Background: Despite the growing recognition of the right of women with disabilities to become mothers, this right remains significantly under-fulfilled among women with intellectual disabilities (ID). Whereas the voice of mothers with ID has begun being heard in research, most studies still focus on the barriers to motherhood and the difficulties associated with childrearing. Objective: The study aims to understand and describe the subjective experiences of mothers with ID, focusing on positive aspects from empowering and intersectional approaches. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 mothers with ID who live in the community and raise their children. Results: Four themes emerged from the interviews: (1) A dream that came through; (2) Motherhood as an empowering process; (3) The intersection between the disability identity and the motherhood identity; (4) Family involvement as a resource and a challenge. Conclusions: The findings highlight the need to meet the mothers' twofold identity in an empowering way by constructing a more positive disability identity and further cultivating their motherhood identity. They also highlight the important role of the family in supporting mothers with ID. A positive disability identity and family support are needed to increase these women's emotional well-being and overall quality of life.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Israeli Shalem Foundation for the development of services and resources for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the country (grant no. 890-168-2019).
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.
- Intellectual disability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health