Domestic Violence and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the wondrous time in a woman’s life when she is privileged to nurture new life. She glows with excitement as the weeks pass. The anticipation of meeting her little angel face fills her with joy. Each new kick brings joy and trepidation. There are books to read, support groups to join and a nursery to decorate. “Will I be ready?” “What will labor be like?” “Will he have my nose?” All are normal questions to ponder as her little darling’s arrival draws ever closer. Pregnancy should be a time of peace and safety.

Amidst the plethora of books and websites offering tips and information on what to expect during this precious time, few help a woman understand or handle domestic violence during her pregnancy.

Domestic violence is cited as a pregnancy complication more often than diabetes, hypertension or any other serious complication.[i] One out of six women reported the abuse actually commenced during the pregnancy, according to Centers for Disease Control. In the U.S. more than 300,000 experience some kind of violence from her intimate partner during her pregnancy. As the child’s birth approaches the father feels more stress. This stress leads to frustration. Frustration is directed at his perceived source of stress, the mother and their unborn child.

When women are abused by an intimate partner, they are at a higher risk for stress, depression and substance addictions. The effects of stress are challenging to isolate. They may include the mother’s general loss of interest in her and/or her baby’s well being during pregnancy and after.[ii]  There are long term detrimental psychological consequences for the child. Compound this with the fact the child is very likely to witness and experience domestic violence during his childhood.

[i] “Battering and Pregnancy” Midwifery Today 19: 1998

[ii] “Abuse of Pregnant Women and Adverse Birth Outcome” Journal of the American Medical Association 267: 1992

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Regina is an international voice enlightening and empowering women to rise above limiting beliefs, overcome fear and write their own ending as a Goddess Warrior. Whether speaking or teaching, Regina is sensitive, fun and relate-able as she shows women, they too, can tap into their inner strength, gain confidence, and replace limiting beliefs.


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