Disability and Pregnancy

Pregnant and disabled     is both an exciting event and an anxiety fueled one. Woman with disabilities experience unique hurdles and joys when pregnant and disabled. Research has shown woman with disabilities stand under a stigma that they shouldn’t have children. Society sees it as “selfish” and cruel. They are groomed into thinking that motherhood just isn’t ideal. Fortunately there are woman with disabilities that become mothers despite these pressures. Studies in the USA have shown that the rate if disabled mothers matches those with no disabilities.  

There are many misconceptions regarding woman with disabilities are always on the receiving end of “microaggressions”. What “microaggressions” means is daily verbal, behaviourable and environmental indignities. Whether intentional or unintentional affects them.   Disabled woman blasted with questions and indirect insults such as gratitude that the child is healthy. Despite these barriers woman with disabilities go to great lengths creatively to comply with motherhood in an ideal manner. They are standing against critics an society as a whole laying claim to maternal and sexual identity. Mothers with disabilities negotiate tensions if ideal motherhood. Feminist politicians are being challenged to make a stand for change.  

Many woman also had concerns with how their children would be treated at school when the other students find out they have a mother with a physical disability. The fear of them being mocked and bullied a big concern.   The experiences of these woman with physical disabilities during pregnancy includes parenting experience, learning opportunities for family and children is required. Healthcare providers need to be educated so that the pregnancy cam be a positive one.

  A book called “The Disabled Woman’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth” was a finalist for 2005 Best Book of the Year Award and a 2006 Ben Franklin Award.   This useful book serves as a guide and is based on the experiences of ninety woman with disabilities who became mothers. To make it more personal and intimate Judith interviewed woman with 23 different disabilities and 143 pregnancies in total.