Pregnancy, Childbirth and Midwifery Care among Women with Intellectual Disability in Sweden: Epidemiological and Descriptive Studies
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate pregnancy and childbirth in women with intellectual disability (ID), in Sweden, the health of their newborns and midwifery care for these women. Two register studies and two descriptive studies are included. Pregnancy and birth outcomes as well as data on the newborns’ health were examined by linking data from the National Patient Register and the Medical Birth Register (I-II). The women’s experience of pregnancy and delivery was investigated with repeated interviews (III). Midwives’ knowledge of, experience of and attitudes towards pregnancy and childbirth in women with ID were evaluated with questionnaires (IV). Mothers with ID were more often teenagers, smoked more during pregnancy and had more Caesarean Sections. Their children had a higher proportion of pre-term births, were small-for-gestational-age, stillborn or died in the perinatal period. The women with ID struggled to attain motherhood and feared to lose custody of the child. The pregnancy was seen as a happy event, even though relatives did not always approve. Parent education was considered important, but not adequately adapted to their needs. The birth process was overwhelming and difficult to understand, but the child was welcomed with warm feelings, and breastfeeding was natural. Midwives stated it was different to care for women with ID and requested additional knowledge. The majority of midwives affirmed that women with ID could not manage the mother role satisfactorily, and one-third expressed that women with ID should refrain from having children. A majority of the midwives considered that the children should grow up with the parents with support from family and society, but one out of five stated that the children should grow up in foster care.
Conclusion: Women with ID and their children should be considered as risk groups in pregnancy and childbirth. Professionals in maternity services need to elucidate their knowledge and skills for counselling and supporting this particular group of pregnant women in pre-, intra- and post-partum care.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. , 61 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 832
pregnancy, delivery, women, intellectual disability, newborn health, experience, knowledge, attitudes, education
Research subject Obstetrics and Gynaecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-183388ISBN: 978-91-554-8515-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-183388DiVA: diva2:562564
2012-12-07, Auditorium Minus, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (Swedish)
Sydsjö, Gunilla, Professor
Larsson, Margareta, Associate ProfessorLindgren, Peter, PhD
List of papers