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Mandy

Short Term Pregnancy Solutions?

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Hi there

I am currently 7 months pregnant and my AK limb has become a battle to put on. It doesn't fit me properly any more (too small) and is contributing to back and hip problems because the height is all wrong now.

I suspect the problem is half additional fat (too many chocolate cakes!) and half water retention. I don't know how much my residual limb will shrink after the birth so am a bit wary of getting a new socket made in case it doesn't fit 3 months down the line (I have to go private as have lost faith in NHS).

My current limb is a suction socket with flexible plastic inner and hard exoskeleton. Does anyone know of any short term solutions to this problem? I have an appointment with Dorset Ortho next week but suspect they will tell me I have to get a new socket made.

Thanks

Mandy

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Hi Mandy

How exciting?! Congratulations! :D

I'm afraid I can't help you with your suction limb, as I had a pelite liner and a TES belt on my AK when I was pregnant. Although, I've been at your stage of pregnancy twice (my two are teenagers now), with my two prostheses (AK & BK) and from what I remember, unless you are very careful with your diet (and very lucky), the swelling/weight gain just increases until you have your baby. My AK was the most problematic, I must admit.

Although you lose a certain amount of weight after the birth of your baby, if you breast feed (I found it much easier than using 'formula' milk) your baby, you will retain some fluid retention/fat deposition on your bottom and thigh (it's the way Nature designed us, I'm afraid) & so you will find that your socket doesn't fit as well. After I stopped breast feeding my son (my youngest) my AK drastically reduced in size.

Has your prosthetist got any ideas to help you? Btw, when I was first pregnant with my first child, my rehab consultant just seemed to 'switch off' (in as far as treating me was concerned). My prosthetist later told me that it was because he didn't expect me to walk past 20 weeks gestation (as your centre of gravity changes about then). I actually gave birth with my legs on...I was the talking point of the hospital for weeks afterwards...a total eye opener for everyone, I think! :P

Good luck & I hope you can find a workable solution. PM me, if you need to. :)

Lizzie :)

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Hi there

I am currently 7 months pregnant and my AK limb has become a battle to put on. It doesn't fit me properly any more (too small) and is contributing to back and hip problems because the height is all wrong now.

I suspect the problem is half additional fat (too many chocolate cakes!) and half water retention. I don't know how much my residual limb will shrink after the birth so am a bit wary of getting a new socket made in case it doesn't fit 3 months down the line (I have to go private as have lost faith in NHS).

My current limb is a suction socket with flexible plastic inner and hard exoskeleton. Does anyone know of any short term solutions to this problem? I have an appointment with Dorset Ortho next week but suspect they will tell me I have to get a new socket made.

Thanks

Mandy

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Just a thought, could you go to an adjustable polyprop socket which is split vertically and wraps round, where it with socks and pull velcro straps to tighten it... just for the duration of the pregnancy and for a while after until your weight levels out?

Unfortunately it means an interim solution, but if your current one is too small there isn't any alternative to having something else made I wouldn't have thought?

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Hi there

I am currently 7 months pregnant and my AK limb has become a battle to put on. It doesn't fit me properly any more (too small) and is contributing to back and hip problems because the height is all wrong now.

I suspect the problem is half additional fat (too many chocolate cakes!) and half water retention. I don't know how much my residual limb will shrink after the birth so am a bit wary of getting a new socket made in case it doesn't fit 3 months down the line (I have to go private as have lost faith in NHS).

My current limb is a suction socket with flexible plastic inner and hard exoskeleton. Does anyone know of any short term solutions to this problem? I have an appointment with Dorset Ortho next week but suspect they will tell me I have to get a new socket made.

Thanks

Mandy

Congratulations with the pregnancy Mandy. Sorry I can't really help with any solutions to your problem I am b/k and got away with wearing my limbs throughout two of my three pregnancies, however I did have problems with the second one and did have a lot quite a lot of swelling the last month or so and had to give up wearing the legs, although by some miracle did manage to get them on when I made the trip to the hospital to give birth.

My advice would be though- boring as it probably is, get as much rest as you possibly can, I didn't get much chance to rest with my second pregnancy as had a very demanding two year old, I ended up on enforced bedrest due to high blood pressure, so do keep any eye on things. The stumps did go back to normal size after the birth, altho. on this occasion they did swell up again two or three days after the birth, not so after the births of the other two though.

As Lizzie said breastfeeding is great for getting rid of the weight, I fed my first for 9 months but was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans in two to three weeks, unfortunately not so with my third (now 15) didn't manage to feed him for more than two or three weeks and I am still trying to lose the weight. LOL

Good luck with it, I am sure we will all be waiting to hear your news.

