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RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES AND INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION: Improving Maternity Care With Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse


  • Julia S. Seng CNM, MS,

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    • Julia Seng is a doctoral candidate in women's health at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation research explores the childbearing experiences of women survivors of childhood abuse.

  • Jane A. Hassinger DpCSW, MSW

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    • Jane A. Hassinger is director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Feminist Practice in Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. She works with trauma survivors in her private psychotherapy practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

3Nurse-Midwifery Program, The University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 North Ingalls Building, Rm 3304, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0482.


Women's health care providers are being challenged to screen for and respond to the effects of abuse and violence in their clinical practices. Many feel poorly equipped to do so. Addressing the impact of a history of childhood sexual abuse on the survivor client's experience of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and postpartum adjustment is a particularly challenging task. Professionals from several disciplines experienced in working with trauma survivors responded to a case study. Valuable points common to all six case respondents focused on strategies to use to improve communication and relationships with survivor clients. These health care providers also advocate interdisciplinary collaboration. © 1998 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.