University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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“Our current systems of care do not adequately address these trauma-related needs, and do little to disrupt intergenerational cycles of abuse and psychiatric vulnerability which can result.”

Survivors of trauma face unique challenges during the childbearing year, including triggering events in the context of maternity care, risk for adverse mental and physical health outcomes, and challenges in early parenting. Their babies are also at increased risk. Our current systems of care do not adequately address these trauma-related needs, and do little to disrupt intergenerational cycles of abuse and psychiatric vulnerability which can result. We need a paradigm shift that includes development of trauma-informed and pregnancy- and postpartum-specific interventions to address the needs of pregnant women and their families. Social workers can help by advancing research about the effects of intergenerational cycles of trauma and vulnerability, and by agitating for systems change in the provision of maternity care. We must at the same time continue to bring attention to the structural inequalities and gendered disparities that undergird the development of compromised health for women during the childbearing year.