Pregnancy affects a woman in every possible way. A life-changing event, the nine-month period brings with it a host of emotional and physical changes. A unique time for a number of reasons, it can also bring up other issues including insecurities, difficult family situations and even abuse. Prior surveys have found one in six pregnant women to be abused by her partner. Now, a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that pregnant women are twice as likely to be a victim of assault-related trauma and succumb to their injuries. The study is first-of-its kind statewide analysis highlighting effects of violent trauma on maternal mortality.
The research, presented at the American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists’ (ACOG) Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting in San Diego on May 7, 2017, also revealed that as compared to their non-pregnant counterparts, pregnant trauma victims, on average, suffered less severe injuries. Despite less severe injuries, such women were twice as likely to die from their injuries. The researchers also discovered that for pregnant women, assault-related trauma was three times deadlier than accident-related trauma.
For their analysis, the researchers utilized findings from the Pennsylvania Trauma Outcomes Study. They focused on admissions from 2005 through 2015 and included nearly 45,000 trauma cases among women victims of childbearing age (14-49 years). As per the trauma cases analyzed, pregnant women were 4.4 times more likely to be transferred to another facility for obstetric services and support.
Highlighting the importance of the new research, lead author Neha Deshpande said that while trauma from assaults or accidents has been known to complicate one in 12 pregnancies, little is known how it actually affects pregnant women. “Despite the severity of the issue, little is known about how trauma actually impacts pregnant women since accidental and incidental causes of death are excluded in many statewide and national maternal mortality reviews. The striking results of our study suggest that widespread screening for violence and trauma during pregnancy may provide an opportunity to identify women at risk for death during pregnancy,” said Deshpande.
The research also pointed out that one in five pregnant women reported a psychiatric illness or was admitted to hospital following a suicide attempt. According to the researchers, the findings point out to an opportunity for intervention to safeguard pregnant women and also recommend universal screening of such women at obstetric clinics for assault and mental illnesses.
Violence against pregnant women is quite common in the United States. It’s a coincidence that the findings of the new study were released almost a week before the Mother’s Day that falls on May 14 this year. It is a tribute to motherhood. Celebrated on the second Sunday of May every year, the day recognizes mothers and the positive contributions that they make to the society.
Stressful events, such as abuse, domestic violence or accidents can have a profound impact on survivors and their families. As compared to men, women are more vulnerable to the effects of trauma. Sovereign Health specializes in providing trauma-assisted care to victims of trauma and abuse. Our trauma treatment for women facility in Chandler, Arizona understands that a woman who has experienced trauma resulting from sexual assault, domestic violence or any other disturbing event may be reluctant to ask for help. So, our women’s trauma recovery program provides women patients with coping skills and techniques to maintain an overall good health and prevent any relapse.
Considered the best among trauma rehabilitation centers for women in Arizona, Sovereign Health of Arizona uses “rebuilding our acceptance & resilience” (ROAR) to offer treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction, mental health disorders and co-occurring conditions. For more information on our treatment programs and to know about the finest facilities offering programs pertaining to trauma and recovery for women in Chandler, call our 24/7 helpline and speak to our admission specialist or chat online with an expert.