I am an avid follower of #TheObsPod and I was excited when #FabObs Florence Wilcock, who tweets as @FWmaternity, said she was producing an episode around disability in pregnancy.
You can listen to it here: Episode 56: The Obs Pod – Maternity Experience (matexp.org.uk)

It refers to this episode of BBC Sounds: BBC Radio 4 – Able to Parent

I found it really beautiful and it gave rise to so many thoughts. Wheelchair-user Emily Yates and her partner CJ decide whether they want to be parents and what it would mean for them. Practicality and perception.

I enjoyed it so much, it prompted me to write a few reflections:

  • What amazing parents these two would be – their strong relationship shines through. I love the humour, the depth of thought about the stuff that matters without overthinking the stuff that doesn’t; the sheer humanity
  • What a great way to explore a topic in depth, looking at it from different perspectives. Being real. What if Emily ended up as a single parent? What does it mean, as a disabled mother, to have a baby or for a child to be raised by a mum in a wheelchair?
  • Finding out how modern equipment can help. How brilliant that you can have a plastic baby delivered in a box and find out whether you can physically look after it – a bit like a Tamagotchi!
  • Societal attitudes. Stereotypes. The need to break stereotypes.
  • The Dad’s perspective. CJ is really keen to become a Dad, but will he ever be able to get out of the house again? But then don’t ALL would-be parents worry about how much their freedom will be curtailed.
  • Making clear that it is not all about worries that arise disability, but verbalising the worries all new parents have – how will I feel about the house being covered with poo and milk?
  • Availability of information. Why is there so little information to support disabled parents? What can we do about that? I’m sure some of our #MatExp community can make some good contributions here?
  • What an amazing series this BBC Sounds is – how lovely to dip into such a well-made piece of active research and get insight into other people’s lives.
  • Proud that our very own #FabObs Flo was the consultant obstetrician helping the couple on their way. So important to explore realistically what would be involved medically and find ways to support people to live their lives to the full and fulfil their dreams.

A really uplifting experience listening to this, and I wish Emily and CJ well with whatever life brings to them.

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