We have talked to several UNYQer moms and although there are some special considerations for amputees in pregnancy, generally, there are no medical reasons related to the amputation that would prevent women from carrying a baby successfully throughout their pregnancy.
Even without a limb difference, the idea of suddenly being responsible for a child can be challenging. In addition, the lack of information for the pregnant amputee can affect a woman’s resilience to the adaptive challenges she faces. However, having a better understanding of what to expect as an amputee mother will help alleviate these anxieties.
At the end of this post you can share your experience about being a pregnant amputee or amputee mom or even living with one. What aspects should be taken into account before, during and after pregnancy?
Some considerations to keep in mind if you are a pregnant amputee
Whether it was on their list or not, many first-time mothers experience a great deal of anxiety about being pregnant, especially during the first few months.
Worries about weight gain, nutrition and the health of their babies are common, but for amputee moms in addition to these usual worries, they have to face certain difficulties such as physical limitations, emotional changes and anxiety about how their prosthesis will fit or how they will care for their newborn.
The importance of the prosthetist for the pregnant amputee
The best prosthetist knows how to listen to the patient’s needs, so it is important to let your prosthetist know if you are a pregnant amputee to begin discussing options for managing residual limb volume as your body changes during pregnancy.
Weight gain and swelling are more common during the third trimester and these changes will also affect your socket, all the components of your prosthesis, and even the fit of your prosthetic cover. Thus, taking proper care of them will make a difference.
In sum, prepare for the delivery with your prosthetist and your OB-GYN. In addition, you may ask them beforehand whether it is better to give birth with the prosthesis or not.
Sophie Cooper – Pregnant amputee (Now a UNYQer Mom)
"Mantener una rutina de entrenamiento durante el embarazo me ayudó mucho a pasar estos 9 meses con más facilidad y alegría. Mantén el contacto con tu técnico ortopédico para que te ayude con los cambios. El embarazo es una maravilla, es pura alegría y es posible y divertido incluso para las mamás amputadas."
- Sophie Cooperman, UNYQer mom, wearing Brizz design in Campagne matte.
Moderate exercise and daily self care routine for a pregnant amputee
Although pregnant women should always consult with a doctor before starting any exercise routine or diet here you have some safe tips to start:
Many amputee moms’ concerns are whether the pregnancy would strain their backs and if they would be able to carry the baby comfortably to full-term. In pregnant amputees, back pain often becomes unbearable, so to strengthen the back muscles, you can try arm and leg lifts, wall squats and back stretches.
Moreover, residual limb pain or cramping is a very common complaint during pregnancy, but the discomfort is usually just a sign that your body is preparing for delivery. If you experience residual limb pain or more severe cramping, a massage may be helpful.
Maintaining a few minutes of moderate exercise a day will help relieve sore muscles and prevent leg cramps. In most cases, swimming, stationary cycling and walking can be safely practiced until delivery. However, in the case of women with swollen joints, it is advisable to elevate the limbs and keep on bed rest.
Finally, practicing yoga, some stretching and meditation are good options to move the body, do some inhalations and exhalations and restore balance. It will help to relax your mind, maintain mobility and be more present.
Lisa Fowler – Pregnant amputee (Now a UNYQer Mom)
"I endured a lot of lower back pain so I maintained regular back massages to keep up with self care. I took an early leave off from work due to the exhaustion of walking long distances once I hit my third trimester. However aside from this I had a healthy, strong, good pregnancy. Also, a wonderful care team made all the difference."
- Lisa Fowler, UNYQer mom, wearing U design in OB matte.
Some final tips for pregnant amputees:
- Ensure you have a great support system, emotionally and medically.
- Embrace and prepare for pregnancy changes with the help of your prosthetist and OB-GYN.
- Practice daily moderate exercise, but also take care of yourself and take some rest.
- If you have residual limb pain or cramping, a massage is a good option.
- Get help from wherever it’s offered, even a superwoman needs help.
- Assume there will be good days and bad days and just try to flow with it.
- Remember all pregnancies are different and you can only relate your own experience as a mother.
Are you a pregnant amputee or an amputee mom? We’d love to know your experience! You can email us to firstname.lastname@example.org to share more tips with other moms-to-be!