Struggling for motherhood with an intellectual disability: a qualitative study of women's experiences in Sweden
2013 (English)In: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 29, no 6, 698-704 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of childbearing in women with intellectual disabililty (ID).
ten women with ID, who had given birth within seven years, were interviewed twice and data were analysed with content analysis.
the overarching theme was: Struggling for motherhood with an ID. The significance of having an intellectual disability became evident when the women encountered mixed reactions from partners and relatives, who sometimes suggested an induced abortion. The women disclosed their diagnosis if they believed it was beneficial for them. Throughout the process the women also felt anxious and distressed about the custody of the child. Women experienced the pregnancy as a physical and psychological transition. It was mostly a happy and responsible life event, and the women were aware of physical signs in their bodies and contact with the unborn child. Parent education was considered important but not adequately adapted to their needs. The women described the delivery as hard and painful work, sometimes difficult to understand and they had different strategies to handle the pain and strain of labour. The child was welcomed with warmth and curiosity by the women, who cared for and breast fed the child even if the hospital environment could be confusing and continued custody not taken for granted.
women with ID struggle for motherhood and fear losing custody of the child. Professionals need to identify and support these women, who may not always disclose their diagnosis. Since pregnancy, delivery and the transition into motherhood can be difficult to understand, information and support should be better tailored to their needs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 29, no 6, 698-704 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-183017DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2012.06.014ISI: 000318904400020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-183017DiVA: diva2:561703