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Wow Lizzie, can't imagine giving birth with it on! I'm going to try for a water birth so would have to remove it anyway. I have nightmares of them losing my leg! I didn't realise breastfeeding meant the water retention continued......*sigh*

OBL, I'm not averse to something else being made in the interim, only something expensive being made! What you're suggesting makes sense and I will see what my prosthetist says. Hopefully he can come up with a solution that won't cost the earth.

Thanks for the advice Ann. I guess its just difficult for me to consider not wearing my limb as I've been on it since 18 months of age! (Well not the same one obviously :rolleyes: ). But its such a part of me I'm going to find it wierd not wearing it. I am also pretty pathetic on crutches and live in a 2 storey house. Having visions of moving the bedroom downstairs and trying to look after a newborn while on crutches is scaring the bej*sus out of me!

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I've just thought of something else you should watch out for (it's OK, it's more of an inconvenience after the baby's birth, than anything else): Depending upon how you use your stomach muscles (to walk) and if you're very fit (as I was when I was pregnant), you can develop a divarification of your stomach muscles (rectus abdominus, I think?). It's where they become 'separated' along the mid-line of your abdomen.

I found that I couldn't walk the day after I gave birth to my first baby, because I had developed a 'two/three finger divarfication'. It was a huge shock and not what I, or anyone else, was expecting! However, after advice from a 'maternity' physio and following her exercises for two days, I was able to walk. :)

Apart from resting a lot, there's not a lot you can do to avoid developing one...the exercises quickly fix it though. :) It probably won't happen to you, Mandy, but it's something to be aware of, as the physios may not instinctively think of it happening.

Lizzie :)

PS I have a strange looking pelvis, so I had a trial of labour and so I was hooked up to a load of machinery...so I couldn't enjoy the water. Good luck with you water birth - you lucky girl! :D

PPS I (and I'm sure Ann can too) give you tips on managing afterwards. For example, if you're worried about using crutches & carrying a little one, then get a baby carrier that supports your little ones head. Oh, a baby...how sweet! :rolleyes:

PPS Breast feeding is wonderful...don't let us put you off! :)

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I am BK and whilst I didn't have too much problem with my first (it just got very tight and uncomfortable) with my second pregnancy which was twins it was a nightmare and I did end up virtually unable to walk - I could just about manage to squeeze painfully in to it to hobble to hospital appointments. the other problem I had was that where everything relaxes due to the hormones my other abnormalities combined with the awkward way I walk left me in agony with my back and hips.

Sorry if this is negative - hopefully your prosthetist will be able to suggest something.

Sue

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Oh my word, I've never heard of anything like that! Well I am incredibly unfit so hopefully it won't happen!

Well the idea is to have a water birth but we will see how it all pans out. So far everything looks good so this baby had better not turn at the last moment!

Don't worry about putting me off - I am going to give it a proper go so any side effects I will just have to live with. If it means getting a new socket then so be it - as long as it can be adjusted somehow further on down the line when I manage to shift the weight.

Will let you know if my prosthetist comes up with anything interesting.

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I am BK and whilst I didn't have too much problem with my first (it just got very tight and uncomfortable) with my second pregnancy which was twins it was a nightmare and I did end up virtually unable to walk - I could just about manage to squeeze painfully in to it to hobble to hospital appointments. the other problem I had was that where everything relaxes due to the hormones my other abnormalities combined with the awkward way I walk left me in agony with my back and hips.

I didn't have twins, but I had a singleton who weighed in at 9lbs 15.5ozs at 37 weeks (and he was breech :ph34r: ) - I was very pleased that he decided to come early! :D Actually, both my babies arrived early (37 & 38 weeks) because it was such hard work for me to both walk and 'carry the baby'.

With my pregnancies, they altered both my sockets throughout. I don't know how I would have managed if they hadn't. :rolleyes:

I also had the problem with ligaments getting lax, Sue, and it give me some problems, but I also had gestational narcolepsy too, which meant that I'd just fall asleep...for hours...and hours...one day I fell asleep at 10.30am and didn't wake up until 7pm! :o I remember being so upset, because I'd missed my lunch! :D

Ahhh, the joys of pregnancy, eh? It's all worth it in the end. :)

Lizzie :)

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Congratulations Mandy :D

Hope everything goes well for you and you get the leg issues sorted out.

Seems to be a plague at the moment, I have 9 ladies currently having regular massages to help them through their pregnency.

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Guest bearlover

:) Congratulations Mandy!! What a great way to start a new year! a new baby!! In June?? Cingratulations again and best of luck....Sorry I don't have any advice on pregnancy and sockets for you..But some realy good advice I see!! :)

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Congratulations, Mandy!

