Taking time off from work for antenatal appointments
Find out more about rights to time off for antenatal appointments at the GOV.UK page on working when pregnant: your rights
Who can help you advocate for your needs?
Learning disability nurses can assist midwives in making reasonable adjustments so that women with autism are adequately supported during pregnancy.
PALS Patient Advice and Liaison Service at your hospital can offer confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters and liaise with staff on your behalf if needed.
Maternity Voice Partnership (MVP) in your area – MVP’s work with local NHS Trusts to support service users to access and improve local maternity care. Find your local contact: https://nationalmaternityvoices.org.uk/find-an-mvp/
Private Midwife – You can employ a private midwife to support your pregnancy journey.
Private Doula – You can employ a private doula who acts as an advocate and supporter during your pregnancy, birth and in the early days of parenthood. Find a local doula: https://doula.org.uk/about-doulas/ or a doula Supporting Neurodivergent Birth
If you need to ask for further support and advice about your care you can ask to speak with the Community Midwifery Manager, Antenatal Clinic Midwifery Manager, Labour Ward Manager or Postnatal Ward Manager as required.
With thanks to Diane Fox, Midwife, researcher and Neurodevelopmental Practitioner and co-Chair of MARG (Maternity Autism Research Group) – a collective of professionals and researchers who are autistic and working to promote awareness of autism in Maternity Services for providing this material.