Understanding disabled women’s experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.


Working with the human rights charity, Birthrights, this project aims to increase our understanding of disabled women’s experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.

The project builds on Birthrights 2013 Dignity in Childbirth Survey, which identified that women in the UK may not all receive the most dignified and respectful care. It was evident that the small number of women who identified themselves as disabled appeared to have less choice and control over their experience, including less information and reduced choice in pain relief. The survey concluded that further research is required particularly around the experience of disabled women throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the first few postnatal weeks (the pregnancy continuum). This project aims to explore these issues.


Online survey – self selecting women living in the UK or Ireland who identify themselves as having a physical or sensory impairment, and have given birth in the last three years.

Telephone interviews to gather in-depth information about women’s experiences of childbirth.




BU researchers

Jenny Hall

Jilly Ireland

Vanora Hundley



Bethan Collins, University of Liverpool