Safe mom, safe baby: a collaborative model of care for pregnant women experiencing intimate partner violence

J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2012 Oct-Dec;26(4):307-16; quiz p. 317-8. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e31824356dd.


Violence during pregnancy is a national and global health-related problem. Intimate partner violence significantly increases the risk of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Abused pregnant women are 1.4 times more likely to deliver a preterm or low-birth-weight infant requiring extended and resource-intense care in tertiary settings. Despite the prevalence of intimate partner violence during pregnancy, very little is written about established clinical programs designed to address this problem. This article presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of a nurse-led, evidence-based initiative respected for enhancing the health and safety of abused pregnant women. This interdisciplinary program combines registered nurse case management, the advocacy services of a community-based domestic violence agency, and perinatal care into a seamless continuum of professional services. Program interventions focus on helping clients navigate (1) their perinatal experiences across healthcare settings and (2) the complexities of criminal justice, legal, and social service systems within the community. Program-related data collected and evaluated for performance improvement purposes are discussed, and innovative educational programming is described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case Management / organization & administration*
  • Domestic Violence / prevention & control
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Education / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration
  • Maternal Welfare
  • Patient Safety*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women / psychology*
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Spouse Abuse / prevention & control*
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data