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12 January 2008

Paralyzed and Pregnant

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The weather here in Makati is gloomy. I am so lazy to get up in my bed and make my off day fruitful. hehehe. So instead I watched Discovery channel home and health and was so interested with their episode about paralyzed and pregnant. It is amazing how these women sacrifice so much for their babies. Some have to do bed rest for 8 months, have blood transfusion to maintain the baby's health and all that.

We often ask questions whether paralyzed women can actually sustain or survive the whole pregnancy thing. And the answer is yes. First, the facts are simple. No matter what the level of injury or dysfunction, women can, and do, have children and share the same parental responsibilities of all women. They must decide whether they are physically, emotionally, and financially prepared for the responsibilities of a baby. They must know how their bodies will change and how to best avoid complications during pregnancy. They need birth control if they do not want to become pregnant.

Second, understanding the pregnancy. You can begin your education by talking with a rehabilitation physician (physiatrist) who is very familiar with the reproductive health concerns of women with Spinal Cord Injury. Then find a specialist. They call themselves as "High risk Obstetricians". They are the best persons who can handle these kind of pregnancies.

Third, Preparing for Pregnancy. If you become pregnant before talking to your obstetrician, you should contact your obstetrician immediately.

Medications. Many prescribed and over-the-counter medications normally used by women with SCI can cause, or add to, problems during pregnancy. Some medications can also have an adverse affect on fetal growth. Therefore, it is essential that all medications (including vitamin supplements) be evaluated by your obstetrician before pregnancy and continually re-evaluated each trimester.

Some conditions that you might manage with medications include bowel management, pain, sexual dysfunction, muscle spasms, and urinary tract infection (UTI). Urologic Check-up You should first have a complete urologic exam if you are planning to have a baby. X-rays should not be done during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary. They can harm the fetus. You and your obstetrician can discuss what type of urologic follow-up care that you need during your pregnancy.

Physical Changes. Some women with SCI/D have skeletal abnormalities such as curvature of the spine, pelvic fracture, or hip dislocation. These conditions can limit the space in the abdomen necessary to carry a full-term fetus. These abnormalities can also make vaginal delivery difficult.

Team Approach. If your obstetrician has limited experience managing pregnancies of women with SCI/D, it is recommended that you take a “team” approach to your pregnancy. You and your obstetrician can consult with an experienced physiatrist, nurse, urologist, anesthesiologist, neurologist, respiratory therapist, physical therapist, and occupational therapist on specific concerns about pregnancy, labor and delivevery.

Although paralyzed women is not easy to be pregnant . It is a mother's instinct that gives them strength to survive. Being pregnant if not, the only way they can feel that they are capable of doing something which other may think impossible. I salute them. More interesting posts:

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