Trauma is experienced throughout the life span, and traumatic experiences may be remote events or current and ongoing. The health care community continues to learn the many ways in which trauma affects an individual’s health, relationships, utilization of the health care system, health care experience, and ability to adopt health-related recommendations. It is important for obstetrician–gynecologists and other health care practitioners to recognize the prevalence and effect of trauma on patients and the health care team and incorporate trauma-informed approaches to delivery of care. Although trauma spans all races, ages, and socioeconomic statuses, some populations are exposed to trauma at higher rates and with greater frequency of repeated victimization. A number of health effects that may be associated with trauma are seen frequently in obstetrics and gynecology, including chronic pelvic pain, sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancy, conflicted feelings about pregnancy and sexuality, and difficulty with infant attachment postpartum. Obstetrician–gynecologists should become familiar with the trauma-informed model of care and strive to universally implement a trauma-informed approach across all levels of their practice with close attention to avoiding stigmatization and prioritizing resilience.
ACOG Committee Opinion, Number 825: Caring for Patients Who Have Experienced Trauma