How a woman feels about herself during the 40 weeks of a pregnancy differs momentously than in other periods of a woman’s life. For many women, pregnancy is a time of anticipation, and happiness, for other women, pregnancy can be extremely distressing, and fraught with debilitating anxiety and fear for their safety, and in some instances not only for their own lives but for the life of their unborn. Over the duration of the pregnancy, the mother’s maternal role is developing, this is usually a natural progression that starts early in the pregnancy and continues well after the baby has been born. For fathers-to-be the paternal transitional period is also a dynamic progression, filled with countless emotional reactions, and marked with the redefining of their relationship with their partner. It may be feasible to note that for dads to be, there is a lack of ongoing and readily available support available for men as it is often the case that some dads to be need more education on basic parenting, baby care, and what changes to expect in their relationships in preparation for the antenatal period.
A meta-analysis from 23 countries that combined 92 reports on perinatal IPV collectively illustrates the average percentage of violence that had occurred against pregnant women, currently, was 19.8% (Harland, et al., 2016, p. 1). These detailed reports highlight that there is a strong correlation linking particularly acute acts of domestic ...
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...c to discuss and less likely to occur if the health professionals themselves had suffered, or are currently facing IPV. Qualitative research into this dilemma validates that midwives along with other health care professionals report suffering from ‘degrees of secondary traumatic stress when working with and hearing of the violence their patients have experienced and that this prevents providers from screening women for IPV’ (LoGiudice, 2015, p. 3).
NSW Health’s policy directive strategy involves a universal routine screening for domestic violence. The policy aims are twofold:
‘To reduce the incidence of domestic violence through primary and secondary prevention approaches: and to minimise the trauma that people living with domestic violence experience, through tertiary prevention approaches, ongoing treatment and follow-up counselling’ (NSW Ministry of Health, 2006)
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