Learning disability and pregnancy- Easy Read

We chatted to nine women with learning disability about their pregnancy and giving birth.  

Some women lived with their partners and children. One woman lived with her mother and her son. 

Other women signed off their babies to their families. Children of some women were taken into care. Some women did not mind being contacted by social services.  Some women did not like being contacted by the social services.
Some women with learning disability said that midwives treated them different from other women because of their disability.

One woman said “a lot of people within midwives and health visitors, they just look at you and they make assumptions”.

Some women said the midwives were kind and supportive.  Jennifer said that her midwife was “really nice and supportive” when she was pregnant.

“I presumed going to like a different hospital for being pregnant” would be the same.

Some women said they did not have enough information during their pregnancy. Some women said they did not have choices.  Jennifer said “we just felt like we were invisible really, you know, no need for us to even be there because they’d already made the decision [to have a caesarian]”.
Some women said midwives were very supportive. Amanda said the Team Around the Family was very helpful. Amanda said the easy read information was very good.
Some women said that midwives and doctors were worried if the women with learning disability were able to look after their babies. Some woman said it was upsetting to see midwives watching you all the time.
Some women said they are not happy when midwives talked to them about safeguarding. One woman had to sign her son to her mother in law. A daughter of another woman was taking from her to live with the Dad. Jennifer said” technically hadn’t had the experience to be a mum yet’.
One pregnant woman said her midwife gave her a Real Care Baby to look after for three days. Some women said the family and friends supports were very useful.  A woman asked her friend to help her with understanding some information. Another woman asked her sister to help her with understanding some information.
Some women with learning disability said the midwives helped them to care for their babies.

Some women said that midwives need more training to help women with learning disability.

Added to the site May 2017.


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