Research Article  |   September 2016
Mothers With Physical Disability: Child Care Adaptations at Home
Author Affiliations
  • Amy J. Wint, MSc, is Project Manager, Mongan Institute Health Policy Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; awint@mgh.harvard.edu
  • Diane L. Smith, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA
  • Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSc, is Director, Mongan Institute Health Policy Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   September 2016
Mothers With Physical Disability: Child Care Adaptations at Home
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2016, Vol. 70, 7006220060p1-7006220060p7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.021477
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2016, Vol. 70, 7006220060p1-7006220060p7. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.021477
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This study describes how women with physical disability experience caregiving for a new infant and how they adapt their home environment and care tasks.

METHOD. In 2013, we conducted 2-hr telephone interviews with 22 women with significant physical disability who had delivered babies within the previous 10 yr. The semistructured, open-ended interview protocol addressed wide-ranging pregnancy-related topics. NVivo was used to sort the texts for content analysis.

RESULTS. Night care, bathing, and carrying the baby were identified as the biggest challenges. Typical adaptations (with and without occupational therapy consultation) included use of a wrap for carrying the infant, furniture adaptations for mothers using wheelchairs, and assistance from caregivers.

CONCLUSION. Women with physical disability can be fully capable of caring for an infant and can find ways to adapt their environment. Further research may determine the role of occupation therapy.