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Accessible Pregnancy Clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC) is making strides with their accessible pregnancy clinic. It is known that some women and couples struggle to conceive, but what we do not often hear about are the barriers unique to people with disabilities and pregnancy, such as:

  • No access to clinics for people with disabilities
  • Lack of doctors with knowledge about disabilities
  • Health concerns that make having a baby dangerous

SHSC Pregnancy Clinic is Making Pregnancy Accessible

To address the lack of resources people with disabilities may face throughout pregnancy, SHSC in Toronto has created an accessible care clinic. As a result, patients with disabilities can realize their dreams of becoming parents. The SHSC pregnancy clinic offers care to people with disabilities, such as:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Spina bifida
  • A history of trauma, such as a car accident
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Amputation
  • Little people
  • Mobility impairments

Women who come to this clinic can feel more at ease knowing that SHSC specializes in accessible care. Also, the SHSC welcomes attendants and support people to appointments.

The clinic offers care to people with disabilities who are in all stages of pregnancy, including before and after birth.

Pre-pregnancy care at SHSC

SHSC offers special pre-pregnancy care, such as:

  • Tailored care plans for each family
  • Pre-baby counselling
  • Prenatal education

Childbearing year at SHSC

SHSC offers special care during the childbearing year, such as:

  • Central care so that specialists are nearby
  • An ultrasound department in the same building
  • Allowing extra time for appointments
  • Accessible birth rooms
  • Wheel-in or walk-in showers
  • Individualized birth plans that account for disabilities

Postpartum care

Also, SHSC offers special postpartum care, such as:

  • Post-birth check-ups for mothers
  • Wellness check-ups for newborns
  • Breastfeeding support

The Need for More Specialized Clinics

A lack of accessible care may prevent women and couples from having a baby. However, the SHSC clinic is creating accessible care by removing barriers to parents with disabilities. Furthermore, more clinics can follow this model of being inclusive and specializing in accessible care. After all, all women and couples should be able to plan and have babies with the care they need to do so successfully.