The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between partner physical or emotional abuse during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes including perinatal death, low birthweight and preterm delivery. Women, aged 18-65, who attended one of two large primary care practices from 1997-98 were recruited for this study. Ever pregnant women were asked the frequency of abuse during each pregnancy and details of the pregnancy outcomes. Information regarding abuse during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes was available for 755 women surveyed who reported a live birth or late fetal death, 14.7% indicated that an intimate partner was violent or abusive toward them during a pregnancy (274 of 1862 pregnancies). Abuse during pregnancy was significantly associated with an increased risk of perinatal death (adjusted relative risk [aRR] = 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3, 3.4) and, among live births, with preterm low birthweight (aRR = 2.4; 95% CI 1.5, 4.0) and term low birthweight (aRR = 1.9; 95% CI 1.0, 3.4). Greater abuse frequency was associated with increased risk. Abuse during pregnancy was associated with perinatal deaths and preterm low birthweight deliveries.
"The available reports about maternal and neonatal adverse outcomes due to violence during pregnancy are not conclusive . Some studies have shown positive associations between different forms of abuse and birth outcomes     but others did not   . The effect of violence on pregnancy is thought to be due to either direct (blow to the abdomen) or indirect (psycho-somatic consequences) mechanisms . "
"Thus, a systematic review of thirty studies showed that abused pregnant women are 1.5 times more likely to deliver a low birth-weight baby and almost 1.5 times more likely to have preterm births . Moreover, ablation placenta, uterus rupture, [17,18] foetal trauma [18,19] or foetal death [19-21] have also been reported. The most extreme consequence of violence during pregnancy is femicide (homicide of females) and most likely by a current or former intimate partner . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Domestic violence during pregnancy is a serious public health issue which threatens maternal and foetal health outcomes. The aim of the study was to explore prevalence of domestic violence among pregnant women in southern Sweden (Scania) and to explore associations with background factors, as symptoms of depression and sense of coherence.
This study has a cross-sectional design and is the first part of a longitudinal, cohort study. Inclusion criteria were women ≥ 18 years, registered at antenatal care when pregnant and who understand and write Swedish or English. Questionnaires were collected prospectively at seventeen antenatal care receptions situated in the two cities and six smaller municipalities in Scania. Statistical analyses were done using descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, bivariate logistic regression and multiple regression with Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
Study sample included 1939 women. History of violence was reported by 39.5% (n =761) women. Significant differences were obtained between the groups with or without history of violence regarding being single/living apart, unemployment, financial distress, smoking/snuffing, unintended pregnancy as well as history of miscarriage/legalised abortion (p < 0.001). Experience of domestic violence during pregnancy regardless of type or level of abuse was 1.0% (n = 18); history of physical abuse by actual intimate partner was 2.2% (n = 42). History of violence was the strongest risk factor associated with domestic violence during pregnancy, where all women (n = 18) exposed reported history of violence (p < 0.001). Several symptoms of depression (adjusted for low socio-economic status, miscarriage/abortion, single/living apart, lack of sleep, unemployment, age and parity) were associated with a 7.0 fold risk of domestic violence during pregnancy (OR 7.0; 95% CI: 1.9-26.3).
The reported prevalence of domestic violence during pregnancy in southwest Sweden is low. However, a considerable proportion of women reported history of living in a violent relationship. Both history of violence and the presence of several depressive symptoms detected in early pregnancy may indicate that the woman also is exposed to domestic violence during pregnancy. Increased attention to this vulnerable group of women is needed to improve maternal and child health.
BMC Women's Health 05/2014; 14(1):63. DOI:10.1186/1472-6874-14-63 · 1.50 Impact Factor
"Nevertheless, it is more common in certain subgroups in the population than in others. Several factors have been shown to be associated with domestic violence including young age [3,7,15], lower education level [3,7], not being married  and being single , smoking during (third trimester of) pregnancy [7,15], alcohol and drug use , stressful life events and depression , as well as lack of faith in God or a higher power and lack of contraceptive use . Additionally, poor quality of the relationship with the intimate partner [16,17], the presence of abuse before pregnancy  and fertility factors are important. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In pregnancy, violence can have serious health consequences that could affect both mother and child. In Ghana there are limited data on this subject. We sought to assess the relationship between physical violence during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes (early pregnancy loss, perinatal mortality and neonatal mortality) in Ghana.
The 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey data were used. For the domestic violence module, 2563 women were approached of whom 2442 women completed the module. After excluding missing values and applying the weight factor, 1745 women remained. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the relationship between physical violence in pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes with adjustments for potential confounders.
About five percent of the women experienced violence during their pregnancy. Physical violence in pregnancy was positively associated with perinatal mortality and neonatal mortality, but not with early pregnancy loss. The differences remained largely unchanged after adjustment for age, parity, education level, wealth status, marital status and place of residence: adjusted odds ratios were 2.32; 95% CI: 1.34-4.01 for perinatal mortality, 1.86; 95% CI: 1.05-3.30 for neonatal mortality and 1.16; 95% CI: 0.60-2.24 for early pregnancy loss.
Our findings suggest that violence during pregnancy is related to adverse pregnancy outcomes in Ghana. Major efforts are needed to tackle violence during pregnancy. This can be achieved through measures that are directed towards the right target groups. Measures should include education, empowerment and improving socio-economic status of women.
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