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You may be weighing your options and are considering adoption after finding out you're pregnant.

What Are the Different Types of Adoptions?

With an unplanned pregnancy, it can be easy to want to delay the decision-making process. We understand and want to help. Adoption could be a great fit for you. You may be considering adoption because:

  • You want to give your baby life, but you don't feel ready to parent
  • Your living situation is not fit for raising a child
  • You desire to provide for your child financially and emotionally but are unable to yourself
  • You want your child to have two parents involved in his or her life

Motherhood looks different for every woman. Adoption is a selfless and loving decision for you, the adoptive parents, and your child. There are many kinds of adoptions that allow you to have the type of relationship you desire with your child. As the birth mother, the adoption plan is entirely up to you. You are in control.

Different Types of Adoptions

If you are exploring the idea of adoption due to financial hardship, a complicated life situation, or your age, you have options. With any adoption, the birth mother (and birth father, if available) makes an adoption plan for their child with the help of an adoption agency or legal representative. Let's get into some of the different types of adoption:

Open Adoption

Most adoptions today are called "open adoptions." With this adoption type, you get to have regular contact with your child and the adoptive family of your choosing. You and the adoptive family will exchange contact information and other information you both would like to know.

You then discuss how often you will see your child and come to an agreement. Many times, the birth mother becomes a part of the adoptive family with close communication and events. You decide how much you want to be involved and what's most comfortable for all of you.

Semi-Open Adoption

If you like the idea of communicating with the adoptive family but don't want to give out your contact information, you may consider a semi-open adoption.  This type of adoption gives you the freedom to choose the type of communication you want with your child. Communication is usually mediated by the adoption agency and is usually through phone calls, emails, letters, and pictures through the agency.  A semi-open adoption makes it possible to keep your identity private while still allowing you contact with your child and their family.  Visits can be scheduled and attended by this adoption professional.  If both parties decide it would be comfortable, they can decide to have the adoption become open.

Closed Adoption

Closed adoption is rare but it is a viable option if it suits you better. This involves the process of an adoption agency choosing a family for you. If you do not want contact with the adoptive family or your child at this time, this may be the option for you. It's totally ok to remain anonymous.

You may want to work with an adoption agency to find an adoptive family. If so, know ahead of time that the adoptive family goes through an extensive process to be approved. Background checks, including criminal and abuse records, are done. The family must fill out a lengthy questionnaire about their home life, hobbies, religion, and more. Plus, they create a family portfolio. By the end of the process, you will have a good idea if the family is a good match.

Who Pays Expenses

If you work with an adoption agency or attorney, you can receive financial assistance for medical, legal, counseling fees, and possibly living expenses. Any reputable agency or attorney will ask nothing of you financially. You should pay nothing.

Is Adoption for You?

You may need adoption advice to make a confident decision. Our team at Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is here to help you understand this option more fully. We can also connect you to valuable resources to learn more about adoption.

Schedule a no-cost and confidential appointment to talk to one of our caring and professional case managers to further explore this option. We are here to help so you can make a fully informed decision and have support along the way.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Read more about the risks of ordering the abortion pill online in this blog.

If you're in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy, you might find yourself dreaming of just wishing it all away — if only a fairy godmother would just show up and make all of your problems disappear.

For many women, ordering the abortion pill online feels like the closest thing to "wishing it all away," however, as with any medication, it's important to use caution.  Like most medical procedures, the abortion pill comes with a list of risks and side effects, but possibly even more so when ordered online.

Here are a few important reasons to avoid ordering the abortion pill online:


1. The abortion pill is required to be administered under the supervision of a healthcare provider
 

In order to understand the risks you might encounter, it's important to first understand how the process works.

The abortion pill is a two-step process using the drugs Mifepristone (Mifeprex®) and Misoprostol. The first pill terminates the pregnancy by stopping the production of the pregnancy hormone called progesterone. Misoprostol, the second pill, then causes contractions in the uterus to expel the embryo from the womb.

Typical side effects include diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, or indigestion.(END NOTE 1)  In addition to these side effects, there are other more serious risks discussed later in this blog.

