Pregnant Maori women who experience domestic violence are more likely to face potential problems trying to get health care, according to a study by researchers at the University of Auckland.
The study used hospital records of pregnant women admitted to public hospitals over five years.
Researchers Pauline Gulliver and Robyn Dixon examined the immediate and long-term health outcomes of pregnant women who were hospitalised after being assaulted.
By looking at the link between ethnicity and the health of pregnant women, they found Maori women had an increased rate of going into early labour and bleeding.
Dr Gulliver and Dr Dixon also discovered that Maori women were more likely to suffer from infectious complications, spontaneous abortions and stillbirth.
Dr Gulliver says clinicians and midwives should screen pregnant women asking them if they feel safe in their relationships and giving them the opportunity to speak out, and provide resources to help them.