Pregnancy is an exciting and nerve-racking time for women, especially if you’re already navigating medical challenges. Since no two pregnancy experiences are alike, most women and their families have unique needs during pregnancy and in preparation for the baby’s arrival. This is especially true if you’re expecting and have a physical disability.
Healthy pregnancies are possible for women of all abilities.
All women go through bodily changes during pregnancy. For women with diagnosed conditions or disabilities, these changes have the potential to impact mobility and independence in unexpected ways.
Expectant mothers and their families should speak with their healthcare professional about any specific concerns and be prepared to make changes to their daily routines.
If you have a disability and you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, it is also important to:
- Find a supportive, knowledgeable health professional who has experience working with women with disabilities.
- Locate an accessible healthcare facility that fits your pregnancy, postpartum, and equipment needs.
- Test or adapt any products or equipment (e.g. strollers, changing table) ahead of delivery to make sure it works well for you and the baby. This will help ease your stress when your baby arrives.
- Find a support system. Speaking with families who have had similar experiences can be comforting and also help learn about different strategies or tools.
- Advocate for your needs! You know your body best. It is important you feel comfortable with any decisions regarding your birth plan or your baby.
Pregnancy can be a challenge for any woman, but with the support of the right medical team and the right information, many women can have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.