How to Make Sure You are Prepared for Life as a Parent with Disabilities
People living with physical disabilities become parents every day. If you are one of these people and are planning to become a parent or recently discovered you are going to become a parent, there are some considerations you will need to make to prepare your home and your life for this monumental life change. Our suggestions will help.
Having a child is expensive, especially if you or your partner want to take extra time off for maternity or paternity leave. That’s why so many people who plan to have a baby begin boosting their savings accounts ahead of time. It’s especially important to begin saving for baby in advance if you and your partner expect to have difficulty conceiving a child.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a common type of assisted reproduction that couples with and without disabilities rely on when they encounter fertility issues. While IVF is common, it is not inexpensive. One IVF cycle may cost thousands of pounds, and many couples undergo more than one cycle before they have success. However, Qunomedical suggests, “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.”
Ask you GP about IVF; he or she can help determine whether you are eligible for NHS-funded IVF. If you are not, it can cost £5,000 or more per cycle.
Nobody is completely prepared for parenthood, but many new parents find that having other parents to talk to helps them understand the challenges and responsibilities of having a baby. Find nearby parents who can recommend child care providers, a pediatrician, must-have baby products, and parenting strategies to help you prepare to become a parent yourself. There are approximately 1.7 million parents with disabilities in the UK so you shouldn’t have a problem finding others who’ve been in your position.
If you don’t know any local parents, you’ll find some in your parenting class. Once you are expecting a bundle of joy, sign up for these classes to learn the basics of childcare and family relationships. You also should consider joining a childbirth class so you are prepared for the delivery day and know exactly what to expect when your child is born.
All new parents have a great deal of work to do at home to prepare for a new baby’s arrival. You’ll need to prepare a nursery, make space for changing tables and bottles, and start installing baby gates and childproof locks on doors and windows. If you have furniture with hard edges or pointy corners, wrap them with bubble wrap or plastic guards to protect your baby’s head when she begins crawling.
It’s especially a good idea for parents with disabilities to look into accessible baby gear for the home. Cribs with sliding sides will give you easier access to your child. You also should look into a co-sleeper that attaches to the side of your bed so your baby can be next to you at night without worrying about any dangers associated with putting your baby directly in your bed. You’ll be able to tend to her at any time without needing to get out of bed; this will minimize disruptions for you both.
Making some home modifications before the baby arrives is another good idea for parents with disabilities. Some of the most useful home modifications that also enhance safety for both parents and children include adding lights to stairwells, installing a hand railing on both sides of stairs, and updating a bathroom to feature a wheel-in shower or walk-in bathtub.
To prepare your life and home for parenthood, boost your savings account, talk to other new parents, prepare your home with baby-proofing products, and look into home modifications that enhance your parenting abilities.
Guest Post Written by Ashley Taylor of www.disabledparents.org/