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Working for change

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HealthWiki > A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities > Chapter 11: Labor and birth > Working for change


What families and caregivers can do:

After ourselves, our families understand our disabilities better than anyone else. This means they can be a great help to us during both labor and birth. They can make sure the midwife or health worker delivering the baby understands that just because we may have disabilities, we can still have vaginal births. They can also help us explain if we need to try alternative positions for the birth. And when the baby is born, they can make sure we can hold and bond with the baby, no matter how much assistance we may need.

What midwives, doctors, and other health workers can do:
a woman speaking to another woman.
Don't worry, doctor. My daughter may have a disability but she is very strong. And she did not need to have an operation for her first baby.
  • Make sure the rooms or spaces where women give birth in the clinic or hospital are easy for us to get to. For example, if the birthing room is upstairs, make a room on the ground floor available for births.
  • Make sure all beds and exam tables are low to the ground and do not have wheels.
  • Make sure the baby of a deaf or blind woman stays very close to her. Then, even if the mother cannot hear or see her baby, she will know if he needs to be fed or comforted.
  • Both the mother and baby will benefit from the care of a health worker after the birth. Visit a new mother and her baby at least 2 times—the day after the birth, and then again at least once in the following week.
  • Help the new mother with the legal requirements in her community to register the birth of her child.