Deaf Parenting UK (DPUK) Pregnancy and Birth

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Pregnancy and Birth

Planning a baby

  • Are you hoping to have a baby?
  • Are you worried you won’t be able to have a baby?
  • Have you been trying to have a baby without any luck?

Some people get pregnant very easily, but getting pregnant may be harder than you think.

An organisation called Change has made a booklet which has lots of useful information including:

  • How you can prepare for getting pregnant
  • How you get pregnant
  • How you can have a better chance of getting pregnant

If you would like a copy of ‘Planning a Baby Booklet‘, please contact Change for more information

Making an appointment at the doctor’s surgery or the hospital

If you think you may be pregnant it is important to go and see your doctor.

If you need communication support, for example a Sign Language Interpreter or Lipspeaker, you must tell the surgery when you make the appointment.

The Government has made a law, which means that disabled people must have the same opportunities at work, and equal access to services, goods, and facilities. The law is called the DDA: The Disability Discrimination Act-

Your doctor or local hospital must make what is called ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure that you can have the same access to health services as hearing people.

If you need an interpreter and they refuse to provide one, you can contact the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) for help.

You must try to give your doctor or hospital enough time to organise an interpreter for you. Sometimes if you have to see your doctor urgently, it may not be possible to find an interpreter in time.

The care you get from your doctor, the midwife and the hospital is called ‘antenatal care’. You will be seen regularly during your pregnancy to check that everything is well with you and your baby.

Antenatal appointments are usually: every four weeks until you are 28 or 30 weeks pregnant; then every two weeks until 36 weeks; and then every week until you have your baby.

Use the time with your doctor or midwife to ask questions about your pregnancy, or tell them about anything that is worrying you.

Ante-natal Classes

So you are having a baby, that’s great news!

  • What will happen to you during your pregnancy?
  • What will the birth be like?
  • How will you look after the baby after it is born?

Ante-natal classes will help provide the answers

When you see your doctor or midwife, ask where your local ante-natal classes are held. Classes run by your doctor’s surgery or the hospital are usually free, however with the NHS cut, you may be expected to pay for your local classes privately.

At the classes you will find out about:

  • What happens during pregnancy
  • What happens during the birth and choosing pain relief
  • How relaxation and breathing exercises can help
  • What can go wrong
  • What your partner can do to help you
  • What happens if your baby is premature (born early) or ill.
  • Looking after and feeding your baby.

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) also runs ante-natal classes which are very popular.

If you need an interpreter, tell the organisers of the classes and try and give as much notice as possible. Contact PALS of hospital if necessary.

Finding out more about Pregnancy and Birth

You may want to learn more about pregnancy and birth. This information can offer you useful resources for your needs.

Some organisations have produced useful leaflets/booklets about pregnancy and childbirth. The following information is easy to understand and has lots of pictures.

To order/purchase a copy of Your Good Health – Pregnancy and Childbirth ISBN 1 902519 884, contact Plymbridge Distributors Or contact BILD at:

BILD Campion House, Green Street, Kidderminster
Worcestershire, DY10 1JL
Tel: 01562 723010
Fax: 01562 723029

There is also a useful DVD in BSL on Pregnancy & Childbirth, by DPPi.

If you know other Deaf parents, why not ask them about their experiences?

Check out our Forum to meet other Deaf parents. Also you may want to look at your local Deaf club or organisation if they have a ‘family group’ where you can go along and chat with other parents and find some support.

If you know of any useful Deaf Parenting Support Group or similar Family Group, please let us know so that we can add the details onto our link page of useful organisations.

For other useful information, please check our resources and links pages.

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