, but I had to learn fast. Medical jargon can be bewildering, particularly when it’s applied to your own child. Add in the anxieties of being a parent of a son or daughter in hospital, and it can be overwhelming.

I wrote 'Gut Feeling' to take parents on a journey through the gastrointestinal system and navigate the complexity of medical jargon based on my family's struggle to understand our son’s illness. From ‘In’, ‘Along’ and ‘Out’ the book follows food from ingestion to excretion. Each chapter explains how different parts of the digestive process work and then talks about what ‘could go wrong’. It describes some of the challenges parents face, the impact these may have on day to day life and ways to help deal with them. There are ‘fun facts to share with your child’ and simplified descriptions of common disorders, procedures and treatments.Fun facts about the digestive system

It is not a text book, I wanted it to be more fun, and I wanted to tell it from the perspective of personal experience.

All sections are illustrated to help a family's understanding of the gut and engage a child more positively with what is happening inside them. This is a book I wished I had to help me to cope when we started on our journey. It is not a text book, I wanted it to be more fun, and I wanted to tell it from the perspective of personal experience."

In support of Gut Feeling

Dr Mohamed Mutalib, Consultant for Paediatric Gastroenterology, at the Evelina Hospital London says: "Gut Feeling will provide a bridge between children and their families on one side and the health care profession with their complex maze of medical terminology and jargon on the other side - when Nicola promised to write something exceptional she truly delivered."

Melinda Edwards, MBE Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Evelina Hospital London says: "Nicola has first-hand experience of trying to understand the complexities of the digestive system to support her own son in his medical journey. She was only too aware of the very limited information available for parents and families, and has created this exceptional resource to support and empower families and improve their experiences of medical care." 

Download Gut Feeling PDF 1MB

Further reading

Visit Nicola's 'Positively Chronic' website  
Email Nicola
Download ERIC's Guide for Children with Complex Bladders and Bowels