Refining Trauma-Informed Perinatal Care for Urban Prenatal Care Patients with Multiple Lifetime Traumatic Exposures: A Qualitative Study

Priyanka Gokhale*, Maria R. Young, Makayla N. Williams, Shayla N. Reid, Laura S. Tom, Catherine A. O'Brian, Melissa A. Simon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Because lifetime trauma exposure has been linked to multiple adverse pregnancy outcomes, there is a need for all perinatal care providers to be versed in trauma-informed care practices. However, there are few data to guide trauma-informed practice during the perinatal period. The objective of this study was to refine ongoing development of a trauma-informed care framework for perinatal care by conducting a qualitative study of all trauma experiences and preferred screening practices of pregnant patients at an urban prenatal clinic. Methods: In this qualitative study, we conducted semistructured interviews with 30 women receiving prenatal care at an urban clinic. Participants also completed a trauma history questionnaire. Inductive coding was used to generate themes and subthemes. Results: Participants described multiple lifetime traumatic exposures as well as background exposure to community violence. Not all participants desired routine trauma screening; factors limiting disclosure included fear of retraumatization and belief that prior trauma is unrelated to the current pregnancy. Strong therapeutic relationships were identified as critical to any trauma history discussion. Discussion: This study supports a trauma-informed care approach to caring for pregnant women with prior traumatic exposures, including trauma screening without retraumatization and trusting patient-provider relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Volume65
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • adult survivors of child adverse events
  • exposure to violence
  • midwifery
  • obstetrics
  • psychological trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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