Before we say anything else, the team at The Center for Women wants you to know you are worthy of respect, love, and care. We are here for you. No one has the right to abuse you physically, emotionally, or sexually. Please contact the Domestic Abuse Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233) for help.

Did Your Pregnancy Increase the Abuse?

A pregnancy, particularly an unplanned one, can be stressful. If your relationship is already abusive, an unplanned pregnancy can make it worse.

Experts list the following as some of the reasons a partner might become or increase abusive behavior during pregnancy:

  • Upset because the pregnancy is unplanned
  • Stressed at the thought of financially supporting a first baby or another one
  • Jealous that your attention may shift from your partner to your baby

Abuse is about control and power. Any one of the above can cause an abuser to be out of control.

Can Abuse Hurt Your Pregnancy?

Physical abuse can hurt your pregnancy, but emotional abuse can harm you and your child, too. Humiliation, harassment, or control over who you see or where you go can lead to depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety. You might turn to unhealthy practices like drugs or alcohol.

Abuse can cause the following pregnancy problems:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Fetal injury
  • Injury or death of the mother

What Can You Do?

As the Domestic Violence Hotline says, “There is no excuse for abuse.” You deserve a safe, joyful life and a healthy pregnancy.

Here are some steps to take if you are being abused:

  • Recognize this is not your fault.
  • You have the right to protect both yourself and your unborn baby.
  • If your partner is violent, call 911 or your local police department immediately.
  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233. They can provide confidential crisis intervention, counseling, and referrals to local resources.
  • Let your healthcare provider know your situation.
  • Prepare a getaway bag with emergency resources in case you need to get away quickly.
  • Contact The Center for Women at (828) 885-7885 for confidential assistance.

It is estimated more than 300,000 pregnant women in the U.S. experience intimate partner violence every year. One in six women experience abuse for the first time during their pregnancy.

You don’t need to be a victim any longer. Help is available. Contact us to schedule a confidential appointment or receive free pregnancy services. Once again, we’re here for you.

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