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Women with a disability experience particular disadvantage especially in relation to reproductive health and parenting. Research has shown that many health professionals know little about providing childbearing care or information to this consumer group. It is further magnified by a lack of specific maternity resources for women with disability, especially in Australia.

Evidence-based research is limited in this area, particularly in relation to the provision of pregnancy or birthing care for women with a disability. This section of the website contains information and articles to assist health professionals supporting and providing care for women with disabilities during pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period. Each article is presented in blog format with links to further resources and information specific to each topic.

Disabled Father play with his little son and daughter

Mind the (disability) gender gap

‘You can’t be, what you can’t see’ – the words of 2022 Australian of the year Dylan Alcott are so important, as we approach Fathers day this month in Australia.
We increasingly hear stories and see images of mothers with a disability in our media, but fathers with disabilities are often invisible. Why is this important? Read on to find out more.

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Mother with brown hair and glasses, seated and holding baby on pillow and bottlefeeding

Breastfeeding with a disability

Whether you are a first time mum or a third, everyone has an opinion about how to feed your child. Deaire, brand ambassador for disAbility Maternity Care talks about the challenges of breastfeeding with a disability.

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Mother standing beside hospital bed in labour, using the gas. Midwife is standing beside her helping her.

Is midwifery care ‘ableist’?

Caring for women during birth can be challenging – especially if the mother has a disability. Here, Amanda reflects on being ableist as a midwife, caring for Jane with a hearing impairment. She offers A-Z tips on providing care that is not ableist.

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Photos for getting baby ready-1

Getting Baby-Ready as a Mum with a Physical Disability

“There were many people that doubted I could be a mum without someone else to do the physical things for me.”

Deaire, our brand ambassador speaks about getting baby-ready when you have a physical disability. She urges mothers with a disability to listen to their bodies, and consider how you might do things as you prepare for managing a newborn at home.

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Deaires 2nd pregnancy2

Becoming pregnant with cerebral palsy

“That first pregnancy test is nerve-wracking for everyone, so many thoughts pass through your head as you wait for a result”, For Deaire, who has cerebral palsy, becoming pregnant was not only a surprise, but added a whole new layer to managing life with a disability.

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Women with disability experiencing Domestic and Family Violence

Women with disability experiencing Domestic and Family Violence

In Australia, one in four women experience domestic or family violence at some time. For women with a disability, this increases with 50% of these women experiencing such trauma.

For women with intellectual disability, the rate increases higher, and often contributes to justification for removal of their babies from their care.

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Health Professionals

Australian College of Midwives
www.midwives.org.au/vendor-directory

Centre of Perinatal Excellence
www.cope.org.au

Change
www.changepeople.org

Disability Advocacy
www.da.org.au

Family Planning Association NSW (Factsheets for people with disability)
www.fpnsw.org.au/factsheets/individuals/disability

National Disability Insurance Scheme
www.ndis.gov.au/index.html

National Disability Services
www.nds.org.au

NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation
www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au/resources/intellectual-disability/id-essentials/home

NSW Family & Community Services
www.facs.nsw.gov.au

People with Disability Australia
www.pwd.org.au

Women with Disabilities Australia
wwda.org.au/issues/motherhd