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Pregnancy and domestic violence

Many things can influence the chances of risky conditions arising in connection to a child's birth. A recent study indicates that one such thing is whether the child's mother was subjected to domestic violence while pregnant with the child.

The study looked at various studies that were focused on domestic violence and pregnancy. Altogether, the studies involved millions of women. The women were from 17 different countries. From the analysis of this research, the study concluded that the odds of a child being born at a low weight or prematurely are double when the child's mother is subjected to domestic abuse during the pregnancy. Being born prematurely or underweight are both risky birth events.

Why might domestic violence during a pregnancy make risky birth events more likely? Possible contributors include: the stress a mother experiences as a result of such abuse, the physical harm a mother suffers from such abuse and the effects being in an abusive situation might have on the quality of prenatal care and nutrition a mother has.

Protecting their unborn child is something pregnant women who have experienced domestic violence can care deeply about. There are various legal steps that could help with getting such protection in place and preventing further abuse. This includes things like pursuing protective orders against the abuser and making legal requests regarding what the child custody arrangement for the child will be. Domestic violence attorneys can provide guidance to family violence victims on what can be done to help keep their children, and them, safe.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Domestic Violence During Pregnancy Doubles Risk Of Premature Birth," Melissa Jeltsen, March 9, 2016

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