Lisa is a paraplegic mom with an adorable 8-month-old boy. She, like moms everywhere, is finding the balance between her role of mom and her job, and maneuvering the new experience of parenthood. New parenthood is anxiety inducing, whether or not you live your life on wheels. When Lisa became pregnant, she couldn’t find anything that would consider her specific situation as a paraplegic mom, but as a wheelchair veteran, she’s developed quite a skill for innovation.
“The love is indescribable,” Lisa says about her new journey as a mom. “You just make it work.”
Here are a few of her hacks:
- Use a desk as a changing table. Not only does it allow wheelchairs to wheel under easily, it converts to another piece of furniture after the baby grows out of it.
- If you buy a standard crib, consider cutting the legs off.
- Buy a Moses Basket. It makes it easier to carry around your baby. If you put it on the bed when you sleep, it allows you to check on your baby without having to do multiple bed transfers at 2am and you don't have to worry about leaning over to pick him or her up, particularly for those with limited trunk strength.
- Overalls are clutch (literally). Having your baby in a pair of overalls allows him or her to be easily put on the floor and picked back up. You can also adapt a harness for this. Just buy a kid's harness typically used for walking, climbing, ATVs and snowmobiles, and adjust the straps as necessary.
- Use a wheelchair seatbelt to belt in your child when you’re on the go (also, add a harness to reinforce the connection).
- Breastfeeding? Try out “My Brest Friend” (how clever!) and make sure you use the strap to go around you. Layer it with one or two “Boppy Pillows” to get your baby up to whatever height makes it easier for you to breastfeed without worrying about balancing with limited abdominal strength.
Remember, there are always creative solutions to create and share, even if something seems impossible.
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