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Autism and pregnancy

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Becky Millar

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Any idea where I might find any information about autistic women and pregnancy? 

I am a midwife trying to develop a service proposal for care planning for women with autism (as part of a masters degree). 

June 07, 2017 - 12:25pm

Hi Becky

Have you read Lana Grant's article on autism and pregnancy? Lana is an autistic woman, mother and trained doula. She's just recently written a book on this topic.

We've also got an interview with her here.

This article by Catriona Stewart also highlights pregnancy as an area of concern for autistic women:

"For example, difficulties in accessing health care for women across the board, but specifically antenatal services. Challenges in the experiences of giving birth and anxieties around post-natal support were all identified."

We'll do a tweet about your discussion post as well, perhaps there is a similar initiative being developed elsewhere that you can learn from.

I hope that's helpful.

Please do let us know how you get on with the proposal. If the service develops then we'd love to share your good practice with others.

All the best,

Chris

 

June 13, 2017 - 9:05pm

Thanks.  I have read Lorna's interview.  There is a massive lack of any sort of research into autism and pregnancy/motherhood.  I'm planning possibly some sort of visual story sort of guide with maybe some sort of staff education video.  It's all in the planning stages at the mo. I'll let you know how it progresses. 

July 06, 2017 - 5:03pm

Hello Becky,

There has been some research on the experience of autistic women and pregnancy.

Afew years ago I looked into it and released under Autism Women Matter that identified three main factors including; clear communication, sensory adjustments and change management.

The Australian Midwife Association released a paper that states, in part, “findings of this case study identified three key issues: communication and service difficulties; sensory stress and parenting challenges …… There is a need for healthcare workers to be aware of, and sensitive, to specific needs of women. This view is supported by Autism Women Matter and Bloch et al”.

There has also been research published in Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing.

Preliminary results from Autism Research Centre's collaboration with Autism Women Matter also looked into pregnancy. Alexa Pohl discussed at IMFAR 2016 that women experience high pre and post natal depression.

Regards,

Monique

July 12, 2017 - 3:41pm

Hi Becky,

I wrote From Here to Maternity as there was absolutely nothing for autistic women about pregnancy and birth. I  am also a trained birth support partner (doula) for autistic women.

Since writing the book I have trained midwives on how to support autistic women during this phase. There is a definite need for research - I have a FB group with 1089 autistic mothers in it and many have discussed similar issues. I've also used quotes from them that they would like midwives to know from an autistic perspective.

Although research is important I'm doing a lot of work to support women and their partners/families on the ground. I'd be happy to talk further if you would like.

my website is: www.lana-grant.co.uk

Thanks Christan for flagging this thread.

Lana