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The relationship between physical violence during pregnancy and stillbirth and neonatal mortality

Tannaz Valadbeigi, Hasan Ahmadi Gharaei, Abdolhalim Rajabi et al


Background: Violence against women is one of the major public health issues and violation of women's human rights. Violence may affect women's health, especially during pregnancy. In addition to serious consequences for women's health, it will also impact the health of a growing fetus. Material and Method: This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between physical violence during pregnancy and stillbirth and neonatal mortality. This s a population base case-control study conducted on pregnant women attending public health centers in 10 provinces of Iran. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS (version 21), descriptive statistics and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis at a significance level of less than 0.05. Results: In this study, 193 participants (6.9%) had experienced physical violence including 104 controls (7.7%) and 89 cases (6.4%) and a significant relation was found between physical violence and stillbirth during pregnancy (OR=1.54, CI: 1.16-2.05). There was also a significant association between stillbirth and maternal lower educational level (OR=3.7, CI: 2.4-5.6), accidental blows on the mother (OR=5.83, CI: 3.09-10.98). No significant association was observed between physical violence during pregnancy and neonatal mortality. However, neonatal mortality was significantly related to the accidental blows (OR=15.25, CI: 8.2-28.38). Discussion and Conclusion: The results of this study showed that physical violence and accidental blows during pregnancy can cause stillbirth and neonatal mortality. Accordingly, it is recommended to take necessary measures through performing proper and routine screening for domestic violence during pregnancy and offering educational measures to empower women and raise men’s awareness.

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