Violence During Pregnancy Linked To Reduced Birth Weight
Violence during pregnancy, or really, at anytime, is not okay. However, violence during pregnancy comes with its own set of...
Violence during pregnancy, or really, at anytime, is not okay. However, violence during pregnancy comes with its own set of problems, such as lower baby birth weight. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently examined records of 5 million California women over a ten year period, and found that pregnant women who are assaulted by an intimate partner have a larger chance of giving birth to a baby with a reduced birth weight. While the study was not designed to establish cause and effect, and cannot prove that violence caused the reduced weight, it's still an important piece of information to know that the two issues - violence and low birth weight are linked. The study did show that babies born to women who were hospitalized for injuries received from a violent assault during their pregnancies, weighed, on average, one-third pound less than babies born to women who were not hospitalized as victims of violence. Furthermore, violent assaults during the first trimester were associated with the largest decrease in birth weight. Rosalind B. King, Ph.D., of the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), notes, "These findings suggest that violence experienced by pregnant women could put their infants at increased risk for low birth weight and its subsequent health problems. It follows that programs to reduce violence against women might have the added benefit of reducing the number of low birth weight infants." In good news, the Affordable Care Act is going to require that domestic violence screening and counseling along with other preventive services for women, be included in health plans beginning on Aug. 1, 2012. REMEMBER: intimate partner violence is a violation of your rights. No one has the right to abuse you physically or emotionally. Learn more about this issue and where to get help via the links below:
- What is intimate partner violence?
- Some basic facts about domestic violence during pregnancy.
- Is your relationship abusive?
- Common misconceptions about domestic violence and abuse.