Discomforts during pregnancy 221
If you tend to get certain problems because of your disability, such as infections
of the urine system because you have a spinal cord injury, then you may have these
problems more often during pregnancy. Problems may improve or worsen at any
time during your pregnancy, depending on your body and the baby’s development.
Each and every woman makes adjustments in her life to accommodate her
Here are some changes that women with some disabilities might go through and
suggestions for how to deal with them.
Feeling Tired and Sleepy
Most women feel tired and sleepy during the first 3 or 4 months of pregnancy.
For more complete information about other possible causes, read about:
• anemia (Where Women Have No Doctor page 172).
• not eating enough of the right kinds of food (malnutrition),
(Where Women Have No Doctor page 165).
• emotional problems (Where Women Have No Doctor page 416).
Many women have trouble sleeping at night during the last few weeks of pregnancy.
This can happen because they need to pass urine during the night, or because of leg
cramps (see pages 222 and 225), or because the baby starts to move and kick. It can
be difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. If possible, try to rest during the
day to make up for the loss of sleep.
It is important to find a comfortable sleeping or resting position, but avoid
sleeping flat on your back. This can cause your womb to press on the blood vessels
in your belly and cause circulation problems. It can also cause problems with
digesting food, with back strain, and with breathing.
What to do:
• Drink a little warm milk or hot soup before trying to sleep.
• Sleep sitting up a little, or with something behind you to
support your head and shoulders, and put rolled-up cloth or
newspaper under your knees.
• Sleep on your side. If possible, lie on your left side as this is the best
position for blood circulation. Place something comfortable like
rolled-up cloth or newspapers between your knees and ankles.
• Eat nutritious food, making sure to get enough protein, and use only a little salt
in your food (but do use a little).
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007