Prenatal education for mothers with disabilities

Author: Blackford, K.A.;Richardson, H.;Grieve, S.
Year: 2000
Reference Type: Journal Article
Journal/Book Title: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume: 32
Issue: 4
Pages: 898-904
Abstract: Prenatal nurse educators are well prepared to meet the learning needs of many expectant mothers. But how prepared are they to meet the learning needs of mothers with disabilities? To answer this question, eight mothers with variuos chronic illnesses located in north-eastern Ontario, Canada were asked to describe their maternity experiences. Given the small convenience sample and exploratory nature of the study, a qualitative content analysis was done. The mothers' reports described interaction with a variety of health professionals. This analysis focuses on findings specific to nurses who provide prenatal education. In general, mothers reported they had received insufficient, inappropriate information, especially about their pregnancy and chronic illnesses. The mothers thought that nurses doubted the ability of women with disabilities to be decision-makers or responsible and 'proper' mothers. Suggestions by disabled mothers for quality care in prenatal education are described. A more emancipatory approach to preparing nurses for practice as prenatal educators is recommended. Such an approach can reduce the barriers associated with power differences between wormen with disabilities as 'learners' and their nurse 'teachers'.

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