With statistics showing that 1 in 5 women have experienced some form of sexual abuse, it is likely that all birth professionals will support a survivor of such abuse at some point during their career. This book provides practical advice for those supporting these women throughout their pregnancy, labour, and postnatal periods.
The impact of past sexual abuse on women during these periods is often underestimated, and this book shows the need for greater compassion and understanding in maternity services regarding this issue. Drawing on a vast range of research and expertise, this book includes details on the identifiable behaviours of survivors, how to respond when someone says they are a survivor, positive stories, and appropriate language to use.
This book is for any care provider who wants to help pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period become a healing experience for those carrying trauma, and to support these survivors with compassion, respect and kindness.
Many women who have experienced sexual abuse find giving birth traumatising. Using vivid and moving case studies, this book offers excellent guidance on supporting those women to have a better experience of pregnancy, labour and birth. It will be an invaluable resource for health professionals working in this area.
— Kim Thomas, CEO, Birth Trauma Association
Kicki's book is a compelling reminder that being treated with kindness, dignity and respect is the number one source of safety in maternity care. Practical, accessible and with the voices of survivors threaded through every page, this is a must-read for all those who aspire to trauma informed and human rights centred practice.
— Maria Booker, Programmes Director, Birthrights
It is great to see a book dedicated to guiding health professionals to support survivors of sexual abuse when they are pregnant and giving birth. This is an area of maternity care that can cause exacerbation of trauma for women if handled poorly and the opportunity for growth and healing if handled well. The health provider sits in that juncture between further trauma and a pathway to healing and this is a serious responsibility that can weigh heavily on us without guidance. This book provides that guidance.
— Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery, Western Sydney University
This book is so needed - although I truly wish it wasn't. We need more empathy in the birth room, so that no woman needs to feel she has to disclose her history in order to be treated with gentleness and respect.
— Milli Hill, Founder of the Positive Birth Movement and author of 'The Positive Birth Book' and 'Give Birth Like a Feminist'
This is a very important area to address, and the content will be very useful for the target audience. The integration of women's stories provides very effective insights into what matters for pregnant women who have experienced sexual abuse specifically, and for pregnant women in general.
— Soo Downe, Professor of Midwifery Studies, UCLan
About the Author:
Kicki Hansard has worked as a birth and postnatal doula for 17 years, and is currently a self-employed doula, doula trainer, online antenatal course provider, and author.