An exploration of the prenatal, intranatal and postnatal psychological experience of Women who have been sexually abused in childhood

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Ayres, Maggie
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The subject of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) has historically been a silent one. In the last decade, this silence has been eroding. This study explores the largely under researched area of how pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period are experienced by women who have been sexually abused in childhood. In order to capture the richness of these women's experiences, the qualitative research method of semi-structured interviews was selected. The findings bring to light the elements, both positive and negative, which influence the participant's lived experience of childbearing. It also brings a focus to the part played by memory in this experience. In giving voice to the legacy of CSA in childbirth, it is hoped that this research will inform training in the midwifery profession and serve as a guide to practitioners in counselling and psychotherapy.