wondering if anyone has any experience of being on the spectrum and pregnant?
my sensory issues have gone absolutely crazy. I’m finding it very difficult to mask and my midwives are being so unhelpful, it’s actually spoiling my pregnancy
any experiences/advice/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
also... how was the birth for anyone? With peoples pain thresholds? I know mine is different to NTs. Can anyone relate?
Hi, I have ASD and I also have 3 children.
I was an absolute hormonal nightmare when I was pregnant and very stroppy! How are you finding the mood swings?
What specific sensory issues are you struggling more with at the moment?
I’m a complete wimp with pain so I didn’t like the giving birth part but luckily all 3 of mine were in a hurry to get out so it was over and done with quite quickly!
Thank you for your reply! :) I’m glad there’s someone else out there that has been through this. The midwives are making me feel like I’ve been beamed down from another planet!
So far they’ve insulted me by saying I don’t look autistic... I was like oh what am I supposed to look like?
Then I’m not as autistic as one of their nephews?
Then tried putting me on anti depressants coz the GAD7 said I was depressed. I had it confirmed from a psychiatrist that a GAD7 won’t work on me as I don’t have an NT brain.
Then they refused my reasonable adjustments.
Oh and why am I not on medication?!
Sensory issues.... lights, sounds, crowds, temperature - everything is so heightened and it’s causing me physical pain.
My pain threshold is very high, unless it comes to my mouth. Then I seem as though I’m a drama queen. Luckily my dentist is very understanding and helps as much as she can. So I’m not sure how labour / birth is going to go for me? I did have the cramps in early pregnancy, but I don’t think I’ve ever really had period pain. Which I’ve never thought of until now... so I’m thinking it could go either way with my pain thresholds.
And my inability to mask right now is driving me insane. It’s causing problems everywhere I go. I think some of it is hormones too and I really am just struggling to be around anyone...
Everyone is thinking I’m rude and obnoxious and abrupt when really my communication and masking ability is being affected by the pain I’m in and everything seems to be falling apart around me.
Oh and then work decide to remove my reasonable adjustments and not tell me. This resulted in me having 6 meltdowns in one day, then work tell me not to worry I can have as a sick day! This was 4 days ago. I still haven’t returned to baseline state and now my balance and coordination has gone right off too.
No worries! I was only diagnosed at the end of last year so I'd had my children before being diagnosed as autistic. Seriously though, midwives are not autism experts, they have no right to question whether or not you are autistic or make comparisons between your autism and that of their family members!! Why do you need to be on medication? That is down to a doctor and yourself to decide, if you need to be on antidepressants, if you are actually depressed. They can't refuse reasonable adjustments. Do you have the autism hospital passport?
It was sense of smell that went through the roof for me when I was pregnant, but this is true for most pregnant women. I didn't get the other sensory stuff so much I was just really stroppy! When I'm pregnant is about the only time that my husband has the sense not to argue back because he knows that it won't end well!
If you have a high pain threshold then hopefully you won't find labour and birth too bad. Hopefully it's not too drawn out.
Why have work removed your reasonable adjustments? Surely that is prejudiced on two accounts and surely they're not actually allowed to do that?!
Hi. I had my son 15 years ago and was only diagnosed last year, so I had no idea that I was autistic when I was pregnant. I found in the first trimester my anxiety was really bad and my senses were all heightened but I think NTs experience this aswell. I would recommend using any relaxation techniques you have to try to stay as calm as possible, that seemed to help me. Most of those symptoms improved as the pregnancy progressed aswell.
Thankfully for me the labour was quite quick and I gave birth having only had 2 paracetamol. I was willing to have any painkillers they offered but because the birth was quick there wasn't enough time.
My general advice would be to take it as easy as you can and look after yourself. I'm sorry you are having difficulties with the midwives, I hope this improves for you.
I'm 23 weeks pregnant and am autistic. I don't mask as my personal stance is overall I've found it to be a very unhelpful coping mechanism. Plus, I believe hiding natural autistic ways does more harm than good in regards to inclusion and raising awareness. I've contacted my local birthing centre about being autistic and am having a private appt to visit the birth sanctuary where others normally go in groups. I'm also attending all of the relevant training to be able to use the birthing pool and aromatherapy oils to support my sensory needs. If you're having difficulty communicating effectively could you write a letter to give to your midwife outlining your concerns, why these are and what support you feel would be helpful?
The hardest thing for me has been the change in routine, especially as I've had to give up running and am now awake every day at 4 instead of 5.30. When I think about having a small person wriggling around inside of me, rather than feeling blessed that I'm getting to nurture a life, I feel anxious and uncomfortable about having another human inside of me.