Autistic Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond

We are supporting Autistic pregnancy, birth and beyond

We are supporting Autistic pregnancy, birth and beyond

Autistic pregnancy, birth and beyond: your questions answered - watch the videos

The Challenge

There is currently very little research about the experiences of Autistic people during pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period. There is also limited understanding of Autistic needs during the maternity period amongst healthcare professionals. These needs include increased sensory sensitivities, differing communication styles, and differences with interoception.

“Autistic Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond: Your Questions Answered”, is a video-based project seeking to spread information and awareness regarding Autistic experiences of maternity.

The content was all designed and created by Autistic people, including maternity professionals and parents’ experiences. It seeks to answer questions – including those people didn’t know they had - for Autistic parents and those who support them. We hope that the resources give Autistic parents the knowledge they need, for example to help make informed decisions, but also to give them a sense that they are not alone in their experiences.

The Method

There are 15 topic areas covered in the four key playlists, which you can access in the blue box at the top of the page. Any additional resources mentioned within the videos are signposted within the video descriptions on YouTube. Content and trigger warnings are also given in the video descriptions where relevant. 

This project was a collaboration between Swansea University, Autistic Parents UK (APUK), Autistic UK and was funded by the Research Wales Innovation Fund (part of the Higher Education Funding Council Wales). Dr Aimee Grant collaborated with Autistic UK and Autistic Parents UK to ask what questions Autistic parents had during pregnancy. During 2022, meetings with collaborating organisations were held to discuss important topics to cover, which professionals should cover these topics and the key points to be covered within each video.

Videos were recorded by Autistic parents and Autistic professionals and collated by Swansea University researchers. The videos were then edited, subtitled and uploaded to the project’s YouTube channel in playlists.


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The Impact

In total, 114 videos were made available on YouTube, ranging in length from two minutes to over ten minutes covering topics including: appointments, communicating with family, peers and others, experiencing pain and changing bodies, birth environments, burnout and chest-feeding. Around half are from Autistic maternity professionals, from the Maternity and Autism Research Group (MARG) and Autistic Doctors International as well as from APUK. Professionals who contributed include midwives, antenatal teachers, an anesthetist, a maternity support worker, a lactation consultant and a social worker. Although the professionals were all UK-based, much of the advice will be relevant to international audiences.

All content is available in English, with English subtitles, on our YouTube channel: @AutismMenstruationToMenopause

Videos are also available with Welsh subtitles on our Welsh YouTube channel: @AwtistiaethM2M

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being
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Health Innovation