Original Article

Support for Mothers with Intellectual Disabilities During Their Pregnancy and Infant Parenting: Based on a Questionnaire Survey of Counseling and Support Specialists

Wakae Nobuhara and Masaru Nagawa


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to clarify the situations of support provided by Consultation Support Specialists (“Support Coordinators”) to mothers with intellectual disabilities (“MwID”) during their pregnancy and early infant parenting. Methods: Among the results of a questionnaire survey of Support Coordinators with experience of working with MwID, we examined the responses to the items relating to support to MwID during their pregnancy and early infant parenting, analyzing the data by simple tabulation and qualitative coding (Sato, 2008). Results: Our study revealed that the assistance provided by Support Coordinators evolved and expanded as MwID’s children grew up. The concrete examples of support identified in the study constituted not only consultation support for MwID but also assistance in maintaining their emotional and physical health and safety. The study also identified other types of support, including parenting support, which evolved along with the children’s growth, and support relating to MwID’s family environment and daily difficulties. With regard to parenting support in particular, Support Coordinators’ direct assistance was confirmed. Conclusion: The findings suggested that MwID’s children’s growth modified the families’ needs, prompting the nature of the support to adapt.

Keywords: consultation support specialists, mothers with intellectual disabilities, child-rearing,
parenting support, structure of support, human rights

Japanese Journal of Social Welfare, 62 (5), 1-14 2022