Experiences of Women with Disabilities in their Journey through Maternity Services in Ireland
This report uses data from the National Care Experience Programme’s 2020 National Maternity Experience Survey to consider the experiences of women with long-term disabilities, illnesses or conditions in their journey through maternity services in Ireland. The National Care Experience Programme is an initiative by HIQA, the HSE and the Department of Health which captures feedback on people’s health and social care experiences in order to improve the quality of these services in Ireland.
This report fulfils the NDA’s commitment in the National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020 to
“Undertake further research to guide maternity services and supports for women with disabilities during and post pregnancy” (Action 2.20).
It describes the maternity care experiences of 217 women with long-term disabilities, illnesses or conditions in Ireland and compares their experiences to the 2,987 respondents without such disabilities, illnesses or conditions.
This NDA report makes a series of recommendations, including ways in which current or planned initiatives can adequately address the needs of women with disabilities or additional care needs.
Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Motherhood
In November 2007 we commissioned and funded research, in a joint initiative with the National Women’s Council of Ireland, to explore the strengths and weaknesses of publicly funded Irish health services provided to women with disabilities in relation to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.
The research was carried out by a team of researchers from the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College, Dublin. Three reports were produced.
The first report is a review of literature, both national and international, identifying the challenges that women with disabilities face in accessing health services during pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. The report also documents factors, identified in the literature, which facilitate access to these health services for women with disabilities.Read more and download the report
The second report is a review of policy governing maternity service provision for women with disabilities in Ireland and in nine other jurisdictions. The report also contains the findings from a survey conducted with all 19 publicly-funded maternity hospitals/units in Ireland to identify the existence of policies in these facilitiesRead more and download the report
The third report is a detailed exploration of women's views and experiences of the services they received during pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. The report also sets out findings of focus group discussions with service providers and professionals in the field.Read more and download the report