Because of these risks and possible side effects, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that the abortion pill "must be ordered, prescribed and dispensed by or under the supervision of a healthcare provider." (END NOTE 2)

2. Ordering the abortion pill online bypasses important safeguards designed to protect your health

 

Any medication has possible side effects, but the risk increases significantly when the medication is purchased over the internet.  Many online sites sell abortion pills from foreign sources which are not approved by the FDA and may not be safe possibly leading to additional complications and side effects.

The FDA warns specifically "You should not buy Mifeprex over the internet because you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health."[i](END NOTE 2)

3. There are risks of serious complications
 

The FDA warns of risks of serious complications including "fatal infections or bleeding", and requires that the abortion pill be available only through a "restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy."(END NOTE 3) 

Patients must be advised about the "risk of these serious events" and know whom to call and what to do in the event of sustained fever, severe abdominal pain, prolonged heavy bleeding, or fainting, or general malaise (including weakness, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea) for more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol.

It is recommended that women have an ultrasound exam before terminating a pregnancy to ensure that they are not within a higher risk category. Health conditions such as ectopic pregnancy can cause severe outcomes. 
 

4. The at-home abortion process may cause emotional harm
 

The emotions experienced by a post-abortive woman range greatly.  While some experience an initial sense of relief, there can be longer-term effects on a woman's psyche and/or her physical health that surface months or years later. (END NOTE 4 AND 5)

A study on abortion and mental health reveals a "moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion.(END NOTE 6)

One important consideration for the emotional impact of the abortion pill is that since the gestational age for when the abortion pill can be taken was increased from 7 weeks to 10 weeks, it becomes more likely a woman will recognize the expelled baby.  The impact of this is unknown. 

5. An ultrasound is the only sure way to know if the pregnancy is early enough for the abortion pill to be effective


The abortion pill is given to women within the first 70 days (or 10 weeks) of gestation.2 In later stages of pregnancy, the fetus will be too far along in development.
Before taking the abortion pill, a limited OB ultrasound exam is highly recommended.  This exam will determine three key things about a pregnancy:  1) Is the pregnancy located in the uterus (if not, that can be fatal to the mother), 2) Is there fetal cardiac activity (if not, the pregnancy may end on its own), and 3) How far along is the pregnancy.

An important first step°

If you are considering terminating your pregnancy, it's important that you gather all of the information on your pregnancy — how far along you are, whether the pregnancy is viable, and what options are available to you.

At the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we provide the services needed to help you make a fully informed choice. From clinical pregnancy testing, to ultrasound scans, to options counseling, all of our services are provided on a no-cost and confidential basis so that you can make a fully informed decision for your health and your future.
 

Contact us today and let us help.


Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and need help understanding all your options? You are not alone. Before you move forward, take your time to consider all your options and discuss them with someone you trust.

What Are the Different Types of Abortion Procedures?

If you are considering abortion, you should know about each type of procedure and what each one entails.  There are several methods including medical abortion, vacuum aspiration procedure, and a dilation and evacuation procedure. Each type has potential physical and/or emotional consequences, so it's important to be fully informed before making your pregnancy decision.

Surgical Abortion Procedures1

There are two types of surgical abortions, a vacuum aspiration procedure and a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure.

Vacuum Aspiration

Women can have a vacuum aspiration procedure up to 14 weeks gestation (healthline, 2016). This procedure uses a suction catheter to empty the contents of the uterus.

Side effects of a vacuum aspiration abortion could include:

  • Bleeding or spotting
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Infection
  • Dizziness

Dilation & Evacuation

A D&E abortion is typically performed after the 14th week of pregnancy (healthline, 2016). In this procedure, the patient's cervix is dilated and then forceps and an instrument called a curette are used to remove the contents of the uterus. This procedure takes two days to complete and recovery can take up to two weeks.

Side effects of dilation and evacuation abortion could include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Incomplete abortion

Surgical abortions increase the risk of scarring the lining of her uterus which poses potential risk for future pregnancies.

