Compassionate Pregnancy & Birth Care for Sexual Abuse Survivors

Lucie BryantMidwifery, Sexual Abuse

In Due Season is a prenatal office and birthing center in Pasco county, staffed by midwives and mental health care professionals. We wish to provide a safe, comfortable environment for sexual trauma survivors to feel safe and well-cared for during the amazing life event of becoming a mother. Our services are aimed at understanding how a trauma-informed approach can be practically implemented across the maternity health care sector. Our office offers a specific delivery system through midwife-led care and continues to serve a diverse population in Pasco County and surrounding counties. Our compassionate, personalized care is designed to expand and enhance healthcare approaches with a focus on improving childbirth outcomes and reducing the incidence of postpartum mental illness.

The Story line is simplistic, everyday maternity healthcare workers encounter women who have experienced childhood sexual trauma. The healthcare workers are often ill-prepared in understanding, body memory, the effects of trauma on the endocrine system, and the overall mental health barriers that are maintained by a survivor of sexual abuse. Without this crucial understanding and a protocol in place, our society will likely see a continued rise in cesarean rates and other technological interventions which can often hinder the appropriate hormonal response in a birthing and subsequently postpartum mother. This hormonal imbalance can and has increased the incidence of failure to progress during labor, as well
as the incidence of postpartum mental illness.

We are recruiting additional participation of maternity healthcare workers including doctors, midwives, labor and delivery nurses, and lactation counselors, which will add to a collective database of case studies that include patient questionnaires, counseling session results, interventions during labor and delivery, L&D reports, breastfeeding progress, the bonding experience and the postpartum condition of the mother.

Our comprehensive program includes:

  • Screening processes
  • Support groups
  • Coping strategies
  • Touch and Massage Therapy
  • Individual counselling
  • Outside Resource Referrals