Asking in pregnancy about previous trauma: a review of evidence

Cull, Joanne orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8990-154X, Thomson, Gill orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3392-8182, Downe, Soo orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2848-2550, Fine, Michelle and Topalidou, Anastasia orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0280-6801 (2024) Asking in pregnancy about previous trauma: a review of evidence. The Practising Midwife, 27 (3). pp. 24-28. ISSN 1461-3123

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This review brings together the views of women and maternity care professionals on routine discussion of previous trauma in the perinatal period. We included 25 papers, from five countries, published between 2001 and 2022.

Women and clinicians generally felt trauma discussions were valuable provided there was adequate time and resources. Women were more likely to disclose trauma when they had a trusting relationship with the clinician, but some women chose not to share their histories regardless. Hearing trauma disclosures could be emotionally difficult for clinicians.

National guidelines are needed to help midwives navigate discussions with pregnant women about past traumas.

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