Speaker: Sarah Smits
To educate on trauma-informed care and how to improve the maternity care experiences for women with a history of sexual abuse. Education on trauma-informed care intends to reduce further trauma and consequently improve the maternity care experiences, health outcomes and thus the sexual health and wellbeing of women who have a history of sexual abuse. Individuals with a history of sexual trauma experience poorer maternal health outcomes, are more likely to report their births as traumatic and are less likely to seek healthcare. It is reported that provider mannerisms and encounters are the biggest contributors to a health care experience being perceived as traumatic or triggering. Care provider discomfort due to lack of knowledge prevents appropriate opportunity for women to disclose a history of abuse, which impacts their maternity care. Topics covered are incidence, awareness, presentation, women’s current experiences of maternity care and recommendations on trauma-informed care.