UBC Undergraduate Research

The effects of childhood sexual abuse on pregnancy, labour, birth, and postpartum experiences of adult female survivors Curry, Rosalynd


Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a widespread problem that has long-lasting effects into adulthood. The purpose of this review was to perform a systematic review of the literature to find if a history of CSA has a significant impact on adult female survivors during the childbearing year and to determine what practices are effective in caring for survivors during this experience in order to guide midwifery care. Medline, CINAHL, and PsycInfo were systematically searched and 18 quantitative and 11 qualitative research studies were included. Survivors were found to have higher rates of psychological and social problems during pregnancy, negative experiences during labour and birth, higher rates of assisted and operative deliveries, and difficulties with breastfeeding. Some suggestions from survivors for maternity care providers were also included. Based on these suggestions, midwives may be the best practitioners to provide maternity care for survivors of CSA. More good quality research is needed on the experiences and outcomes of survivors during the childbearing year and on how to best care for these women, both in general and specifically within the midwifery model of care.

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