Mercerat, C. et Saïas, T. (2020). Parents with physical disabilities and perinatal services : defining parents’ needs and their access to services. Disability & Society. 1: 1261-1284.
Parents with physical disabilities face challenges in their relationships with perinatal and early childhood services. This paper aims to better understand the experiences and needs of parents with physical disabilities regarding perinatal and early childhood services in the public healthcare system in Quebec, Canada. We also describe how adequately current services meet the needs of these individuals. Thirteen interviews were conducted with ten mothers and three fathers with physical disabilities. Results indicate challenges in various phases of the parental experience: the decision to have a child and conception; pregnancy follow-up; delivery; postnatal care and parental practices. The main issues reported by participants involved access to information and professionals’ attitudes. Participants also emphasized the importance of keeping control over the parenting process. As there is a growing interest in the questions surrounding parents with disabilities in Quebec, this study can provide useful insights for community organizations and political stakeholders.