The Littlest Victims: An Examination of the Tragic Impact of Violence and Drug Abuse on Pregnant Women and Their Children

Carol S. Ferreira, East Carolina University

This presentation will address the far-reaching ramifications of the recent finding in the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health (Feb. 20, 2001) that homicide is the number one cause of death for pregnant women. Intimate partner violence, drug abuse and the drug abuse-maternal aggression link will be examined as factors placing unborn and infant children at high risk for physical harm, developmental delay and future violence. A review of nursing research directed at identification and remediation of these issues and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines for perinatal screening and interventrion will be presented.

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Updated 05/20/2006