Thursday 12 May 2022

Supporting an autism mum through pregnancy

Being a parent to my autistic and neurotypical kids is definitely the best and hardest thing I have ever done.  They are amazing little people - except for Anthony of course as he's now an amazing tall person since he became a teenager!  I was pregnant with our second son, David, when we were sat in the Paedatrician's office and autism was first mentioned by the professionals.  The Paediatrician said that it was possible that autism was genetic but they don't really know.  

David's autistic traits displayed so differently to his brothers that we didn't notice them until you've guessed it, I was sat in the same office, pregnant again and hearing that my second son was diagnosed with autism too.  We decided three was enough for us.

That was nine years ago and now there is a lot of evidence that if you have one child with autism you are more likely to have more autistic children than someone who already has neurotypical kids.  Several studies have even identified autism related genes.  

Being pregnant comes with lots of emotions and changes and I'd say that being pregnant whilst having autistic kids definitely had additional challenges.  So if this was one of my friends, here's how I might go about supporting them.

1) First and foremost, listen to your friend

She may want to talk about her pregnancy, or she may not. If she does want to talk, be a good listener. Don't judge or offer unsolicited advice. Just let her know that you're there for her and that you support her.

If she doesn't want to talk about her pregnancy, that's OK too. Just be supportive in whatever way she needs. Whether it's just being there for moral support or actually helping out with things like caring for siblings or picking up pints of heart burn relief, it's about knowing someone is there. 

2) Celebrate alongside her

Your friend is probably feeling a range of emotions that could both good and bad. It's important to celebrate the good moments with her. Whether it's hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time or finding out the sex of the baby, these are all special moments that should be celebrated - you can even give her some Newborn Baby Gifts to lift her spirits on days when she’s feeling tired and run-down too. 

3) Share her concerns

At the same time, don't forget about the not-so-good moments. Pregnancy can be tough, and your friend may need a shoulder to cry on from time to time. She may be worried about how to help her autistic children to adapt to a new baby or how she'll get enough sleep with their current routines as many autistic children have sleep difficulties. Just be there for her and let her know that you understand what she's going through.

You might also want to check in on your friend from time to time to see how she's doing. Pregnancy can be a lonely time, so just let her know that you're thinking of her and that you're there for her if she needs anything.  If her children have therapies to go to this could feel overwhelming on top of everything else. If she feels she needs more support, help her contact someone to get that help.

I was fortunate to have a great supportive family and network during my pregnancies and it made a real difference to how I felt on day to day basis. If you've got any ideas, feel free to share them here. 


  1. very well done for saying DONT JUDGE US..People do ..there views/judgements very SNOTTY NOSED ,.,my blog.http;// twitter.supersnopper Linkedin.AutismDad MARK

  2. These are all great ways to support a mum with autistic children through pregnancy. Definitely being there and listening without judgement is so important. Thank you for sharing these important tips over on the #DreamTeam xx

  3. Having good support is so essential when you are pregnant as well as for those dealing with an autism diagnosis so even more so when both at once! Thanks for linking up with #DreamTeam


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