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Date: 19.11.2010
From: Carrie

Subject: Parenting and arthritic

Hi all.

I am new here. I have had Juvenile Arthritis since 15 months old and been on steroids all my life so I am petite all over and 4 foot 11. Many joints have been replaced and some are on the list to be done. I think the best thing of growing up with arthritis is we don't know what we are missing and we instantly learn odd ways of doing normal things. However I am about to become a mum and I wonder if any one has any tips on caring for a baby, from nappy changing to moving baby around the house, any useful products available on the normal peoples market that you found useful as arthritic parents? My husband also has arthritis, his is Psoriatic but is more systemic than mine where mine has already been through that phase and then it is onto the wonky joints and surgery phase so there are things I can do he can't and things he can do I can't. Any thoughts on baby caring would be so good, I am excited but very anxious to be honest.
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Date: 20.11.2010
From: kazzie

Subject: Re: Parenting and arthritic

hi congrats on bout to becomein a mum all i can say is help off orther people i have had ra for a year and my son is now 4 so hes brill now but i find silly things like puttin his shoes and socks on diffcult if think of any i will let you know x
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Date: 21.11.2010
From: kylee

Subject: Re: Parenting and arthritic

hi i have arthritis and have been suffering from it for around 9 years now i have a 2 year lod daughter. i found that when you buy new baby cloths ie growsuits or vests with poppers ask a friend or family member to open and close them for you a few times as it losens the popper making them easier to fasten and open also think what clothing you are buying as buttons are very small. i aslo bought a changing table as i found it easier to change my daughters nappy standing than sitting down on floore. i also used to put my baby bath on top of the changing table. make sure you shop rouns for pushchairs and have ago at putting them up and down as some can be real fiddly.if you think you wld struggle carrying your baby you could buy a baby sling this wld take presure from your arms. it is difficult to start with but you will master your own ways hope this can help
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Date: 22.11.2010
From: louloubelle

Subject: Re: Parenting and arthritic

Hi Carrie

Congratulations!!! I have Psoriatic Arthritis (since I was nine and have had both my hips replaced). I had a little boy, Oscar, 9 weeks ago. I am having good days and bad days at the mo but am lucky as my other half does the night feeds and lots of other stuff so I can rest (I'm having chemo for breast cancer too so am usually pretty wiped out).

Ways that I have found to do things...

I have a bean filled cushion to mold under my arm when holding baby to feed etc which helps support the arm so that there's not too much pressure on the shoulder. I always sit with him on the sofa so that I can put him down beside me so that I can stand up without having to hold him at the same time. I have the changing mat on the dining table so that I can sit down to change him. We have a baby bath but Phil (my other half) has to hold him as I find it too awkward. The bath was a gift so I feel obliged to use it but if I had my way I would use a small washing up bowl on the dining table, that way, his feet would rest on the sides so you don't need to worry about him slipping. Also, because yuo keep the water shallow, it's not too heavy to carry - the baby bath ways a ton. I can recommend the pram we got - it is an uppa baby vista and we got it from (tried it out at kiddicare before shopping around for the cheapest deal - it was quite dear). As for carrying him around the house, I've not found that a problem - he was premature and only weighed 5lb 7oz so by the time he put on a bit of weight he was sturdy enough to hold his head up. I tend to cradle him in my arm while holding his outer leg and don't find it too difficult - I just take it steady going down the stairs.

You do find easy ways to adapt - best of luck

Lou x
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