Pregnancy With A Disability

Pregnancy With A Disability


Being pregnant for the first
time may seem very daunting. Being pregnant for the
first time with a disability may seem very overwhelming
and challenging. I’m Gem, and I am a
disability lifestyle blogger on a channel
called Wheels No Heels, and today I’m
going to be sharing with you my story of pregnancy
and birth whilst being disabled so you don’t
have to feel alone the way that I did when I was pregnant. [MUSIC PLAYING] My pregnancy on the
whole was very textbook and actually I didn’t
feel any more disabled than I already do. I would hear some friends
in their last trimester say, gosh, you know, I can’t
even shake my legs anymore! I can’t get my shoes on! And I’d be like, well,
welcome to my world. Because I was classified
as a high risk pregnancy due to my
underlying health conditions, the gynaecologists
and myself agreed that it would be best
for myself and the baby if I had a planned
Caesarean section. For me personally, I was really
pleased with this choice. Having a spinal cord injury, I
don’t think I would have been able to have coped
with natural labour. I was taken into theatre
and I was so nervous. I was shaking like
you would not believe. Then they gave me the
epidural, the drugs kicked in and I felt absolutely fine. And then there was this
weird little gremlin creature over the screen, and
I was like, oh, that’s my baby! Then it was time to
come home and that’s when the pain kicked in. And you’ve got to remember,
I have a spinal cord injury so I use a lot of
upper body strength, and having had those muscles
cut was extremely painful and kind of made me feel
just like head and shoulders. Things that I found
to be really useful as a parent with a disability. A Moses basket. This was so handy just
to have next to my bed so I was nice and
close to my baby when she needed feeding
or changing in the night. I’m in a wheelchair, so maybe
a pram is not so useful, especially the lay
down carry cot prams. Our carry cot pram did
not get used at all. What we found to work
better was a sling. Now there are some
slings on the market that are suitable from
birth all the way up to about three years old,
and we used our sling a lot because I became the pram. Preparing bottles and formula
for my baby in the early days, being in a wheelchair, would
have been really, really difficult. It’s very hard
for me to boil a kettle or even pour the hot
water into the bottles and warming them up. So I was very lucky that I
was able to breastfeed Daisy. It made it a lot
more convenient. But if you can’t breastfeed,
then don’t worry. There are ways around it. You can always have sterilised
bottles in your room, have them prepared
and ready to go. As you can see, there
aren’t many products out there for disabled
people with babies, but what we did was we found our
own way around these problems. Like the change table wasn’t at
the right height, for example. So I would change
Daisy on the bed, which made it a lot easier. So that was my video on
parenting with a disability. I really hope that
you’ve enjoyed it. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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