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Breastfeeding, Maternal-child nursing, Trauma, Violence



  1. Averbuch, Tali MPP, BSN, RN
  2. Spatz, Diane PhD, RNC, FAAN


Violence against women and girls is a widespread problem, with negative ramifications for both physical and mental health. Many women in abusive relationships find the violence escalates when they are pregnant. For the survivor of childhood violence, memories of the abuse may come to the forefront during the childbearing period due to the intense physical and emotional nature of pregnancy and birth. Nurses will often be the care providers encouraging new mothers to breastfeed, and may face unique challenges with patients who are survivors of abuse. This article addresses issues surrounding violence and breastfeeding, and offers some strategies nurses can use to bolster the affected new mother's ability to take care of herself and her baby.