Medical Abortion2

The other type of abortion procedure is called a medical abortion. A medical abortion is performed up to 10 weeks into the pregnancy (mayoclinic, 2020). This procedure involves ending a pregnancy through two types of medication.

Mifepristone, the first medication, is taken at a medical office and the second medication, Misoprostol, is taken at home. The first medication thins the lining of the uterus to prevent the embryo from staying implanted or growing. The second medication causes cramping to expel the embryo. Follow-up visits with a doctor are needed 24-48 hours after.

Side effects of a medical abortion could include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
  • Incomplete abortion

What's Next?

The best step to take before making a pregnancy decision is to confirm your pregnancy through testing and an ultrasound. An ultrasound will determine how far along you are and alert you to health concerns such as ectopic pregnancy.

We are here for you. Receive clinical pregnancy testing and an ultrasound from our medical team at Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic. We offer our services at no cost to our clients and all are completely confidential.

Schedule your appointment today.

 

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

"Surgical Abortion." Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/surgical-abortion#overview.

"Medical Abortion." Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/medical-abortion/about/pac-20394687.

As the female body prepares to grow, carry, and care for another human, it only makes sense that it might experience some noticeable changes.

How to Recognize Early Pregnancy Symptoms

If you think you might be pregnant, there are some signs to keep an eye out for that might help indicate whether or not you're right. While the only real way to be certain is through clinical pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan, understanding how to recognize early pregnancy symptoms will help you know when to visit your local pregnancy clinic.

Here are the top early pregnancy symptoms to look out for:

1. Missed Period

When a woman becomes pregnant, she will no longer ovulate or have her period. For many women, a missed period is the first sign of pregnancy that's noticed. However, if you have irregular cycles or don't typically keep track of your period, you might miss this sign.

2. Spotting

Spotting is a common sign early on in pregnancy and can occur when the fertilized egg is implanting and attaching to the uterine lining.

3. Cramping

Similar to period cramps, women might experience mild cramping in their abdominal area in the early pregnancy stages.

4. Swollen or Tender Breasts

As the entire body changes to prepare itself to carry and care for a human, pregnant women will also likely experience a change in the size and sensitivity of their breasts as they prepare to supply milk for the baby.

5. Fatigue or Tiredness

In the early pregnancy stages, the body's production of progesterone increases drastically. So will a woman's levels of tiredness and fatigue. While this might make typical activities exhausting, it's important to get that extra rest your body needs.

6. Nausea

Pregnancy brings on an increase in hormones to care for the developing fetus and these changes can often lead to pregnancy-related nausea. While this symptom is sometimes referred to as "morning sickness," it can, unfortunately, affect women throughout all hours of the day and night. Thankfully, this side effect of pregnancy will typically only last through the first trimester.

7. Frequent Urination

The hormonal changes that come in the early stages of pregnancy can lead to increased fluid in the body and more efficient kidneys, leading to more frequent urination. Additionally, the uterus, as it starts to expand, can put pressure on the bladder. It then sends signals to the brain that it's time to go to the bathroom.

8. Darkening of Areolas

In addition to swollen and tender breasts, women might experience a change in the color and texture of the areolas. This change is typically due to an increase in the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

9. Food Cravings

Similar to the changes in appetite surrounding the ebbs and flows of the menstrual cycle, newly pregnant women might find themselves craving new, and sometimes unusual, foods.

Wonder if you're pregnant? Click here to take our pregnancy symptom quiz!

 

 

Plan B and the abortion pill — is there a difference?

Plan B vs. the Abortion Pill

Your friends here at Open Arms are here to help break down this important difference and help guide you through the various pregnancy options.

What is "Plan B"?

Plan B, also known as "the morning-after pill" is a form of over-the-counter emergency contraception taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex and is used to prevent a pregnancy from happening.

How Does Plan B Work?

Depending on where you were in your menstrual cycle when unprotected sex occurred, Plan B will use the following three-step process:

  1. The pill may prevent pregnancy by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg and thus preventing fertilization.
  2. The pill may prevent ovulation (the egg will not be released), thus preventing fertilization.
  3. If fertilization does occur, it may prevent the embryo from being able to attach to the uterus, thus causing a very early abortion.

