It's hard to be excited about the new life growing inside of you if you're afraid of your partner. Abuse from a partner can begin or increase during pregnancy and can harm you and your unborn baby. Women who are abused often don't get the prenatal care their babies need. Abuse from a partner also can lead to preterm birth and low birth weight babies, stillbirth and newborn death, and homicide. If you are abused, you might turn to alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to help you cope. This can be even more harmful to you and your baby.
You may think that a new baby will change your situation for the better. But the cycle of abuse is complex, and a baby introduces new stress to people and relationships. Now is a good time to think about your safety and the safety and wellbeing of your baby. About 50 percent of men who abuse their wives also abuse their children. Think about the home environment you want for your baby. Studies show that children who witness or experience violence at home may have long-term physical, emotional, and social problems. They are also more likely to experience or commit violence themselves in the future.
Prenatal exams offer a good chance to reach out for help. It's possible to take control and leave an abusive partner. But for your and your baby's safety, talk to your doctor first. Let motherhood prompt you to take action now.