216 chapter 10: Pregnancy
Folic acid (folate)
Not getting enough folic acid can cause anemia and can also cause severe birth
defects in the baby, such as growths on the spine or in the brain. To prevent these
problems, it is most important for you to get enough folic acid before you get
pregnant and in the first few months of pregnancy.
These foods contain a lot of folic acid:
• dark green leafy vegetables
• meat (especially liver, kidney, and other organ meats)
• peas and beans
• sunflower, pumpkin, and squash seeds
• whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat)
Some women also take folic acid pills.
Folic acid pills
Take 0.5 to 0.8 mg (500 to 800 mcg) folic acid by mouth, 1 time each day.
Women who have spina bifida should take 800 mcg folic acid by mouth, 1
time each day.
Sex during pregnancy
Some women do not want much sex when they are pregnant. Others want sex more
than usual. Both feelings are normal. Having sex and not having sex are both OK
for the woman and her baby. Sex is not dangerous for the baby.
Sometimes sex is uncomfortable in pregnancy. Depending on your disability, you
can try different positions until you find something that is comfortable for you. It
may feel better with you on top, or in a sitting or standing position, or if you lie on
Of course, couples can be
close and make each other
happy in ways other than
sex. Some couples touch and
massage each other’s bodies.
Some talk about their hopes and
dreams for the future.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007