The world’s first maternity clinic offering specialist support to rape survivors has been launched at The Royal London Hospital.
Enfield’s very own Pavan Amara (pictured) and Barts Health NHS have set up the My Body Back maternity clinic in response to women who said they experienced flashbacks of being attacked whilst undergoing routine maternity tests and during labour.
‘A number of the women told me how isolated they felt throughout pregnancy and labour and how it had triggered them into remembering their experience of being raped. They felt they couldn't tell anyone how they were feeling and hospital staff didn't understand why they were so upset when they had to be touched during pregnancy tests, or why they were crying and emotional throughout labour.’
Pavan founded the My Body Back Project in August 2015 and established the first NHS service offering women who have been sexually assaulted access to specialist support to undergo a cervical smear test and testing for sexual infections.
The new clinic will offer antenatal classes and breastfeeding advice, specialist gynaecological exams and mental health support after labour. It will uniquely provide NHS clinical and psychological support as well as mental health advice for women who are concerned that the necessary health care may trigger painful memories.
‘This is just the first step, the first clinic,’ said Pavan. ‘There needs to be so much more to push everything in the right direction. One in four women experience some form of serious sexual assault and rape, that’s a huge proportion of women, and their babies, who need to get the care and treatment they deserve.’
Women who are not yet pregnant can also access pre-conceptual care. The My Body Back maternity clinic will be run by Pavan Amara with consultant midwife Inderjeet Kaur and obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Rehan Khan who both work at The Royal London Hospital.
Face-to-face appointments will be offered from Friday July 29 2016. Women from across the UK are invited to contact the clinic for a confidential advice and information on firstname.lastname@example.org.