Guys, I am so excited for this time of my life, because I am growing a little human inside of me. My weekly pregnancy update from Preggers suggests that he or she is now the size of a sweet potato, and probably just as a delicious! LOL!
But, I am an amputee, which means I could face some additional challenges that non-amputees don’t have to deal with. Luckily, with proper planning including the tips below, I can continue to live a healthy, active life throughout my pregnancy.
Prosthesis Fit. This is perhaps the biggest challenge pregnant amputees face! A woman’s weight will change drastically throughout her pregnancy, and as we all know, weight fluctuation does affect how your prosthesis fits. I already have gained 3-4 pounds, and I am feeling that my above-the-knee amputee leg is getting a tad bigger.
While you will need to visit your prosthetist to have adjustments made, there are a few things you can do to maintain a healthy weight. There’s a very popular myth that pregnant women should be eating for two. In fact, a woman will only need an additional 300 calories a day to grow her little one!
Another thing to consider is the type of exercise you do. Doing something gentle will fight fatigue, back pain and will help you from gaining too much weight. Activities such as swimming and walking are excellent for you and your body. Gentle exercise can also help prepare your body for labor.
Regular Visits. Since the fit of your prostheses will change during the pregnancy, make sure that you schedule regular visits with your prosthetist. This is especially true during the second and third trimesters, when you’ll experience more swelling in your limbs. Your prosthetist may even create a temporary socket to accommodate dramatic changes.
If you are an above-the-knee amputee like myself, then you will need even more modifications than others. This is due to the presence of more soft tissue in your residual limb.
During Labor. One thing you will need to decide is whether you will wear your prosthesis during labor. Walking a little during the early part of labor can speed up dilation, and it could give you the support you need to bear down while giving birth. I haven’t decided yet what I plan to do, but I have already given it some thought.
After birth. Your weight will again change drastically after you give birth, especially if you breastfeed! It may be hard to make visits to your prosthetist once you’re caring for a little one, so there may be times when you are using crutches or a wheelchair to get around. Invest in a baby sling so you can still carry your baby while using them. I am going to take advantage of my hubby as my baby carrier! 😉 And by the way, it is totally okay to rely on others, especially while you are still recovering yourself!
Remember, your amputation does not affect your ability to give birth to a healthy child. While you may face some physical challenges that other women don’t have during pregnancy, that doesn’t change your ability to be a good mommy!