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A qualitative exploration of autistic mothers' experiences I: Pregnancy experiences.

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Man, Joyce 
Baron-Cohen, Simon 


Little is known about how autistic people experience pregnancy. We interviewed 24 autistic and 21 non-autistic women during pregnancy to find out about their experiences. Autistic participants had more physical difficulties, such as nausea and pain, during pregnancy than non-autistic participants. They also sometimes felt that healthcare professionals, such as midwives, did not have a good understanding of autism and they did not always feel comfortable telling professionals about their autism diagnosis. Autistic participants told us that they needed professionals to communicate with them clearly and to make changes during appointments such as dimming lights. This research shows that autistic people would benefit from changes to pregnancy appointments and that more training about autism would help maternity care professionals to support autistic people during pregnancy.


Peer reviewed: True

Funder: Medical Research Council; FundRef:

Funder: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East of England at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Funder: Autism Research Trust

Funder: Sackler Trust; FundRef:

Funder: NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre; FundRef:

Funder: Autistica; FundRef:

Funder: Pinsent Darwin Fund


autism, healthcare, maternity, motherhood, parenting, pregnancy, sensory processing, Pregnancy, Humans, Female, Autistic Disorder, Maternal Health Services, Mothers, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotions

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SAGE Publications
Wellcome Trust (214322/Z/18/Z)