212 chapter 10: Pregnancy
Questions to ask before becoming pregnant
Every woman needs to make plans and decide how many children to have and
when to have them. A woman’s age, health, and personal living situation can affect
her decision to become a mother.
Before getting pregnant, it may help to think about these questions:
• Do you want to have children?
• If you already have children, can you take care of any more?
• Has your body recovered from your last pregnancy?
• Can you care for a child by yourself?
• Do you have a partner or family to help you support and
care for the child?
• Is someone forcing you to have a baby?
• Will a pregnancy have any affect on your disability?
Will my baby be born with a disability?
Most disabilities are not passed from mother to child
(inherited or familial disability). But there are some that are
passed—sometimes by the father, sometimes by the mother,
and sometimes by both. See page 14 for more information about some of the
disabilities that are passed in families.
If you think your baby might be born with one of these disabilities, it is best for
you to arrange to give birth in a hospital in case there are any complications.
Will the baby be a boy or a girl?
It is the man’s sperm that makes a baby either a boy or a girl. About half of a man’s
sperm will produce a baby boy and the other half will produce a girl. Only one
sperm will join with the woman’s egg. If it is a boy sperm, the baby will be a boy.
If it is a girl sperm, the baby will be a girl. This is no different for a disabled woman
than for a woman without a disability.
In communities where families prefer having boys, women are often blamed if
they do not have sons. This is unfair both to girls, who should be valued as much as
boys, and to women, because it is the man who determines the baby’s sex.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007