Support services for pregnant women, new mothers, siblings and their baby
The impact of domestic abuse on pregnant women and new mothers is both multifaceted and extraordinarily complex.
Over one third of domestic abuse starts or increases in pregnancy which in turn increases the likelihood of developing obstetric complications by 37%. These range from infection, prematurity and low birth weight, in addition to the more obvious risks such as miscarriage and maternal infant death.
The impact on mental health is more complex still, 38% of women who experience domestic abuse are later diagnosed with a mental disorder in the years following abuse.
Our refuge supports pregnant women who have fled domestic violence and who are regaining stability in their lives at an incredibly challenging time.
Pregnant Mothers who have been through such upheaval are usually in desperate need for time to process what has happened, rest and later plan for the future. Our child care services provide after school programmes. Our child support leader works closely with key workers and families in welcoming a new baby into a family. This includes parenting, sibling and family sessions. Mothers who are pregnant are also extremely grateful for the child-free time, knowing their children are in safe hands while they take a rest and/or work with our key worker (a former midwife) and health visitor(s) to coordinate a well planned delivery and health regimen for the best possible outcomes for delivering a healthy baby.
For new mothers the prospect of delivering a child without support is a daunting experience. Our key workers are here to help educate, and support a woman through the different stages of her pregnancy. Some women develop diabetes and life threatening conditions,and our staff ensure a woman receives the support she needs every step of the way. We are not a midwifery service. Rather a source and wealth of knowledge and understanding while ensuring pregnant women receive the best care possible through our partnerships with health care and mental health professionals.