Supporting diagnosed and undiagnosed neurodivergent women and birthing people.
ADHD, Autism and Dyslexia are just a few of the neurodivergent conditions which affect the general population. The healthcare system is becoming more aware of neurodivergent people, there are still inequalities and prejudices experienced by neurodivergent service users – especially women, members of the LGBTQ+ and global majority communities. Women and girls can present ‘non-stereotypically’ leading to a misdiagnosis or no diagnosis at all. It is important that midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives have an awareness of neurodivergent characteristics and how to improve the experience of neurodivergent women and families in their care. Having an increased awareness will help those working in maternity to offer more tailored support to those we care for and better understand our neurodivergent colleagues.
This webinar highlights the need to understand and value neurodiversity in the workplace and how we address the inequalities in health care. You will hear about the birthing experience of a neurodivergent mother and the research being carried out with diagnosed and undiagnosed women.
The Neurodivergent Birth Podcast https://theneurodivergentbirthpodcast.buzzsprout.com/ A podcast exploring neurodivergent experiences of pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period
Autism from menstruation to menopause - YouTube Videos by autistic health professionals for autistic people
Diane Fox Autism Specialist Midwife and Neurodevelopment Practitioner, Vice Chair of MARG
Diane has lived experience of autism. She is a founding member and Vice Chair of MARG, the Maternity Autism Research Group. She has collaborated with the RCM, NHS Trusts, the Perinatal Institute, the National Autistic Society, Baby Lifeline and The Maternity Consortium to improve awareness and understanding of the needs of autistic people in pregnancy and childbirth to address health inequalities. Author of the Royal College of Midwives e-learning training on Autism in Maternity. She has presented at the RCM Education and Research Conference 2022 and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) World Congress 2023. Diane has published in MIDIRS Midwifery Digest and the National Autistic Society exploring Autism in Midwifery Care and Professional Practice. She is a member of NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) Midlands Autism Expert by Experience Focus Group. Diane also works in the Telehealth Sector supporting autism assessments and care planning for autistic children and families. Diane has been invited to speak at The National Maternity Safety Conference in 2023 on how we can make care more accessible for neurodiverse families. dianefox.uk
I am Stacey a newly qualified autistic midwife. I have 2 autistic children as well. My midwifery journey has led me on self discovery that has changed my life for the better and helped find my true self. @MrsStaceyHemes
Hayley Morgan, Researcher and Author
Hayley began writing about the autistic birth experience in 2015. Pregnant with her second child, her formal diagnosis of autism meant she learned about herself and her child on what would be a beautiful journey. Inspired to learn more about her neurotype, Hayley joined MSc Autism and Related Conditions at Swansea University Medical School. While completing this degree, she wrote for online magazines, blogs and more before submitting her MSc dissertation survey on the autistic birth experience. At the start of 2021 Hayley secured a book deal to co-author a book on the topic with JKP publishers and started her PhD on the autistic birth experience. This work is currently focused on specific issues raised from her MSc data i.e. autonomy, consent, capacity and specific barriers. @HayleyMorganAut
Sarah Johnson, Senior Midwifery Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, UCLAN
Sarah combines her rich background in nursing, midwifery, infant feeding, and education; with a deep understanding developed from personal experiences, positioning herself as a strong advocate for inclusive design in education and healthcare settings. Sarah actively role models and champions a transition from awareness to true acceptance for neurodivergent individuals, drawing from both her personal and professional life. Sarah was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2020 and ADHD in 2022; as the mother of an autistic daughter with ADHD, she pairs personal narrative with expertise. Sarah shares insights on ADHD in pregnancy and birth, promoting and empathetic and inclusive approach. @SarahJ_MW