Laura Hignett is deaf and pregnant. She is sharing her diary entries with us as she prepares for the birth of her first child. This week, Laura experiences inaccessible maternity services
Six weeks to go!
I have been attending my antenatal classes over the last two weeks. Thankfully they have gone ok and the midwives have been aware of my hearing loss and been extremely clear, making a point of looking at me when they are speaking which is reassuring.
It makes me feel better about attending to the classes and makes me feel involved rather than pushed to one side.
However, we have been given a lot of literature for things like breast feeding support groups, children’s Sure Start centres, information on classes you can attend with your baby like baby massage groups and a telephone support group where you can share your concerns and chat about your worries about anything baby-related.
But there is one downside it’s all telephone only!
I asked if there was an email service or text service, but got the obvious response: ‘we don’t have that service.’
This week’s interview Paulina from DeafNest highlights that deaf parents are getting left behind when it comes to maternity services. It is true. I have seen this firsthand and it is stressful knowing that there is no additional services put in place for us deaf parents-to-be and parents. I would like to think that I have a support network around me available like hearing people have for things like breast feeding groups.
Laura is profoundly deaf, has worked as a press officer for the government and is freelance journalist. She is sharing with us her experiences of becoming a deaf parent for the first time and is campaigning for better accessibility for deaf people.
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