I'm also an AK, and during the time of my two pregnancies wore the same type of socket as you have. I didn't find any good short term solutions. One prosthestist offered to make me a larger socket with a belt suspension, but I didn't like the idea. I just toughed it out and didn't exercise or walk as much those last few months. Like Lizzie, I gave birth with my leg on! :) Both times, my limb was pretty comfortable again in about 4-6 weeks, although I had a new one made about 6 months post pregnancy.

My husband travels alot, so I figured out lots of ways to "safely tend to baby" at night or other times when I didn't have my leg on. Please feel free to PM me and I'll be glad to share experiences and chat with you!

Karen

AKA

Orlando, Florida

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I've just thought of something else you should watch out for (it's OK, it's more of an inconvenience after the baby's birth, than anything else): Depending upon how you use your stomach muscles (to walk) and if you're very fit (as I was when I was pregnant), you can develop a divarification of your stomach muscles (rectus abdominus, I think?). It's where they become 'separated' along the mid-line of your abdomen.

I found that I couldn't walk the day after I gave birth to my first baby, because I had developed a 'two/three finger divarfication'. It was a huge shock and not what I, or anyone else, was expecting! However, after advice from a 'maternity' physio and following her exercises for two days, I was able to walk. :)

Apart from resting a lot, there's not a lot you can do to avoid developing one...the exercises quickly fix it though. :) It probably won't happen to you, Mandy, but it's something to be aware of, as the physios may not instinctively think of it happening.

Lizzie :)

PS I have a strange looking pelvis, so I had a trial of labour and so I was hooked up to a load of machinery...so I couldn't enjoy the water. Good luck with you water birth - you lucky girl! :D

PPS I (and I'm sure Ann can too) give you tips on managing afterwards. For example, if you're worried about using crutches & carrying a little one, then get a baby carrier that supports your little ones head. Oh, a baby...how sweet! :blink:

PPS Breast feeding is wonderful...don't let us put you off! :)

:D Lizzie, I can not believe the knowledge you have girl. Is this due to the fact you have had to deal with your birth defect? BTW, I thought when you breast fed, you lost your weight very quickly. (Not True)?

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Mandy, I also want to congratulate you....what a great way to start 2007. I am getting a new grandchild this coming June. Life is so simple when you are holding a baby....they smell so good & are so soft & warm...ahhh the memories. :)

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you can develop a divarification of your stomach muscles (rectus abdominus, I think?).

Spot on as usual Lizzie :D It is the Rectus Abdominus muscle and is much more common that a lot would think.......It's this one

http://people.umass.edu/jkingstn/ling614/f...lique%20f05.jpg

It is also suspect for guys with "beer Bellies" and sometimes herniates

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Thanks for the advice Ann. I guess its just difficult for me to consider not wearing my limb as I've been on it since 18 months of age! (Well not the same one obviously :blink: ). But its such a part of me I'm going to find it wierd not wearing it. I am also pretty pathetic on crutches and live in a 2 storey house. Having visions of moving the bedroom downstairs and trying to look after a newborn while on crutches is scaring the bej*sus out of me!

Hi Mandy

I am sure you will be fine and it will all just come naturally. My labours were pretty normal, the first two were both 8lb 1oz and the third was 9lb 3oz, and yes breastfeeding is great, I found it much more convenient than having to wash and heat bottles and it does help you to lose weight/fluid. Although, I think you do have to look after yourself, eat well, drink loads of fluid and plenty of rest, I think that is why I didn't manage to keep up feeding my third,I had two other children and loads to do and also this big baby who was continually hungry.

I know what you are saying about having to leave the leg off, I am a bit the same, have been wearing mine since the age of 12 and they feel part of me too, I had to leave mine off for a while with the second pregnancy but then its only for a short while and I am sure your leg will fit better after the birth. I remember a girl I met at one of the limb centres I went to a few years ago was pregnant, she was an AK and had to stop wearing her limb quite early due to the belt around her waist and she couldn't keep the leg on, she wasn't happy about not wearing it either as she was still working, I remember them loaning her a wheelchair for the remainder of the pregnancy.

When I had my first we lived in a house also, and when my first was tiny I used a baby carrier to put her in to go up and down stairs, as she got bigger it got easier and we moved when she was nearly a year.

All my children have grown up accompanying me to limb centres from babyhood onwards, never really had any problems, lots of bribery with treats as they got to be toddlers trying to keep them in the fitting room though, and they all became quite knowledgeable about prosthetic limbs and used to think it was quite normal to come with mum to get her legs made.

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I've just thought of something else you should watch out for (it's OK, it's more of an inconvenience after the baby's birth, than anything else): Depending upon how you use your stomach muscles (to walk) and if you're very fit (as I was when I was pregnant), you can develop a divarification of your stomach muscles (rectus abdominus, I think?). It's where they become 'separated' along the mid-line of your abdomen.

