A new study indicates that women with mobility disabilities often experience problems during pregnancy related to their functional impairments.
The study included 8 women with spinal cord injuries, 4 with cerebral palsy, and 10 with other conditions. Impairment-related complications during pregnancy included falls, urinary tract and bladder problems, wheelchair fit and stability problems, significant shortness of breath, increased spasticity, bowel management difficulties, and skin integrity problems.
“Relatively little information is available about the pregnancy experiences of women with physical disabilities, which hampers preconception planning and helping women know what to expect as their pregnancies progress,” said Dr. Lisa Iezzoni, lead author of the Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica article. “Our findings from 22 interviewees with physical disabilities who described their pregnancies provide insights, albeit preliminary, that could inform both women and their obstetrical practitioners about possible complications so they can plan ahead.”