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Research

On this page, we share research where the findings could help to understand Autistic experiences of maternity.  Some papers are written by MARG members, but much of the research is not affiliated with MARG.  Not all research was conducted in a fully neurodiversity-affirming way.  Alongside each paper, we have provided a short summary regarding the inclusion of Autistic people in shaping the research, the useful of harmful language about Autism, and the funder of the research. 

Research is vetted and added to this page by our voluntary research professionals- the content order reflects this i.e. is not a single systematic project.

NB: researchers of papers featured on this page are encouraged to submit a lay summary to MARG in our ongoing effort to improve accessibility and research reach.

Touch

This research was funded by an organisation not associated with harmful autism research. The first researcher is Autistic. 

Autistic people had a small role in the study. A mixture of identity first and person first language is used. 

This paper excludes self-identifying Autistic people. 

This paper does not use functioning labels, which is best practice.

Children's Storybooks
Breastfeeding

The first researcher is Autistic.   Identity first language is used in this paper, per Autistic community preference. 

Autistic people were not involved as research partners (however this was clearly stated as a limitation of the project). 

This research was unfunded. This paper includes self-identifying Autistic people.

Autistic women’s views and experiences of infant feeding: A systematic review of qualitative evidence (sagepub.com)
Aimee Grant, Sara Jones, Kathryn Williams , Jennifer Leigh and Amy Brown (2022)

 

This research was funded by an organisation not associated with harmful autism research. The first researcher is Autistic. Autistic people were involved in the creation of this project. Identity first language is used in this paper, per Autistic community preference.  This paper includes self-identifying Autistic people. This paper does not use functioning labels, which is best practice.

Birthing Room
Motherhood

'Childbirth Experiences of Women With Autism Spectrum Disorder in an Acute Care Setting', 
Jane Donovan (2020)

It is unclear if the first researcher is Autistic.

Autistic people were not involved as research partners.
Person first language is used in this paper, this does not match Autistic community preferences. 
This paper excludes self-identifying Autistic people

 This research was funded by an organisation not associated with harmful autism research.
This paper does not use functioning labels, which is best practice.

A qualitative exploration of autistic mothers' experiences II: Childbirth and postnatal experiences

Sarah Hampton, Joyce ManCarrie AllisonEzra AydinSimon Baron-CohenRosemary Holt (2021).
 

The first researcher is Autistic. Identity first language is used in this paper, per Autistic community preference. This paper does not use functioning labels, which is best practice. This research was funded by an organisation not associated with harmful autism research.

Autistic people had a small role in the study.

This paper excludes self-identifying Autistic people.

Pregnant

Perinatal issues for women with high functioning autism spectrum disorder

Cath RogersLaurence LepherdRahul GangulySebastian Jacob-Rogers (2017).

It is unclear if the first researcher is Autistic

A mixture of identity first and person first language is used. (NB: per participant preference).

This paper uses functioning labels, which are outdated and harmful.

It is unclear if Autistic people were involved as research partners.

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