Pregnancy is a time of change. Pregnancy can be full of excitement but also comes with an added need for support. It’s natural to need emotional support from a partner, as well as perhaps financial assistance, to help prepare for the baby and more.
If your partner is emotionally or physically abusive toward you, it can make these months of transition especially difficult. Thankfully, there are resources available to help expecting women get the support needed for a safe, healthy pregnancy.
According to the CDC, intimate partner violence affects approximately 1.5 million women each year and affects as many as 324,000 pregnant women each year. Pregnancy can be an especially dangerous time for women in abusive relationships, and abuse can often begin or escalate during the pregnancy.
How can you get help?
If you’re pregnant, there is always a heightened risk during violent situations. If you’re in a home with stairs, try to stay on the first floor. Getting into the fetal position around your stomach if you’re being attacked is another tactic that can be instrumental in staying safe.
Doctor’s visits can be an opportunity to discuss what is going on in your relationship.
If your partner goes to these appointments with you, try to find a moment when they’re out of the room to ask your care provider (or even the front desk receptionist) about coming up with an excuse to talk to them one-on-one.
If you’ve decided to leave your relationship, a health care provider can become an active participant in your plan to leave or give us a call! We will be happy to help you create a plan.
If possible, see if you can take a women-only prenatal class. This could be a comfortable atmosphere for discussing pregnancy concerns or could allow you to speak to the class instructor one-on-one.