Steph McGovern shares rare insight into pregnancy struggles amid ‘debilitating’ illness

Steph McGovern and Louise Minchin reunite on TV after 3 years

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Steph’s Packed Lunch presenter Steph McGovern, 40, has opened up about difficulties she experienced during pregnancy thanks to her “terrible” IBS. The former BBC Breakfast star spoke about how she had since made a new breakthrough with her health thanks to expert Dr. Julia Jones in an exclusive interview with

Steph has been very open about her struggles with IBS in the past, regularly posting about the subject on her Instagram feed. 

According to the NHS website, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the digestive system. 

It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation – and it’s usually a lifelong problem.

Steph’s symptoms were particularly bad when she was pregnant with her daughter a couple of years ago. 

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The Channel 4 star and her partner announced the birth of their two-year-old daughter back in November 2019.

Shortly before falling pregnant, Steph found out that her gut health was in the bottom third of the population, which forced her to think more about her health. 

Steph admitted: “That was pretty embarrassing, and I didn’t even know anything about gut health – that was for a TV show I was doing.

“So then they talked to me about gut health and things I could do to make it better, saying that could help my IBS… But then I was pregnant.”

The presenter then went on to detail the difficulties surrounding her pregnancy. 

“I had really, really bad pregnancy sickness, so I couldn’t really do anything about it,” she revealed. 

“Obviously I had the baby and was caught up with all that, and then when Julia came on and talked about her smart wellness programme, I thought: ‘Oh, well this actually sounds really easy to do.’”

Steph met Dr. Julia Jones when she came to be interviewed on Steph’s Packed Lunch about her book Neuron: Smart Wellness Made Easy.


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Speaking about the first time she met Julia, Steph said: “Up to that point I’d been struggling with IBS forever. 

“And at that point I’d just accepted that I’ve got it and I can’t do anything about it.”

However, since adopting Julia’s “smart wellness” plan, the presenter claims her life has completely changed. 

In fact, their partnership was so transformative for Steph, that the star has now invested in Dr Jones’ start-up company Neuron, which has opened a new wellness centre in Folkestone, Kent. 

“Julia’s programme has totally transformed my life,” Steph gushed. “I know that sounds really dramatic, but my IBS is really debilitating.

“Now my IBS is in total control and I very rarely now have any problems.” 

Julia and Steph are now on a mission to encourage individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles, using techniques such as intermittent fasting, introducing variety into your diet, improving sleep patterns, cold water exposure and breathing practices.

The Neuron smart wellness hub and live bacteria bar is located in the Creative Quarter at 23-25 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1JU. 

For more info about Neuron’s smart wellness courses and products including gut health tests please visit

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