Today’s post highlights Unhindered Steps, an advocacy partner of MICA month. Thank you to all of the volunteers for you tireless efforts to bring awareness to nerve damage from childbirth.
Most women imagine walking into a hospital to give birth and walking out with a newborn. However, few think that they would lose their ability to walk just by the natural act of giving birth. This is an uncommon condition, but it happens and unfortunately most medical providers have not seen it before!
Unhindered Steps was born when a son saw his mom lose her ability to walk after giving birth to his sister in 2005 and suffer from sciatic nerve damage. When he was in high school, the son decided to create an awareness group for this condition, with help from his mom. Hence “Unhindered Steps” was born in 2017! His mom had found a Facebook group by that time called “Moms with Femoral/ Peroneal/ Sciatic Nerve Damage From Labor/ Delivery” where she discovered that most medical providers of the women from the then 700 strong group had not heard of this condition before. Faced with uncertainty, the women found solace in sharing their stories and tips about what worked for them. Most women did not even know the type of nerve damage they had suffered. This Facebook group has now more than doubled its members.
Through its advocacy, Unhindered Steps aims to provide awareness of this debilitating condition for everyone but especially for medical providers. Unhindered Steps has developed a flyer aimed at educating providers with information gleaned from medical articles and showing it to some physicians for their opinions. Unhindered Steps has sent many of these flyers to obstetricians, neurologists and other providers as well as maternity units at hospitals. A lot of moms from the “Moms with Femoral/ Peroneal/ Sciatic Nerve Damage From Labor/ Delivery” have been very happy to show this flyer to their medical providers. Some of them were seeking treatment while others were looking to have another baby and wanted to discuss the potential of re-injury with their physicians. Unhindered Steps has sent hundreds of these flyers within the U.S.and around the globe.
The Unhindered Steps initiative has also developed the “Nerve Damage Fact Sheet”, which points on what to do if you have suffered nerve damage. As many moms try to look for information online as to what kind of injury they might have suffered from, this fact sheet gives them many points to discuss with their medical providers.
Unhindered Steps also advocates for maternal mental health awareness, as such an injury coupled with taking care of a newborn could lead to depression.
The focus of the Unhindered Steps initiative is to present potential points of discussion with one’s medical provider. As always, seek advice from your medical provider.
Unhindered Steps is on Facebook here.