Women with Disabilities -The Healthcare Team- Part 2

Interviewing the Doctor

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Here are some questions you may wish to ask:

What are the pros and cons of pregnancy for me?

If the doctor is opposed, ask why?

What do you know about my disability, and what access do you have regarding it?

Do you have experience with the pregnancy and delivery of babies with disabled women? How much?

In what way will you be working with my regular doctor?

If there are unusual symptoms that arise, who should I call if I am not sure if those symptoms are pregnancy or disability related?

How will labor and delivery be affected by my disability?

Will there be a need for treatments that differ from the usual types, due to my disability, and how will we get the cooperation of the hospital for those treatments?

Do you think I may need a caesarian section? Why? Would you set a date, or wait for labor to begin spontaneously?

Can I get a referral for genetic counseling?

The physical exam

Besides the questions suggested previously, the examination is also another time to decide on the doctor who will tend to your care. How the doctor behaves during the examination and time taken to let you know what he/she is doing in that exam will assist in your final decision.

Does the doctor ask you questions during the exam? Are you treated with sensitivety and consideration? Are the questions the doctor is asking relative to your level of sensation, mobility, and flexibility? Regarding your comfort?

The doctor’s partners

If the doctor has partners or a physician that they use when they are not available, you will need to schedule an appointment with them on one of your regular visits, as early as possible. See if they also are “on board” and will be responsive to your needs and care.

You will need to feel comfortable with any one of these doctors, in case they are the one in delivery with you. It would be much more comfortable to have a familiar face, and know if they also will support your needs.

Body Mechanics- I

START WITH GOOD POSTURE

As the baby grows in the womb, your center of gravity will shift. The additional weight in the front could create a swayback posture, causing discomfort on the lower back. The following suggestions to assess and alter your body mechanics will assist in having less discomfort.

STANDING POSTURE

Head

Keep your head up. Looking down all the time will throw off your balance. Of course, you will want to look at the new bulge as it grows but doing so all the time will make your posture off balance.
Keep your chin level. When your head is held correctly, the shoulders will follow as well as the back.

Drop your Shoulders

Allow the shoulders to rest in a natural position. To do this relax the shoulders. If you tend to wear your shoulders up around your ears or slouched forward, your whole body will be off balance.
Try to avoid “throwing back” your shoulder blades. This will cause back problems. You may need to have someone massage the shoulders to allow them to relax into the correct position.

Avoid Tensing / Swaying the Lower Back

As your baby grows the weight will cause your back muscles to contract as a counter-balance of the shift in weight to the front. The tension of the muscles contracting may cause a backache.
A slight curvature of the back is normal. Avoid an exaggerated curve as it will cause a “swayback”. If there was chronic pain of the back before you were pregnant, it will only get worse from pregnancy. You may need to get Chiropractic attention if you already tended toward a “swayback” before pregnancy or if you had back issues prior.

Tilt your Pelvis Forward

Pull your abdominal muscles in, tuck in your buttock muscles, and tilt the pelvis forward. Doing this will counteract tendency of the lower back to arch abnormally.

Relax the Knees

Bend your knees slightly. Avoid locking them.

ProfessionalLaborSupport-Part2

mom and babyChildbirth Educator

The childbirth educator teaches and assists women in understanding the nature of childbirth, from pre-conception through the first year of baby’s life.  The information they give assists women in having a better and safer birth experience.

The professional Childbirth Educator trained at Birth Arts International adheres to the “Midwifery Model” of care, as outlined by MANA. This is where I am training (and near completion of).

Here are some things that may be covered:

  • Nutrition – preparation to conceive, during pregnancy, and post-partum
  • Pre-natal tests: What is required and why
  • Exercise: for optimal health, and to tone muscles in preparation for birth, as well as post-partum exercises
  • Stages of labor
  • Interventions
  • C-sections and VBAC
  • Neonatal care (newborn baby care)
  • Breastfeeding

Even second-time mommies can benefit from classes.  It helps you to have a better / safer birth to review information.

Childbirth Educators can assist in labor, in a much similar way that a Doula would.  They can answer your questions and assist after the baby is born.

 Part 3: Midwifery

Pregnancy Diet

PREGNANCY DIET

 

food-pyramid-pregnancy

Plan your meals, AND SNACKS around fresh veggies and fruit, grains and legumes, and ample calcium-rich / protein-rich foods.


Start your day with a good breakfast:

-Helps energy levels
-maintains optimum weight
-Even just a small meal with some protein and carbs will be beneficial

Eat meals and snacks every 3 to 4 hours:

-snacks should include one fruit or vegetables with one serving from another food group.
– Fruit, or vegetable juice (non-sweetened preferably) can substitute for a fruit or vegetable serving.

THE 5-MINUTE MEAL

The trick to preparing a quick, low-calorie meals and snacks are advanced planning,
having a basic inventory of ingredients and the right kitchen tools/appliances.
Tools/appliances: microwave oven, slow-cooker, wok or non-stick skillet and a blender

Plan your meals using fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and legumes (beans), along with protein rich food. Try not to have canned fruits packed in syrup, eat oatmeal instead of granola bars, steamed broccoli instead of the packaged broccoli with creamed cheese…
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables when in season, as often as possible. Dried (unsulphered) is next best for fruit then frozen, instead of canned.

You can add Nuts such as:

almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts
peanut butter

And / or seeds such as:

pumpkin, sesame, or sunflower seeds.


SUPER FOODS

Kale
Spinach
kidney beans
Tofu
Wheat germ
Broccoli
Papaya
Salmon
Non-fat Milk


PROTEIN RICH FOODS

Proportion size should be three ounces of extra-lean meat, skinless chicken, fish
or one cup of cooked dried beans, lentils, split peas or chickpeas.
~Limit eggs to just one per day.

CALCIUM RICH FOODS

Cooked black-eyed peas
Bok Choy
Low-Fat Cheese
Broccoli
Collard greens
Kale
Cottage cheese
Yogurt
Rice Dream
Whole grain Total cereal
Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle
waffles

GREAT GRAINS

Whole wheat bagel
Whole wheat breads
Sourdough bread

Cooked cereal:

Oatmeal, barley, farina
Cornbread
Whole wheat Pita
Rice, preferably brown
or white basmati rice
Noodles or pasta

QUENCHERS: Sparkling water, apple cider, apple juice, apricot nectar, carrot juice, grapefruit, grape, orange, papaya nectar, passion fruit nectar, peach nectar, pineapple juice, prune, tomato juice, V8 juice.

If you eat well, the occasional treat will not be a problem, so long as it is not a substitute for whole nutritious foods.

 

  • Drink at least 32 ounces water (by itself), a day. .
  • Drink tea instead of drinking coffee (it dehydrates).
  • You should try to drink at least two cups a day of the Red Raspberry Leaf / Nettle tea.