Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, if the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy are ideal. Unfortunately, not all pregnancies are planned, and an unexpected pregnancy can wreak havoc on a woman’s life. In fact, the woman may not be sure if she wants to continue the pregnancy. In these situations, pregnancy counseling can be helpful in many ways. Here are some examples of how counseling can help:
Support – Sometimes a pregnant woman may feel alone, as if she has no one else to turn to. The father of the unborn child may not be around and the woman may not have anyone else she trusts enough to discuss her unplanned pregnancy with. A counselor can provide the woman with someone to talk to and listen to her feelings regarding becoming pregnant without expecting to do so.
Support is very important at this time, because it can prevent the woman from making a hasty decision regarding the pregnancy. A woman could regret a decision for a lifetime if she were to opt for an abortion, but then change her mind after the procedure had already been performed. This could lead to depression and anxiety, which can be avoided with proper counseling. Women who have become pregnant aren’t always married or in committed relationships. They could have become pregnant after a one-night stand or similar situation that could cause them to feel shameful regarding the pregnancy.
Options – A certified pregnancy counselor can inform a woman of all of the options regarding her unborn child. Of course the woman can decide to continue with the pregnancy and raise the baby herself, with or without the baby’s father, or she can decide to give the child up for adoption once it is born. The counselor can inform the mother of another option, which is to abort the pregnancy. If the mother is leaning towards this option, the counselor can help her make absolutely sure that abortion is what she desires to do.
Referrals – By seeking assistance from a pregnancy counselor, a pregnant woman can be referred for various services in her community. These services will depend on the specific needs of the woman, and it can include housing, food, clothing, and more. Depending on where the woman lives, she could possibly be referred to an agency where she can receive everything that she needs for her baby just prior to its birth, including:
- Crib, bassinet, playard
- Stroller, walker, swing
- Diapers, wipes, car seat
- Bottles, pacifiers, toys
Women can also be referred to free or low-cost clinics for prenatal care. Most pregnant women qualify for Medicaid automatically, if their income is below a certain amount. If for some reason a woman is unable to qualify for Medicaid, then the counselor can refer the woman to a representative who can assist her with applying for affordable healthcare through the new government Marketplace, which can provide coverage during pregnancy, and even afterwards.
Pregnancy counseling can help a woman who is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in many ways. It doesn’t matter if the woman needs assistance with deciding whether or not she should continue with the pregnancy, or she simply needs referrals for other services, counseling can provide a woman with the support that she needs to make the best decision regarding her unborn child.
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