Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Pregnancy is Autistic (Episode 59)

Pregnancy is Autistic (Episode 59)

What to expect when you're autistic and expecting
Pregnancy is Autistic. Two autistic adults discuss pregnancy and autism. What to expect when you're autistic and expecting. Autistic people struggle to find autistic-affirming information about their pregnancy. They also struggle to get their needs met within the capitalistic medical system that is frequently ableist and prioritizes profits over people.
A: Well put your mansplaining hat on and you can tell me all about my experiences with pregnancy. M: Absolutely, because that is my job as a cisgender white man to tell you exactly what to do with your body and how.

In this episode of The Autistic Culture Podcast:

Hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria and Matt Lowry, LPP, discuss the challenges that autistic AFAB people face during pregnancy and childbirth.

The biggest struggle with being autistic and pregnant is not realizing that your needs are not being met.

There is very little information and research available on pregnancy and autism. Autistic people have unique needs and heightened sensitivities during pregnancy that often go unrecognized and unaccommodated.

Angela shares about her severe morning sickness throughout pregnancy, her list of safe foods dwindling to just two semi-safe foods, and how she didn’t experience the “woo woo” connection to the fetus that other women described. Instead, she described it feeling like a "football-sized tumor."

She faced criticism from others for not having a "typical" pregnancy experience and was abandoned by her care provider for asking questions like, “Why are you doing this very painful thing?” Many allistics (including doctors) expect autistic people to comfort them by masking even during major physical and hormonal changes.

Our study found that women with ASD face unique challenges during childbirth that differ from those of neurotypical women. Participants often felt belittled, ignored, and uninformed about the care they received and being placed at the center of attention was often seen as negative and hindering rather than positive.

Giving birth in hospitals can be problematic - high rates of medical interventions are pushed to maximize profits. Things like due dates, pitocin drips, epidurals and C-sections often happen by default regardless of the pregnant person’s birth plan. Angela ended up with an epidural that didn't work and an unplanned C-section.

Working with a doula helped Angela feel prepared through detailed explanations of what would happen, why, and when. This helped mitigate anxiety and trauma from medical interventions.

The hosts emphasizes the need for community, story sharing, and trauma-informed care around pregnancy and birth for autistic people. Self-understanding and identity is key in advocating for one's needs.

What was your Autistic experience of being pregnant? Tell us in the comments and use #AutisticCultureCatch to share your answer on your social media and connect with other listeners!

Article: Autism, pregnancy and childbirth

Video: Autistic Pregnancy: How I coped

Article: Autistic and pregnant

Study: Pregnancy in autistic women and social medical considerations

Play script: Birth By Karen Brody

Book: Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin

Book: The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer

More episodes…

Episode 14: Autistic Medical Needs

Episode 20: Sesame Street is Autistic

Episode 56: Lessons in Chemistry is Autistic

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Matt’s socials: Autistic Connections Facebook Group

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Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Welcome to the Autistic Culture Podcast. Each episode we dive deep into Autistic contributions to society and culture by introducing you to some of the world’s most famous and successful Autistics in history!
Whether you are Autistic or just love someone who is, your hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria, the Linguistic Autistic and Licensed Psychological Practitioner, Matt Lowry, welcome you to take this time to be fully immersed in the language, values, traditions, norms, and identity of Autistica!
To learn more about Angela, Matt, and the Autistic Culture Podcast visit