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How to get ready for a baby when you have a disability

from Pixabay

from Pixabay

Editor’s Note: Happy to share from Ashley, the author: “My husband and I both have disabilities, and knew that becoming parents and parenthood, in general, would require extra planning and prep. I’ve got some great info to share with other prospective parents with disabilities.”

If you’re considering having a baby, that’s fantastic. The love of a child is one of the most precious in your life. But you’re going to have to get ready for a baby. And if you have a disability, you’re going to need to have extra considerations to think about. You need to make self-care a priority, which isn’t always easy with a baby in the house.

 

First, talk to your doctor about what you will need specifically to have a baby. The more you prepare with your doctor, the healthier you and baby will be. You might need to make some lifestyle changes to get your body ready, and your doctor can help to prepare you.

 

If you’re having trouble conceiving, consider in vitro fertilization. The success and availability of in vitro fertilization have given hope to many infertile couples who have not been able to conceive. Since 1978, 5.4 million babies have been born worldwide with the help of IVF. It can be expensive, but you can start a baby fund and sock away money just like you would for a car or vacation. Talk to your fertility specialist about the expected costs so that you won’t be surprised when the bill comes.

Getting your home ready

Look around your home and see it in the eyes of a toddler. You likely have modifications to your home to help you get around. But you should also consider the safety of a baby. Once they start moving around, they get into everything. Get cabinet door locks to keep them out of lower cabinets and closets with chemicals or heavy items that could fall on him. Put plastic covers on your electrical outlets and add bumpers to table corners. All of these things can be found at your local baby store.

 

There are also baby items that are made for people with disabilities, such as cribs that open from the side, chest harnesses and adaptable strollers. There are also organizations such as The Disabled Parenting Project that give support to disabled parents, so you’ll be able to get advice and help from people who understand your unique needs.

Get your life ready

Having a baby is a huge life change that will come with a lot of stress and little sleep, so spend some time prepping for the challenge before the baby arrives. Gather up your support network, who you will need when life gets tough. Your family and friends will be glad to help you out or at least be a good sounding board that you can use to relieve stress.

 

Arrange for child care in advance. Most good day care centers have waiting lists, so you should start looking early. If you want a nanny or au pair, do some research and make sure your nanny has had a thorough background check. And don’t forget to make sure that he or she fits in well with your family. You don’t want a person who doesn’t share your values or honor your wishes.
Make self-care an important part of your day. There’s an adage that still holds true: Sleep when the baby sleeps. Parents who try to do too much often get tired and burnt out easily. This could be especially challenging, depending on your disability. Start working on eating a healthy diet so that you don’t have to make big changes while you’re pregnant. Eating well will give you and your baby the best start.

Soon your house will be filled with the sights, sounds and smells of your bundle of joy, and you’ll be ready to become a wonderful parent. Millions of people with disabilities become successful parents every day, so know your needs and live your best life on your own terms. Your child will grow up with a stronger sense of empathy and understanding of those with challenges.

 

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