Deciding to have a child after suffering a spinal cord injury can be an extremely daunting task. However, you’re not going to allow your injury to destroy your dreams of having a family. Therefore, as long as your doctor is comfortable with you conceiving, carrying, and delivering your child—you’re going to do everything in your power to do just that.
You know the risks will be high, but you also know that women have done it before, and so can you. As long as you know what precautions to take. So, what preventative actions and care can you take in order to prevent pregnancy complications due to your injury?
Caring for Common SCI Pregnancy Complications
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, SCI women have an estimated 75 percent increase for specific pregnancy risks than those who don’t suffer from a SCI. These risks include bladder and bowel obstructions, urinary tract infections (UTI), pressure sores, and autonomic dysreflexia (dangerously high blood pressure). However, you can lower the risks involved for these complications by following these simple tips:
- General care – Monitor your body for any surprising symptoms or problems. Make sure you go to all of your scheduled prenatal appointments and start up a dialogue with your gynecologist to make sure you can discuss any and all concerns you may have throughout the pregnancy.
- Bladder and bowel management – Drink plenty of fluids, eat plenty of fiber, monitor any potential changes in urination or bowel movements, and discuss any problems with your physician.
- Urinary tract infection care – Make sure you change your urinary catheters frequently, discuss medications with your physician to make sure you’re not taking anything which may increase your risks, and drink plenty of fluids—cranberry juice is highly recommended. If you suspect that you have a UTI, get tested by your doctor immediately.
- Pressure sores or ulcers – Monitor your skin for any irregularities, red spots, cuts, or wounds. Make sure you adjust your position regularly and seek medical attention as soon as possible if you notice any sores.
- Autonomic dysreflexia – Speak to your doctor about blood pressure lowering medications and discuss any potential options for early delivery.
Growing Your Family With the Proper Help
Additional care, treatment, and monitoring for a healthy pregnancy can be expensive. These expenses can quickly double, triple, or even quadruple when you’re battling an SCI as well. However, if your injury resulted from an accident or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation which will help you throughout your pregnancy. Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your case. We can help you understand your rights, and determine if your injuries require a better settlement than what your insurance company is offering.
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