By Aimee Sterk, MATP, LMSW
Today I’m 13 weeks pregnant. It took a lot to get here including two drawn out, awful miscarriages and IVF. This is by far my “easiest” pregnancy to date, but along the way I’ve gathered some AT and resources that have helped me get through this pregnancy and my other two.
Seabands are motion sickness bracelets that also help with pregnancy nausea. They have hard
plastic bumps that are placed so they press on an acupressure point that helps with nausea and sea sickness. They are available at your local drug store.
I have mental health disabilities including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. That combined with the “normal” anxiety of pregnancy and my two previous losses resulted in some significant anxiety early in my pregnancy. In addition to therapy and medications, I found great online support from groups including the Facebook groups: Pregnancy After Loss and the IUI & IVF Pregnancy Support Group. These groups offer strength, support, and shared stories. I found them especially helpful for middle of the night anxiety—because people are on from around the world, I would get responses to questions and requests almost immediately at any time of the day or night. There are many other pregnancy support groups on Facebook as well, depending on your situation. I also found The Disabled Parenting Project Facebook page to be helpful and reduce internalized ableism about parenting with a disability.
This pregnancy, I have been especially tired the first trimester. Early on, I needed two naps a day. To keep up with my work and maintain my job, I needed to make sure my naps didn’t go overboard so I used timers on my smartphone to wake me to get back to work.
I experienced Prenatal depression with my first and second pregnancy. Mood tracking apps would have been useful to try to notice when it was starting to get bad. An ill-informed OB nurse told me to quit taking my antidepressant during my first pregnancy which spun me into a deep deep depression that only worsened after my miscarriage. Had I been tracking my mood, it may have prevented such awful consequences. I recommend T2 Mood Tracker and PTSD Coach. I am using PTSD coach this pregnancy to track symptoms.
I have chronic upper back pain and am starting to have lower back pain related to pregnancy. Pregnancy pillows have already been very helpful for me for sleeping more comfortably. They wrap around your body supporting your neck, back, belly, and then slip between your knees to support your low back. Boppy makes a pregnancy pillow as does Leachco and several other companies. I have the Leachco and so far it is working well for me. I have ordered a wedge pillow to put under my head and upper back to help with heartburn and sleep apnea symptoms.
Have you been pregnant with a disability (disabilities)? What AT worked for you?Tweet