Hidden Forces: Shining a light on Reproductive Coercion (White Paper)

Marie Stopes Australia, 2018

Reproductive Coercion (RC) is behaviour that interferes with the autonomy of a person to make decisions about their reproductive health. Many Australians do not have full control over their reproductive choices. Their choices are constrained by people in their familial and community networks or by structural forces at play in our society.

Reproductive Coercion is gaining greater attention in Australia. Brave people are coming forward to share stories of their lived experience of Reproductive Coercion in order to build greater understanding of this important issue and how it has shaped their lives.

For twenty months, Marie Stopes Australia coordinated a public consultation process that has culminated in this White Paper on Reproductive Coercion. This White Paper has emerged following a roundtable of 50 stakeholders, two phases of public submissions, comment on a draft White Paper and targeted engagement of leading
academics, healthcare professionals and psychosocial specialists.

84 submissions that have informed the development of this White Paper. These submissions have provided a wide spectrum of views on this complex issue.

 

How pregnancy can be made more difficult by maternity care’s notions of ‘normal’

The Conversation, October 8, 2019 10.04pm AEDT

Maternity records in the UK have spaces only for the expectant mother and the baby’s father. This inflexibility can cause difficulties for the pregnant person, their partner, and their unborn baby if they do not fit into these boxes.

Over the last decade there has been a significant increase in the number of people conceiving outside of the traditional model of a heterosexual couple, so this affects an increasing number of parents.

Research shows that problems occur when heteronormativity – the perception that heterosexuality is the normal, default, or preferred sexual orientation – is communicated either overtly or subtly in the way healthcare staff treat patients, the way leaflets are worded, or the assumptions made in the way administration systems are designed.

Poorer outcomes for babies born to teen mums – often linked to low socioeconomic status

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare,  02 May 2018

Babies of teenage mothers often experience poorer health outcomes than babies born to women just a few years older, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) first report on this subject.

The report, Teenage mothers in Australia 2015, shows that about 8,200 teenage mothers gave birth to 8,300 babies (3% of all babies) in 2015, down from 11,800 teenage mothers giving birth a decade earlier. Almost three-quarters of teenage mothers were aged 18 or 19.

One in 4 (24%) of all teenage mothers were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Indigenous teenage mothers had higher levels of antenatal risk factors and poorer baby outcomes than non-Indigenous teenage mothers in terms of pre-term birth
and low birthweight.

 

Pregnant women are at increased risk of domestic violence in all cultural groups

The Conversation, April 26, 2018 6.00pm AEST

Domestic violence occurs across all age groups and life stages. Rather than reducing during pregnancy, expecting a child is a key risk factor for domestic violence beginning or escalating.

Our research, published today in the journal BMJ Open, found that 4.3% of pregnant women due to give birth in Western Sydney disclosed domestic violence when asked about it by a midwife at her first hospital visit. The study examined more than 33,000 ethnically diverse women who gave birth between 2006 and 2016, and found that these disclosures spanned all cultural groups.

Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy Care (2018 Edition)

Australian Government Department of Health, February 2018

Modules 1 and 2 of the Antenatal Care Guidelines have now been combined and updated to form a single set of consolidated guidelines that were renamed Pregnancy Care Guidelines and publicly released in February 2018. 

The Pregnancy Care Guidelines are designed to support Australian maternity services to provide high-quality, evidence-based antenatal care to healthy pregnant women. They are intended for all health professionals who contribute to antenatal care including midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners, practice nurses, maternal and child health nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and allied health professionals. They are implemented at national, state, territory and local levels to provide consistency of antenatal care in Australia and ensure maternity services provide high-quality, evidence-based maternity care. The Pregnancy Care Guidelines cover a wide range of topics including routine physical examinations, screening tests and social and lifestyle advice for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Guidelines:

Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care (PDF 5747 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care (Word 3615 KB)

Accompanying documents:

Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Short-form guidelines (PDF 1979 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Short-form guidelines (Word 1330 KB)

Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Administrative Report (PDF 1758 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Administrative Report (Word 1150 KB)

Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Linking evidence to recommendations (PDF 2183 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Linking evidence to recommendations (Word 1259 KB)
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Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Economic analyses (PDF 1804 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Economic analyses (Word 1298 KB)

Withdrawing Depo-Provera contraceptives would result in more lives lost than HIV infections prevented

aidsmap / nam,  11 January 2018

Even if Depo-Provera and other contraceptive injections raise the risk of HIV infection, withdrawing them from use in African countries would greatly increase maternal mortality, a modelling study has shown. The loss of life due to pregnancy complications and unsafe abortions would far outweigh the number of HIV infections prevented, according to the study published in the December issue of Global Health: Science and Practice.