“Cycles of Trauma” Perinatal experiences of homeless women in Sheffield: Dissemination and Impact report
reportposted on 2022-01-13, 20:42 authored by Anna Clare Talitha Gordon, Caroline MitchellCaroline Mitchell
Homeless women are twice as likely to become pregnant and less likely to receive antenatal care than their counterparts who have not experienced homelessness. Their vulnerability is further increased by complex biopsychosocial factors and comorbidities including mental
illness and substance abuse increase their risk of perinatal depression, obstetric complications, and child loss to social services.
We aimed to explore the perspectives of women who have experienced pregnancy and homelessness to ascertain how perinatal care for this group could be improved.
We concluded that pregnancy was a vital window of motivation despite mistrust of practitioners, and thus a pivotal opportunity for homeless women to engage with holistic care. Conversely, poor antenatal support, and lack of postnatal support alongside the distress of child loss to social services reinforce a relentless cycle of grief, mental health crises, substance abuse relapse and homelessness.
University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research Ethics Committee. Approval was granted on 30 January 2018 (reference 016515).
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