The purpose of this study was to explore community attitudes to pregnancy among women living with disabilities.
The study design was a mixed-method cross-sectional study involving quantitative face-to-face individual interviews with 400 randomly selected community members in three communities in the Adaklu District of Volta Region in Ghana.
The majority of respondents agreed that pregnant women with disabilities should be kept in particular institutions until delivery to prevent transmission of their disability to fetuses of pregnant women without disabilities. People also believed that pregnant PWDs are incapable of a safe motherhood experience. Regarding the relationship between the perceived cause of disability and the resultant attitudes, respondents were three times more likely to have negative attitudes and perceptions towards pregnant women with disabilities if clients perceived their causes of disabilities to be spiritual compared to the reason is medical.
Our findings indicate that there are generally negative societal attitudes towards pregnant PWDs. The evidence suggests that a degree of prejudice and misconceptions exists towards the pregnancy of women living with disabilities. Generally, there is a public perception that women living with disabilities cannot have a safe motherhood experience and can transfer their disability to an unborn child of another pregnant woman.