New Study on the Care for Pregnant Women with an Intellectual Disability: Participants Needed

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Participants needed for new study to identify the specific types of care pregnant women with an intellectual disability (ID) receive whilst pregnant and after they give birth.

Mother and Baby

Women with intellectual disability and their partners experience the same joys and concerns about pregnancy, birth and parenting as any other parents-to-be. But they have added difficulties in their lives, which makes providing maternity care more complex.

Women with intellectual disability are more likely than other groups of women to have their baby removed from their care, either after birth or during the first early years. Whilst other vulnerable groups of birthing women such as those using drugs and alcohol and Indigenous women have specific programs and services put in place to assist them and to prevent them losing care of their child, there are currently few specific services in Australia to assist women with intellectual disability.

Namira Williams, a Doctoral candidate and lecturer for the School of Nursing and Midwifery, and supported by a team of researchers from the School of Humanities and the School of Nursing and Midwifery, wants to explore the experiences of women with ID, their carers and service providers as women with ID interact with the maternity system.

Researchers are looking for:

  • Pregnant women with ID who are over 18, have an intellectual disability, have no great medical problems in pregnancy (or at least when they start participating in the study) and are able to give consent to participate. They will participate in 2 interviews during pregnancy and one at 6-8 weeks postnatal at venue of choice if living in Newcastle, or if they had a baby within the last six months, would require one single interview that will go for approxiately one hour.
  • The main carers for pregnant women with ID to participate in the same interviews or separately if desired.
  • Service providers from government organisations outside of the health department and non-government organisations who may have or could be involved in the care of women with ID during pregnancy, and can elect to either be in a small focus group or individual interview.

All participants will have access to the results once the study is complete.

For more information about the study and to participate, please contact Doctoral Candidate:

Namira Williams on 0401 411 090 or Further information will also be posted on the study's Facebook page.

*This project has been approved by the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee, Approval No. H-14/09/10/4.05. Should you have concerns about your rights as a participant in this research, or you have a complaint about the manner in which the research is conducted, it may be given to the researcher, or, if an independent person is preferred, to the Human Research Ethics Officer, Research Office, The Chancellery, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia, telephone (02) 49216333, email

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