More disabled women are becoming mothers, and yet, their care is rarely the focus of quantitative research. This study aimed to investigate access and quality of maternity care for women with differing disabilities | BMJ Open
Results: Overall, 20‰094 women completed and returned the survey; 1958 women (9.5%) self-identified as having a disability. The findings indicate some gaps in maternity care provision for these women relating to interpersonal aspects of care: communication, feeling listened to and supported, involvement in decision making, having a trusted and respected relationship with clinical staff. Women from all disability groups wanted more postnatal contacts and help with infant feeding.
Conclusion: While access to care was generally satisfactory for disabled women, women’s emotional well-being and support during pregnancy and beyond is an area that is in need of improvement. Specific areas identified included disseminating information effectively, ensuring appropriate communication and understanding, and supporting womens sense of control to build trusting relationships with healthcare providers.
Full reference: Malouf, R. et al. (2017) Access and quality of maternity care for disabled women during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period in England: data from a national survey. BMJ Open. 7:e016757