Safety Planning During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a period of change marked by extreme emotions, both positive and negative, that often comes with an added need for support from those around you. It’s natural to depend on emotional support from a partner during this time, as well as financial assistance if necessary, to help prepare for the baby and more. If your partner is emotionally or physically abusive, these months of transition can be particularly difficult and dangerous. Abuse can begin or escalate during pregnancy, making it all the more essential to create a plan for safety.
Pregnancy is the second most dangerous time in an abusive relationship.
If you’re concerned for your safety, please reach out to an advocate or build a safety plan.
Seeking help while pregnant
- Doctor’s visits can be an opportunity to discuss your situation. If you’ve decided to leave your relationship, a health care provider can become an active participant in your plan to leave.
- If your partner goes to doctor’s appointments with you, try to find a moment when they’re out of the room to ask your care provider (or even the front desk receptionist) to help you by providing an excuse for them to talk to you one-on-one.
- If possible, find a prenatal class that limits its attendance to those giving birth. This can be a comfortable atmosphere for discussing pregnancy concerns or allow you to speak to the class instructor one-on-one.
- There’s always a heightened risk during violent situations when you’re pregnant. If you live in a home with stairs, try to spend your time on the first floor to avoid potential harm. If violence becomes unavoidable and you’re unable to escape, assuming the fetal position and covering your stomach with your arms can help protect you and your pregnancy.