This webinar organised by the SMF explored the important topic of neurodiversity from a range of perspectives in maternity care. The webinar addresses upcoming work on the subject by the RCM, what is like to be a student with neurodiversity and discusses how services can be improved to meet the needs of women and birthing people.



Alexis Quinn's maternity passport

AXX passport

Neurodivergent birth

Supporting diagnosed and undiagnosed neurodivergent women and birthing people webinar 

The Neurodivergent Birth podcast 



Annie Cowen, midwife

Annie qualified in 2013 and spent the next 6 years in high risk antenatal care.  She left the NHS in 2019 following a prolonged period of poor mental health.  Annie then worked in a fertility clinic until October 2023 which gave her the time and space to recover whilst maintaining her NMC registration.  It was at this time, at the age of 52 Annie was diagnosed with ADHD.  She has since returned to the NHS with a completely new understanding of herself and is keen to support others with ADHD in the workplace and to help educate her colleagues about the condition.  

Ruby Handley-Stone, professional advisor, education, The Royal College of Midwives

Ruby trained as a midwife in Birmingham and, after qualifying began a career in academia alongside her role as a midwife, progressing to become a midwifery lecturer and deputy course lead at Birmingham City University. Within her teaching career Ruby's area of expertise included supporting vulnerable women, birthing people and families, the Newborn Infant Physical Examination and the role of the professional midwifery advocate. Key aspects of her current role are the development of i-learn modules and educational resources, a recent output being a ‘Student Essentials’ resource and a neurodivergence acceptance toolkit for midwifery educators. Ruby also has a keen interest in challenging inequalities in childbearing families, having led on related modules during her teaching career, and current work in this area includes widening understanding surrounding surrogacy pathways to parenthood in maternity services.    Ruby continues to maintain her clinical work on delivery suite at her local Trust, passionate about supporting student midwives and the importance of midwives maintaining a dual clinical and educational role, which is the focus of recent research undertaken for her Master’s in professional practice.

Kayty Richards, student midwife/ SMF representative, University of Derby

Kayty is a second year student midwife, with a passion for kindness, peer support and advocating for positive experiences. Kayty established and led the MidSoc at the University of Derby for two years, as President and is an alumni of the 2022 Council of Deans #150Leaders programme. In 2022, Kayty won the SNTA award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs for her work with the MidSoc, improving student experience and her partnership with the university team to enhance the new degree programme. In 2023 she was awarded an Iolanthe Midwifery Trust award to provide additional training for all midwifery students at the university; and received a Union Honours award from Derby Union. Kayty is the Midlands representative for the RCM Student Midwife Forum. Kayty is keen to help fellow students find their own voice and support them to navigate the student journey and beyond.

Victoria White, founder and director, Neurodivergent Birth

Victoria is a birth and postnatal doula who supports families through pregnancy, birth and beyond. She offers support both in person in Aberdeen, Scotland, and online anywhere in the world. She is also a trained traumatic birth recovery 3 step rewind practitioner, and perinatal emotional health and wellbeing practitioner. She is the mum of two girls, one of whom is autistic, and is passionate about improving support for neurodivergent people perinatally. Following her daughter’s diagnosis, Victoria read everything she could get her hands on about neurodiversity, and began to see how many aspects of pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period could be challenging and experienced differently by neurodivergent people. She launched an Instagram page and ‘The Neurodivergent Birth Podcast’ to facilitate the conversation. The response that this was a much-needed space within the birth world was overwhelmingly positive, and she began to have many wonderful and informative conversations with neurodivergent people, healthcare professionals and researchers via the podcast. This then led to the development of a competency workshop for birthworkers; ‘Supporting Neurodivergent Birth’, which she facilitates online several times a year.