About Namira

DisAbilityMaternityCare has been established to provide women with disability and service providers information to assist in supporting them to become mothers. It is established on the premise that all women have the right to establish relationships, have consensual sex, and become mothers should they so choose.

Namira brings to this organisation both her personal and professional experience. As a mother to a daughter with a learning disability, and another family member with an acquired learning disability, both of whom have had a baby, she has personal experience intheir transition to motherhood.

Namira’s professional experience as a midwife and nurse spans over 30 years, working in a range of midwifery models of care. Her career has been based on social justice, working to improve healthcare for mothers and babies in disadvantaged groups. These include young women, and Indigenous women. She has also established projects which particularly focus on community development in women’s health for Indigenous women and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Namira currently also lectures in midwifery at the University of Newcastle.

In 2013, Namira was awarded by her peers the ‘NSW Midwife of the Year’ (Australian College of Midwives, NSW Branch) for her midwifery work. She has received other awards for presentations on her current doctoral research. This study focuses on maternity care for women with intellectual disability, which has been presented at several conferences. The need and importance of the disAbilityMaternityCare website has developed through her research and experience of caring for women with disability.

This website aims to provide both women with disability, their families or carers, and health/service providers a resource to understand the needs of this group of mothers, and information on providing care for them during their maternity journey.

The orange colour for the website logo has been chosen to reflect the values associated with Harmony Day, which celebrates the diversity of peoples.

“Traditionally, orange signifies social communication and meaningful conversations. It also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect”. (Source- https://www.harmony.gov.au/about/)

Our Primary Goals

Promote the concept of inclusion and the rights of women with disability to have a family;

Promote awareness and knowledge of the needs of women with a disability as they journey through pregnancy, birth and early motherhood.

Provide up-to-date information and links to resources to enable health and service providers meet the need of these women;

Publicity Links

Link to NSW Midwife of the year

Presentation at the PANDDA Conference 2014

Presentation at Australian College of Midwives Conference 2015

Presentation at the NSW Midwives Conference 2016

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Hello and welcome to disAbilityMaternityCare. My name is Namira Williams. As founder of disAbilityMaternityCare, I’d like to take a couple of minutes to explain to you the reasons why I have developed this website, and how it might help you.

As a midwife and mother to a daughter with a learning disability, I became aware of the need to provide relevant information to help each woman, and her family on this journey from pregnancy through to motherhood.

Becoming pregnant can be both an exciting and a scary time for most women. But for women with disabilities, they have additional needs which make this journey to motherhood more challenging.

Many health providers and other care providers are also unsure of what types of information to provide or the types of care needed. This site aims to help provide that for you. I believe that my experiences as a midwife who has cared for women with disabilities, my own personal experiences, and my research into maternity care for women with intellectual disabilities has given me both an insight and also a passion into how best to support women and their families through this journey.

Like other women, women with disabilities have diverse needs and one answer does not fit all. Each woman often knows her own needs best. It is our job as care providers to work together for the best outcomes for mum, baby and family. In our communities, we talk about the importance of inclusion. Inclusion here, means that women have the chance to make their own choices in relation to becoming mothers.

I don’t have all the answers, and so I welcome your feedback and your contributions. It is only through hearing women’s voices that we can change the conversation to enable women with disabilities to become the mothers that they would like to be. Thankyou.