Hands forming heart over pregnant bellyArguments are common, but violence is never OK. Still, many women experience physical or mental abuse at the hands of their boyfriends or spouses. Pregnancy likely won’t protect you from abuse. In fact, the stress associated with having a new baby can sometimes trigger violent behavior. If your partner is physically or emotionally abusing you, know that you are not alone. Studies show that one in six pregnant women is abused. The first step toward getting out of an abusive relationship is admitting that your partner or spouse is abusive. Call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1‑800‑799‑SAFE (7233) for help.

Ask yourself, does your partner:

  • Always put you down or make you feel bad about yourself?
  • Cause harm or pain to your body?
  • Threaten you, the baby, your other children or himself?
  • Tell you it’s your own fault he hit you?
  • Promise never to hurt you again, but still does?

If any of these things is happening, you may need to seek help. It is important that you and your children are safe. Abuse can cause long-lasting physical and emotional problems for both you and your unborn baby. Physical violence during pregnancy can cause vaginal bleeding, premature labor, miscarriage, fetal injury or even death. Children who witness abuse are at risk of becoming violent themselves or being in a violent relationship when they get older.

Protect yourself and your unborn baby.

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