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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Preconception/Pregnancy
- Abuse During Pregnancy

  • Is an unfortunate reality in today's society

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience abuse at some point in their lives.

  • A pregnant woman is at a higher risk for experiencing abuse from her partner during her pregnancy than she is for experiencing high blood pressure, diabetes, and premature labour.

Pregnancy can be a very stressful time in a relationship. It can be a test of a relationship. Our ideals are challenged- our body changes, there are added responsibilities with becoming a parent, there are changes in our roles within the home and all of this can challenge how we think and feel. We can be fearful about the outcome of the pregnancy for the baby, for the mother and her labour and delivery experience, fear of becoming a parent and our lack of control over what will happen to our lives once the baby is born.

  • Stress and adjustments are a normal part of pregnancy but abuse is not.

  • Abuse is a crime, it is not your fault and you are not alone.

  • Abuse can start in pregnancy and/or can increase in occurrence and severity during the pregnancy.

  • Women may not recognize that they are victims of abuse and that is one of the reasons that it has become necessary to educate the public about it.


There are different types of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, financial, psychological, verbal, environmental, social, religious and ritual. Abuse is about power and control. It does not occur because someone abuses drugs or other substances. Abuse does not happen because the person cannot help it, it is a conscious purposeful act to exert power and control over another person and this is wrong.

Abuse occurs as a cycle, initially tension builds, then there is an explosive event and after that there is a remorse or romance stage where your partner is apologetic and sorry for what he has done and says he won't do it again. The time in each part of the cycle may vary but the pattern will remain the same. Abuse usually starts out as emotional abuse and then progresses into physical abuse.

Women need to get help. If you or anyone that you know is experiencing abuse, there is help available.

  • In Lanark you can call Lanark Interval House: 1-800-267-7946,

  • Outreach services are available, you can have someone visit you in your home or another community location where you feel safe, if you are not comfortable going to Interval House.

  • In Leeds and Grenville you can call Interval House at 1-800-267-4409 or 613-342-8815. Individual and group counseling is available.

  • Your call will be confidential and there is no legal obligation on the part of the professional you report to, to disclose the abuse you have described.

  • HealthBeforePregnancy.ca - Abuse During Pregnancy


Note:


Historical Abuse- a woman who experienced childhood abuse and has buried it may experience flashbacks of this abuse during her labour and delivery experience. It is important to acknowledge this experience and to seek professional help, to prevent postpartum depression and/or difficulty bonding with your new baby.




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