By CHRISTINE UMBRELL
What To Expect When Your Patient’s Expecting Flexibility to work with both physical and emotional adjustments is a must
NEED TO KNOW: • Expectant mothers undergo physical changes during pregnancy—such as weight gain, fluid retention, and difficulty bending— that can significantly impact their orthotic or prosthetic needs. • Prosthetists should be aware of the weight ratings associated with their patients’ devices and fit new componentry if necessary. They also may need to devise creative solutions to accommodate weight gain, such as switching out liners of different thicknesses or casting with extra socks. • Orthotists may need to fit pregnant patients with devices that are adjustable. Some patients may benefit from support belts, compression hose, or foot orthoses during this time period.
MAY 2018 | O&P ALMANAC
• Clinicians with experience in this patient population suggest scheduling more frequent appointments during pregnancies. They also emphasize the importance of listening to patients’ concerns, providing reassurance, and focusing on positive clinical solutions for patients who express doubts about accomplishing specific parenting tasks. • Both male and female practitioners who are inexperienced with pregnant patients can turn to mentors for advice when treating this population. • Expectant O&P clinicians may require accommodations during their own pregnancies, and should evaluate their workplaces to determine whether to reduce their fabricating duties, take more breaks during the workday, and prepare co-workers to care for their patients while they are out on maternity leave.
American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) - May 2018 Issue - O&P Almanac