What are the Side Effects of Plan B?

Before taking any kind of medication, it's essential to take time to gather information regarding the side effects and risks you might encounter.

Those who take Plan B might experience the following side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Headaches
  • Unusual Bleeding
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Exhaustion
  • Irregular menstrual periods

What is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill uses medication to end a pregnancy within ten weeks after the last period. The two-drug process utilizes the medications Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

The main difference between the abortion pill and Plan B is that Plan B typically prevents pregnancies while the abortion pill ends pregnancies. 

How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

Mifepristone, the first pill in the two-step process, ceases the production of the pregnancy hormone called progesterone. Progesterone provides necessary nutrients to the pregnancy and without it, the pregnancy will end. After the pregnancy has been terminated, Misoprostol will be taken to cause contractions and force the pregnancy from the womb.

What are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

Those who take the abortion pill might experience the following side effects:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Fever and chills

The abortion pill  is also associated with other possible serious risks such as°

  • Incomplete abortions, in which the abortion pill fails to end the pregnancy and emergency surgery may then be required
  • Emotional trauma and increased mental health issues associated with the abortion process1
  • Infections and hemorrhaging due to retained fetal tissue

I'm Pregnant — What are my options?

If you're experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, it's important to remember you're not alone and you have options.

Open Arms is proud to offer no-cost, confidential pregnancy services including clinical pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and options counseling. We're here to provide you with information regarding the options available to you, and help guide you through your decision-making process so you can make the choice that's best for you and your future.

  1. Broen AN, Moum T, Bødtker AS, Ekeberg O. The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, five-year follow-up study. BMC Med. 2005;3:18.

Between parenting, adoption, and abortion, the decision can be challenging. There are several factors that should be considered. 

What Are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

It's important to take the time you need to gather all of the information available before making such an impactful choice for your life.   If you found this blog, you likely have questions about the abortion pill.

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill, also known as a medication abortion, is a chemical process of ending a pregnancy. The abortion "pill" is actually two separate pills and can typically be taken within the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

The drug Mifepristone is administered first to stop the body's production of the hormone progesterone, which provides the pregnancy the nutrients it needs to grow.

Next, Misoprostol, the second pill, is taken to begin contractions and force the pregnancy from the womb.

What will completing the abortion be like?

The two pills are taken between 24-48 hours apart and the abortion is typically completed at home. The process of expelling a pregnancy by abortion is similar to that of a miscarriage.

One should expect to experience intense cramping, heavy bleeding, and the passing of large blood clots that contain the pregnancy tissue. These blood clots can be as large as a golf ball.

What are the side effects of the abortion pill?

Women who choose to undergo a medication abortion may experience some or all of the following physical side effects:

  • Cramping and abdominal pain
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches

What are the long-term risks associated with the abortion pill? 

Before deciding to have an abortion, you should take time to educate yourself on the various long-term risks some women have experienced.

Although rare, some of these potential long-term or serious risks include the following:

  • Life-threatening infections and hemorrhaging caused by an incomplete abortion
  • Trauma from the abortion experience, which can trigger mental health issues like depression and anxiety1
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) caused by abortion and untreated Chlamydia2
  • Future fertility issues related to abortion complications3

What should I do before scheduling an abortion?

Before scheduling an appointment for an abortion, it is important to confirm a viable pregnancy and to understand how far along the pregnancy is.

Here at Open Arms, we provide no-cost pregnancy confirmation and information regarding all of your options.

If a viable pregnancy is confirmed, our caring medical staff will walk you through the options available to you and help you navigate this important decision.  You're not alone.  We are here to help.

  1. Broen AN, Moum T, Bødtker AS, Ekeberg O. The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, fiveyear follow-up study. BMC Med. 2005;3:18.

  2. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). "Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease." Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). "Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion." Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). "The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease." Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.

  3. Bhattacharya, S. et al. Reproductive outcomes following induced abortion: a national register-based cohort study in Scotland. BMJ Open. 2, (2012).


