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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


VALDEZ-SANTIAGO, Rosario; ARENAS-MONREAL, Luz  and  HERNANDEZ-TEZOQUIPA, Isabel. The midwives' experiences in the identification of battered women in pregnancy. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2004, vol.46, n.1, pp.56-63. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the experiences of midwives in the identification of battered women during pregnancy and to describe the types of violence they identify most easily. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted between January and September 2001 among twelve midwives from a group of midwives ascribed to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH, National Institute of Anthropology and History), in Morelos, Mexico. Participants were selected from those living in Cuernavaca City and surrounding areas. RESULTS: Study findings show that: a) the identification of battered pregnant women in prenatal care should be triggered by a pattern of behaviors and attitudes of battered women, such as being unkempt, shyness, and above all, poor control over decisions on their health care; b) physical and emotional violence were the most frequently types of violence identified by midwives during prenatal care visits. Sexual violence was more difficult to identify. CONCLUSIONS: It is necessary to incorporate midwives in the national plans and programs to prevent domestic violence. Midwives' practices provide opportunities to care for battered women. Specialized training strategies must be directed to midwives caring for pregnant women in Mexico.

Keywords : midwives; pregnancy; domestic violence; Mexico.

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