I found that I couldn't walk the day after I gave birth to my first baby, because I had developed a 'two/three finger divarfication'. It was a huge shock and not what I, or anyone else, was expecting! However, after advice from a 'maternity' physio and following her exercises for two days, I was able to walk. :)

Apart from resting a lot, there's not a lot you can do to avoid developing one...the exercises quickly fix it though. :) It probably won't happen to you, Mandy, but it's something to be aware of, as the physios may not instinctively think of it happening.

Lizzie :)

PS I have a strange looking pelvis, so I had a trial of labour and so I was hooked up to a load of machinery...so I couldn't enjoy the water. Good luck with you water birth - you lucky girl! :D

PPS I (and I'm sure Ann can too) give you tips on managing afterwards. For example, if you're worried about using crutches & carrying a little one, then get a baby carrier that supports your little ones head. Oh, a baby...how sweet! :blink:

PPS Breast feeding is wonderful...don't let us put you off! :)

:D Lizzie, I can not believe the knowledge you have girl. Is this due to the fact you have had to deal with your birth defect? BTW, I thought when you breast fed, you lost your weight very quickly. (Not True)?

Gosh thank you, Ann. :blink: I don't know why I seem to know so much...? Perhaps it is because I've had to live through it...I really don't know...? :blink:

And, yes you do lose weight more rapidly, after you baby is born, if you breast feed. But, because your body needs to convert some of what you eat and drink into milk, you retain some of that fluid. The 'weight' is more fluid retention due to breast feeding.

I fed my son entirely until he was 3 months old...he weighed a massive 18 lbs! :blink: At that stage, when he fed, I could feel my sockets getting larger...when he was due for a feed the sockets felt very tight. :blink:

Lizzie :)

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Thank You everybody! I'm learning a lot from this topic.

This morning I went to see a private prosthetist to see if he could suggest anything in the interim. He has come up with a solution I think will do me until the birth and beyond for a couple of months. He is going to extend the 'windows' in the hard exoskeleton and make a new thinner liner as my current one is quite thick. He also removed some padding from inside the socket which I couldn't get out myself and already I feel I have more room so its all looking very hopeful.

The best part is he can do this for me before Christmas! My usual clinic are so busy I couldn't see my normal prosthetist until Jan (not their fault obviously), although I do have an 'emergency' appointment next week to sort out a squeaky foot and dodgy knee.

While I was there I met Kiera (on maternity leave from the LLA) and she gave me lots of very useful advice. One thing I found interesting is her suggestion of drinking water throughout the day (small bottle before bed and one in the morning mostly) as well as having a proper breakfast to help with shedding some of the retained water.

I'm so pleased I went as I feel much better about being able to cope with it all. I was on quite a downer yesterday contemplating alternative forms of mobility. Just have to get the foot and knee seen to and then I can look forward to meeting our little guy.

Thanks again,

Mandy

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This morning I went to see a private prosthetist to see if he could suggest anything in the interim. He has come up with a solution I think will do me until the birth and beyond for a couple of months. He is going to extend the 'windows' in the hard exoskeleton and make a new thinner liner as my current one is quite thick. He also removed some padding from inside the socket which I couldn't get out myself and already I feel I have more room so its all looking very hopeful.

While I was there I met Kiera (on maternity leave from the LLA) and she gave me lots of very useful advice. One thing I found interesting is her suggestion of drinking water throughout the day (small bottle before bed and one in the morning mostly) as well as having a proper breakfast to help with shedding some of the retained water.

Thanks again,

Mandy

Glad you have managed to get something sorted out with your leg.

Kiera is right, drinking water and eating sensibly is a good way of keeping the fluid down, it also helps with the BP. After my high BP when my second child was born I was told it pre-eclampsia. When I became pregnant again I contacted the pre-eclampsia society for advice and was given a diet sheet, I say diet but it was actually more food than I generally ate, however it was things like water, whole milk, veg & fruit, eggs and meat, the sort of wholefoods they are advocating for all of us currently, but it was regular meals with breakfast. Anyway followed what I could of this diet and am happy to say that my BP stayed level for the whole of the pregnancy and no excess fluid at all.

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I’ve never been pregnant and don’t plan to be. I just wanted to say congratulations. I never even gave any thought to the changes pregnancy brings pertaining to amputees. The advantage of being a guy. I let my wife do all the work (birth that is).

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I’ve never been pregnant and don’t plan to be. I just wanted to say congratulations. I never even gave any thought to the changes pregnancy brings pertaining to amputees. The advantage of being a guy. I let my wife do all the work (birth that is).

I'm glad to hear it mtman ;)...

...but, thank you for your sweet comment. :D

It's not really that bad, it's just a bit of a worry (especially if you're an AK) as you don't know how big you'll get during the pregnancy. It's well worth all the fuss and bother in the end though! :blink:

Lizzie :)

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