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Navigating Pregnancy with a Disability

Image shows a brunette woman, Hilary Brown, smiling into the camera with her arms crossed. In the background is the lobby of a modern building.

I had a very informative conversation with Hilary Brown, a scientist and researcher at the University of Toronto. Her study examines the challenges faced by women with disabilities navigating the pregnancy journey. There is resounding silence when it comes to disabled people and children.  Part of this silence stems from the history of eugenics and sterilization of disabled people. Part of the silence stems from a lack of a public conversation about the unique challenges faced by people with disabilities when navigating the healthcare system, including maternal and infant care services.  

Of course, reality is quite a bit more complicated. Not only do women with disabilities have successful pregnancies and fill fulfilling roles as parents,  but many want an opportunity to talk about their experiences and unique challenges. This study falls into that larger conversation.  

It is one of the first of its kind in Canada. Being a large population level study in Ontario, the findings shine a light into the dark corner of a healthcare system which too often over-looks the experience of people with disabilities.