There are many women with disabilities who are advised against becoming a mom and who feel judged daily for their need to have a family.
There are still many prejudices linked to the world of disability. It is still a delicate subject, little explored, where there is a tendency to generalize without knowing. And when it comes to disability and motherhood, we get even deeper into a series of prejudices that are difficult to break down.
Even today it is still thought that a disabled woman is not able to carry a pregnancy and raise a child. And it is precisely this theme that we are going to touch today, trying to dispel some of the most common prejudices related to the world of disabled mothers.
1. For a woman with a disability, pregnancy is more at risk
Not all disabilities allow you to have children, this is true. The predisposition or not depends on many factors, such as whether the disability occurred after the age of development or not. Apart from some cases, in general, however, we can say that pregnancy is almost always allowed.
If, for example, we talk about hypomobility, pregnancy may involve a risk of high rates of gestational diabetes or thrombosis.
A woman in a wheelchair may experience problems following catheterization, which is used to urinate. In this case, infections could occur that could result in a miscarriage. Other disabilities, such as muscular dystrophy myotonia, do not provide for the possibility of being able to carry a pregnancy instead.
Many studies have focused on the effects that the childbirth and gestation can have on women with multiple sclerosis and it has been found that there are no contraindications to pregnancy for this condition. In fact, there are no differences in postpartum hospitalization times between women with multiple sclerosis and healthy women.
2. A disabled woman has no sexual needs
I sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities are generically judged in a contradictory way. Because on the one hand there is still an idea of the woman as a sexual object or in the role of mother, on the other hand there is the concept that represents the disabled woman as an asexual subject and unfit to be a mother.
We can establish with certainty that being disabled does not mean not experiencing sexual urges. On the contrary, women with disabilities can experience the same sexual desire as anyone else, quite naturally.
The problem? When it comes to disability, sex becomes an area undermined by taboos and prejudices. Often it is difficult to think about all the difficulties inherent in the sexual sphere of people with disabilities, other times it is thought that sex is not even a necessity for them.
Very often the prejudice starts with the family, which considers women with disabilities as asexual, unfit to live with a partner and to be mothers.
It is precisely sexual needs and desires that are not seen as such and, automatically, are repressed even within the social context of which one is a part.
The same United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitiesapproved in 2007 and subsequently ratified in Italy - both with an explicit reference to the exercise of sexuality and indirectly - repeatedly recognizes in several articles, at the level of general obligations, the right to home and family, the right to life, freedom, inclusion, independent living, education and health, the need not to discriminate against persons with disabilities with regard to the full enjoyment of their rights, defining an ethical and legal basis for interventions that support education and protection of human sexuality for persons with disabilities as well.
From a general standpoint, the WHO (2001) has equated the right to sexual health with human rights in general. With this, sexuality has become a fully-fledged part of the components that create a person's wellbeing, and has also been analyzed in terms of its psycho-educational and social function.
Every woman should feel free to experience sexuality in a natural and personal way, as well as to have or not have the desire to be a mother and create a family with her partner. There are no rules, it is a world in which the rights of women with disabilities to make decisions about their lives, sexuality and motherhood must be guaranteed and free from any kind of prejudice.
3. A disabled woman is too fragile to carry a pregnancy
Women with physical disabilities are about as likely to become mothers as women of similar age without disabilities and, even for women disabled from birth, pregnancy is not dangerous in itself.
Looking again at the example of a woman with multiple sclerosis, during gestation she would have to discontinue therapy. As a consequence, typical symptoms such as balance problems, difficulty in walking could occur. In general, the sense of fatigue during pregnancy may worsen.
For those who have the desire to give birth at home, we recommend Big Belly, a'midwife which offers a home service around Rome.
MIA MEDICAL ITALIA offers many types of services for the rental of all types of aids suitable to facilitate the daily life of a disabled mother, such as electric bed lifters e indoor electric wheelchairs for disabled to facilitate their independence and movement within the home space.
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4. A disabled woman who needs care is unable to care for a child
There are many misconceptions regarding new mothers with disabilities. How can they
Caring for another person, when they themselves are in need
of someone else's help to carry out normal daily activities?
It is certainly true that depending on the nature of the disability, the daily tasks
Of a mom might be more difficult or challenging. If it is a
physical disability, there may be problems with picking up your child or with
Perform activities such as grocery shopping, housework, cleaning or cooking.
Disabled mothers with physical ailments may need to use
adaptations to care for their children through, for example, the
assistive technology or adaptations in technology or equipment for
safely lift or carry their babies, change diapers, breastfeed or
give them a bath.
If a mom gets tired easily, she may have difficulty holding the
I step with a very active child. These are all real facts. But often it is not
taken into consideration the role of the companion, which is fundamental and
completely different from the idea we have in Italian society. Especially when the newborn is small, the partner can play a fundamental role of
In any case, once they are grown, children can be involved in supporting and
In the care of a disabled parent and help with household chores.
For a new mom with a disability, recognizing when you need help can
be difficult, but knowing your limits and planning in advance what support
will be needed can help make things easier for moms and their children.
5. A disabled woman can transmit the disease to her child
There is a strong fear of pregnancy and its consequences. For example, there is
thinks that women with disabilities may have problems following childbirth or
may transmit the disease to their child. These concerns can
affect their lives, making them less independent in their decisions, and
Giving them less privacy.
When it comes to genetic disability, it is definitely important to undergo
any tests to exclude the possibility of transmitting the disease to the child, and
To learn about the risks posed by genetic abnormalities.
The world of disability is still a very complex discourse. But if we can
putting aside all the prejudices related to this issue, we realize that the
The most important thing for a child is love. And love is something that comes
given in a completely natural way, regardless of the physical condition of a
parent. A woman with a physical disability will not be able to play soccer
with your child, but will be able to sit on the floor with them to play with Legos.
The only thing children really need is love, as is true that
every child always manages to adapt to the mom they have, because in the end,
Let's face it, no mom is perfect.
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