How to Prepare Your Life for a Baby When You’re Disabled
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This weeks blog comes to you from a guest blogger, SaraBailey. Sara writes about preparing for a new baby when you have disabilities. Sara has written this phenomenal piece to help others on this journey.
Everyone deserves the right to parenthood. For some of us, the journey is longer, and, perhaps, more arduous. Nonetheless, it is worth every sacrifice, every hill in the road. Of course, it impels us all to be as prepared as possible for the newborns we have been striving to bring into our lives. Adjusting to life as a disabled parent won’t be easy, but with some preparation and these tips from Serenity Sleepers, it’s possible to cut out some of the stress.
IVF One of the first considerations you likely had as you began planning on parenthood was the need for in vitro fertilization (IVF), which itself is a source for additional stress. The cost, time commitment to intense treatment, and the aspect of a high-risk pregnancy adds to long waiting periods for services. To best cope with the unique worries associated with IVF, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology recommends gathering information to plan ahead, tend to your self-care, garner support, and anticipate potential issues that may arise.
IVF isn’t cheap. According to Verywell Family, one cycle of IVF costs an average of $12,000, which doesn’t include medications ($1,500-$3,000 per cycle). Many couples may choose to take out loans or mortgages and look for interest-free credit cards. Also, even if your insurance doesn’t cover the actual procedures, it may cover certain aspects like ultrasounds and lab tests, so check out your provider’s information carefully. It’s worth your time to check into grants as well, such as those from the Baby Quest Foundation and the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation.
Prepare Your Home Every first-time parent has their work set out for them before bringing home a baby. If you’re on medication, make sure that you install locks on cabinets to make sure your baby doesn’t accidentally ingest them. Make sure that your outlets are plugged and any sharp corners are properly covered. If an adaptable tub will help with coming bath times, make sure it is installed before the baby comes home.
Clean the house as well as you can, as babies are more susceptible to dust and germs than adults. It’s a good idea to prepare your kitchen for when you bring your little one home. Making sure that you are fully stocked and have enough meals prepped and frozen to last a week or longer will be a relief in the coming chaos.
Another relief for new moms is comfortable clothes, especially as you deal with hot weather and hot flashes. Stock up on fabrics that stretch as your pregnancy progresses -- breathable, lightweight and relaxed is the way to go. Shops like Kindred Bravely specialize in nursing garments that are hard to find elsewhere, like their airy lounge dress that’s made of super-soft bamboo fabric.
Adaptive Equipment One thing that will make your lives as parents easier will be adaptive equipment. There are many pieces that exist on the market for you to use, along with a wide range of baby-specific equipment, depending on your needs. Baby carriers will be invaluable, especially ones made to fit in wheelchairs. Cradles and cots with edges that can be dropped down for easier access to your baby will be useful if you have limited mobility. If you need adaptable equipment that you simply cannot find, there are people and companies who offer bespoke solutions. If you describe what you need, these companies can make it tailored to your specifications.
Occupational Therapy While adaptive equipment can be a blessing, and you may find useful information when visiting various forums and websites, an occupational therapist may be exactly what you need. They can offer a variety of services to you and your baby, from helping with bath time and feeding, to even assisting with the transportation of your wee one.
There is an incredible amount of work and preparation that goes into having a baby. You will have to see to all the things abled parents need to do, but you will have your own additions as well. Take the time before baby is due to make sure your home is modified where needed and that you have adaptable equipment. If you’re well-prepared, you will have an easier time when your baby finally arrives.
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