A physical disability, or physical impairment, which may have a substantial and/or long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, is considered below. This may include long term conditions, which may have an impact on daily living, as well as physical challenges faced by some individuals. Again, the key message here is about individuality, and not assuming that any condition affects everyone in the same way.
When considering how to approach this for pregnant and childbearing women, the focus here is on long term conditions, such as cardiac or respiratory conditions, often with a medical basis requiring medical intervention and support over a long period of time. We have also included chromosomal/genetic condition, cancer and musculoskeletal conditions. These conditions can be managed using medication, and/or devices which can improve their daily living.
Women with a long-term condition who become pregnant may face particular challenges, however the emphasis is that they will know more about their condition, and how it affects them, and so the specific support required from healthcare professionals is sensitivity, listening and enabling a positive experience for that individual.
The mother/and her partner may also be concerned about any risk to the fetus of a similar disorder, and may wish to focus initially on prenatal screening to enable them to make the best decision for their family, or may indeed be concerned about the reaction of healthcare professionals. Further information on Prenatal/Antenatal Screening can be found at:
- Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC)
- GOV.UK (2020). Screening tests for you and your baby
- NHS. Screening tests in pregnancy
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Consensus statement on pregnancy screening.
National Screening programme for:
Long-term condition support (2020) contains tools and resources designed primarily to enable primary care teams to continue to effectively manage patients with long-term conditions.