Domestic Violence hits beyond Womb

The Sunday age (Jill Stark)

Life in the Womb

Recent Research has found that women experiencing violence while they are carrying an unborn child has many effects on the newborn than anyone may realize. The stress hormone cortisol responds when people are in a "high-stress" situation. If these levels stay increased among the pregnant woman the hormone will pass through the placenta causing the newborn to be welcomed into the world in a state of "toxic-stress." According to Professor Kulkarni and Monash Alfred Psychiatry Center for Women the "toxic stress" at birth will cause the newborn to suffer anxiety, problems concentrating, emotional regulation, and trouble with memory.

According to Paul Bird, a chief Executive of youth states that there is a connection between drugs and alcholol for children who have experienced violence at home, or in the womb. They are turning to this behavior to moderate the lack of emotional control.

''If we can teach the woman who has experienced trauma to have strategies like the cognitive approaches, the mindfulness approaches, to have her brain calm down or come down from the cortisol, then that's going to be better for her when she's pregnant and we'll avoid this crossover effect.'' Paul Bird

Traci Christensen