A National Profile of Deliveries by Women with Intellectual Disabilities in the US: Maternal Characteristics and Pregnancy Outcomes

UMMS Affiliation

Commonwealth Medicine, Center for Health Policy and Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Epidemiology | Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health


Presentation of study that found women with with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) had longer hospital stays and were less likely to have Caesarean section deliveries in contrast to women without these conditions. Rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes were elevated among the women with IDD, across a range of measures. Women with IDD were more likely to have early labor, preterm birth, pre-eclampsia and other hypertensive conditions, and late fetal death or stillbirth. There were no differences between the two groups of women in maternal death rates, which is relatively rarer in the US.

Women comprise fewer than 1% of deliveries in the United States, but they and their infants are at significantly elevated risk of adverse outcomes. The public health costs of these outcomes are likely to be substantial. Further research is needed to understand the determinants of these adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, pending further evidence, health care providers are advised that their patients with IDD are at elevated risk of serious pregnancy complications. Intervention to improve these outcomes are needed.


pregnancy outcomes, women with intellectual disabilities

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International Conference on Health and Medical Sciences


Presented at the 2nd Annual International Conference on Health and Medical Sciences, 5-8 May 2014, Athens, Greece.

Presentation summary is on pages 55-56 of conference abstract book.