Presentation Information

Molly Dutton-Kenny

Respectful Pelvic Exams From a Trauma-Informed Lens

  • Speaker: Molly Dutton-Kenny , CPM, RM
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 ACM CPD, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU

Pelvic Exams are so commonplace in midwifery practice that we often fail to appreciate their significance in our client’s lives. Pelvic exams have the potential for both trauma and trust-building in the midwife-client relationship.

Trauma manifests in our clients lives and bodies in a myriad of ways. Statistically, a majority of our clients have experienced various direct traumas in their lives, with a significant portion focused on pelvic trauma & assault. Additionally, clients hold the epigenetic trauma from historical wrongs in gynecology and treatment of bodies in various lineages as a result of white supremacy and toxic patriarchy.

All bodies deserve respectful care. When done carefully, pelvic exams have the potential to be safe, trust-building experiences with the benefit of seeking key medical information. Together, we will interrogate the common pelvic exam from a trauma-informed lens and consider our practices carefully. We will build strategies for respectful pelvic exams, including managing pain & anxiety in clients, what to do when clients do (and don’t!) disclose past trauma, avoiding triggers, and consider modifications to our own practices.