Health Behavior in Mexican Pregnant Women With a History of Violence

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Abstract

This study examines the association between history of violence, attitudes toward pregnancy, and initiation of prenatal care (PNC). Pregnant women receiving their first PNC visit at a public prenatal clinic in Monterrey, Mexico, were enrolled in the study. Structured interviews collected information concerning demographics, reproductive history, current pregnancy, attitudes toward pregnancy, history of violence, and perceived barriers and benefits of PNC. Results showed that 35% of participants reported violence. A current or previous partner was the most common perpetrator. Of women experiencing abuse, 47% reported that abuse was ongoing during the current pregnancy. More women reporting violence were unmarried, did not live with a partner, and reported a lower monthly income. An experience of violence was associated with initiation of PNC, number of pregnancies, perception of barriers, and negative attitudes toward pregnancy. This issue should be emphasized in recognition of the important role that nurses and midwives have regarding violence.

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