Making effective reasonable adjustments for women with learning disabilities during pregnancy
evidence and practice    

Making effective reasonable adjustments for women with learning disabilities during pregnancy

Lynsey Daniels Preceptee learning disability nurse, Nursing and Midwifery, University of the West of England Bristol, Bristol, England
Emma Douglass Senior lecturer, University of the West of England Bristol, Bristol, England

Why you should read this article
  • To enhance your awareness of the barriers that pregnant women with learning disabilities may experience in accessing maternity care

  • To identify reasonable adjustments that can be made to improve the care of pregnant women with learning disabilities

  • To learn about a service improvement initiative designed to raise healthcare professionals’ awareness of the needs of women with learning disabilities during pregnancy

An increasing number of women with learning disabilities are forming relationships and having children. These women are likely to have additional needs during pregnancy and to experience barriers in their access to maternity services.

This article details a literature review on maternity care for women with learning disabilities during pregnancy and explains how the findings were used to inform the planning of a service improvement initiative. The literature review identified that this patient population is inconsistently and ineffectively supported by maternity services. Based on these findings, a service improvement initiative was designed to raise awareness of the needs of women with learning disabilities during pregnancy among healthcare professionals working in maternity services in Devon, England. It was decided that a one-day conference be held for up to 120 delegates in the summer of 2021. Its outcomes will be used to advance the service improvement initiative, create learning disability champions and provide practical suggestions on how reasonable adjustments can be made for women with learning disabilities during pregnancy.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2021.e2132

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@daniels_lynsey

Correspondence

lynsey.daniels@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Daniels L, Douglass E (2021) Making effective reasonable adjustments for women with learning disabilities during pregnancy. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2021.e2132

Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Liz Collins and Julia Burston, specialist midwives at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, for their enthusiasm, support and encouragement for this work

Published online: 09 March 2021

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