HYDERABAD: Domestic violence could have a severe impact on a child, even before he/she is born, according to experts. Recent research shows that children born to abused pregnant women could show emotional and behavioural trauma symptoms within the first year of their lives. Doctors feel it’s important for the mother to be happy during pregnancy, as stress could have an impact on the unborn child.
“Domestic violence has a definite impact on the child since it contributes to the mental state of the mother during pregnancy. Babies could develop psychiatric problems, such as attention deficit-disorder, among others,” explains Dr Shantha Kumari, senior gynaecologist at Care Hospital.
The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstretrics (FIGO) has dedicated year 2015 to make the world a safer place for women, free from domestic violence and all other forms of violence. FIGO has formed a committee to save women against adversities and domestic violence, and Dr Kumari is part of the committee representing India.
Recent global research studies have shown that children whose mothers were subject to domestic violence during pregnancy could have various symptoms, including nightmares, bothered by loud noises and bright lights, avoiding physical contact and experiencing trouble being happy.
“In cases of domestic violence, the mothers undergo a lot of stress, which contributes largely to all kinds of disorders that the child may have,” Dr Kumari observed. “She may even have suicidal tendency. Her nutrition levels will suffer as a result and subsequently that of her child’s. As a result, the child could also be born retarded,” warned Dr Rooma Sinha, gynaecologist at Apollo Hospital. “In case of physical abuse, any direct injury to the child could be fatal. The mother could have a miscarriage, there could be bleeding and there may also be a premature delivery,” Dr Rooma added.