Originally Published In
International Journal of Childbirth Education
Millions of pregnant women are abused each year around the world. Interpersonal violence (IPV) affects physical and mental health, both short and long term. It is associated with alcohol and drug abuse, eating and sleep disorders, physical inactivity, poor self-esteem, posttraumatic stress disorder, self-harm, unsafe sexual practices, suicide, and homicide. IPV has also been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth, low birthweight, and being small for gestational age. This article provides background information on pregnancy and IPV, as well as, screening questions that may be used to support clients, and offers resources for childbirth professionals.