Abuse During Pregnancy
Almost 1 in 6 pregnant women have been abused by a partner.
40% of physical abuse begins during a woman’s first pregnancy in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Domestic violence during pregnancy endangers both the pregnant woman and her unborn child. It increases the risk of:
- premature birth
- low birth weight
- fetal injury
A woman who is experiencing domestic abuse may have particular difficulties using prenatal care services:
- the perpetrator of the abuse may try to prevent her from attending appointments
- the woman may be afraid that disclosure of the abuse will worsen her situation
- the woman may feel ashamed or guilty about being abused and worried about the reaction of the healthcare professional.
What can trigger abuse during pregnancy?
For many families, pregnancy can bring about feelings of stress, which is normal. But it's not okay for your partner to react violently to stress. Some partners become abusive during pregnancy because they feel:
- Upset because this was an unplanned pregnancy
- Stressed at the thought of financially supporting a first baby or another baby
- Jealous that your attention may shift from your partner to your new baby, or to a new relationship
How do you know if you’re in an abusive relationship?
It's common for couples to argue now and then. But violence and emotional abuse are different from the minor conflicts that couples have.
- Does my partner always put me down and make me feel bad about myself?
- Has my partner caused harm or pain to my body?
- Does my partner threaten me, the baby, my other children or himself?
- Does my partner blame me for his actions? Does he tell me it's my own fault he hit me?
- Is my partner becoming more violent as time goes on?
- Has my partner promised never to hurt me again, but still does?
If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.
What can you do?
Recognize that you are in an abusive relationship. Once you realize this, you've made the first step towards help. There are lots of things you can do.
Tell someone you trust. This can be a friend, a clergy member, a health care provider or counsellor.
Call Tearmann at 902-752-0132 or 1-888-831-0330, We can help.