Get access

ABUSE-RELATED POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS AND DESIRED MATERNITY CARE PRACTICES: WOMEN'S PERSPECTIVES

Authors

  • Julia S. Seng CNM, PhD,

    Corresponding author
      University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 N. Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0482.
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Julia Seng completed her midwifery education and her doctorate in women's health nursing at the University of Michigan. She conducted this study while on the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Nursing. Currently Dr. Seng is a primary research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  • Kathleen J. H. Sparbel FNP, MS,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Kathleen Sparbel completed her family nurse practitioner education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Quad Cities Regional Program. She also is a doctoral student at the University of Iowa in the Child and Family Doctoral Program.

  • Lisa Kane Low CNM, PhD, FACNM,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Lisa Kane Low completed her midwifery education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and earned her doctorate in women's health nursing at the University of Michigan. She is on the faculty and holds a BIRCWH Scholars Fellowship in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and in the Women's Studies Department at Michigan. She is in clinical practice in the University of Michigan Midwifery Service.

  • Cheryl Killion RN, PhD

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Cheryl Killion completed her doctorate in anthropology at the University of California Los Angeles. Her scholarly interests include mental health care in Belize and experiences of pregnant homeless women in the United States. Currently, she is director of the Center for Minority Family Health at Hampton University in Virginia.


University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 N. Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0482.

Abstract

Qualitative research participants who self-identified as having a history of childhood sexual abuse and abuse-related posttraumatic stress during the childbearing year were interviewed for the purpose of determining what these women perceive as optimal maternity care. Using a process of narrative analysis, desired care practices were identified. With the exception of one woman, all of the study participants wanted their maternity care provider to be competent to address trauma-related needs. Three groups emerged from the data, providing a useful structure for informing providers on how best to respond to diverse abuse-survivor clients: 1) women far along in recovery, 2) women who were not safe, and 3) women who were not ready to “know.” The first group had the best trauma-related and maternity outcomes and the best childbearing experiences. For these women, having a provider who was a “collaborative ally” seemed beneficial. The second group had safety needs that required a “compassionate authority figure” who offered referral and follow-up care. Women in the third group were not ready to address trauma-related symptoms or issues overtly and appeared to need a provider who was a “therapeutic mentor.” Four assessment factors help providers determine how to respond.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary