Safe Mom, Safe Baby


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant risk factor for maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Stress is a key factor in the pathway to preterm birth and stress can be exacerbated by money, work, relationships, health, abuse, safety and racism. IPV victims are 1.4 times more likely to have a low birth weight baby. Increased screening for IPV among this population can lead to disclosure and then women can be connected to support services that promote safety planning and adoption of risk-reducing behaviors. The Safe Mom, Safe Baby program has developed an evidence-based, collaborative model for providing sensitive and effective services to pregnant women experiencing IPV in Milwaukee and the program recently was awarded continued funding to expand their program over the next three years.


  • Expand the SMSB program to additional provider offices and community agencies.
  • Provide outreach to the Latina community.
  • Plan for and ensure the sustainability of the SMSB program.

Population Served

Pregnant and postpartum women ages 19-40 in the Milwaukee area who are in abusive relationships.


June 2005-March 2011

Accomplishments as of April 2008

  • 200+ women served, predominantly socio-economically disadvantaged.
  • 700+ physicians, midwives, RN, MA and social workers educated.
  • Significant increase in referrals into the program during the first trimester.
  • Made positive progression in stages of change from contemplation towards action.

Academic Accomplishments

Kramer, A. (2007). Stages of Change: Surviving Intimate Partner Violence During and After Pregnancy. J. Perinat Neonat Nurs, 21(4):285-295.

Tran, P., Kramer, A., Watts, T., Doucette-Wilkinson, N., Bergstrom, J. (2009). Safe Mom, Safe Baby Program Evaluation. Poster, Population Health Sciences in Wisconsin & Beyond – Providing Evidence for Clinical Practice and Public Health, Madison, WI (August).


Partner Organizations

Aurora Health Care

  • Alice Kramer, M.S., R.N., C.E.N.
  • Tina Watts, R.N.

Task Force on Family Violence

  • Connie Medina
  • JoEl Demant, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.

UW School of Medicine and Public Health

  • Tina Mason, M.D., M.P.H., FACOG
  • Jacquelynn Tillett, C.N.M., N.D., FACNM

Evaluation Partner

Center for Urban Population Health

  • Jessica Bergstrom, M.P.H.
  • Melissa Lemke, M.A.
  • Paula Tran, B.S. 

Funding Source

The Wisconsin Partnership Fund for a Healthy Future