Photo by Annika Palmari on Unsplash

 

 

 

In this article, we discuss the three things you need to do before having an abortion, as well as how you can get them for free! Click here to find out more!

3 Things Needed Before Abortion and How to Get them for Free

We know how hard an unplanned pregnancy can be. At the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we've helped thousands of women and we can help you, too. You are not alone. If you are considering an abortion, there are some important steps you should take beforehand. Here are three things you need to do before an abortion and how to receive them for free.

1. Free Clinical Pregnancy Testing

 

Your first step to take before an abortion is a pregnancy test. This may sound like a simple step, but it's the preliminary indication that you may be pregnant. However, even if your at-home test came back positive, it's important to have a clinical pregnancy test performed by a medical professional. The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic offers free and confidential clinical pregnancy testing.

2. Free Ultrasound

 

The next step in your preparation process is to have an ultrasound exam. Open Arms offers free limited OB ultrasound exams as well. This ultrasound will reveal how far along you are in your pregnancy and whether or not your pregnancy is even viable. This is vital information to have as part of your decision-making process.

3. Free Options Counseling

 

Once you have a viable pregnancy confirmed and know exactly how far along you are in your pregnancy, the next step is to explore all three options - abortion, adoption, and parenting. Deciding to move forward with any of these options is a big decision, but you don't have to face this decision alone.

 

We are here to help. We will provide you with resources as well as the information you'll need in order to make an empowered decision for your future. All of our services are completely free and confidential.

 

Make an appointment with us today to talk about your options.

If you're facing an unplanned pregnancy, it's possible one of the first things that came to mind is wondering what your parents would think if they found out.

How to Tell Your Parents That You Are Pregnant

For some women, the idea of having to tell their parents is the scariest part of being pregnant. Your mind is flooded with the worst-case scenarios— "How will they react? Will they yell at me? Will they kick me out? Will they ever talk to me again?"

The reality is, you will never know how your parents will react until you tell them. You may be surprised.  Their reaction may be far more loving and supportive than you could imagine.

Should I tell my parents I'm pregnant?

It's important your parents find out about your pregnancy from you, not your friends' parents or someone else in your community. While it may feel incredibly intimidating to tell your parents you're pregnant, regardless of their reaction, you will likely feel a sense of relief knowing you no longer have to treat your pregnancy as a secret. Hopefully, your parents will be supportive in the long run, and telling them sooner rather than later will give them time to adjust to the news and become a source of support as you walk through this important time.

Regardless of what pregnancy option you're leaning towards, the thought of telling your parents you're pregnant is likely pretty scary. However, it can be an important step to take as you walk through an unplanned pregnancy.

To help you out, here are our top tips for telling your parents you're pregnant:

1.Confirm the Pregnancy at Your Local Pregnancy Clinic

Before you tell your parents, you may first want to confirm that you're really pregnant. Your local pregnancy clinic will provide confidential, no-cost pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan. The ultrasound scan will give you vital information on your pregnancy like whether or not the pregnancy is viable and how far along you are.

You might even consider bringing an image from your ultrasound scan when you tell your parents. Not only will this show them you're taking this seriously, but it might also help them move from shock to excitement.

2. Prepare for the Conversation First with Your Case Manager

It can be hard to know how to tell your parents that you're pregnant. If you're struggling to come up with the words to say, your case manager at your local pregnancy clinic can help you navigate this challenging conversation. It may seem silly, but rehearsing what you'll say will help you stay calm as you prepare to talk with your parents.

3. Choose a Time and Place Strategically

They say "timing is everything." When telling your parents you're pregnant, we recommend being strategic regarding when and where you choose to have this important conversation — more specifically, when and where not to. For a conversation that could become emotional and/or long, avoid telling your parents while they're driving, about to leave the house, preoccupied, or dealing with something else that's frustrating or emotional.

4. Tell Them How You're Feeling

When telling your parents, you might only be thinking about one thing: how they're going to react. However, it's important that you're honest with them in expressing your own emotions in the conversation. If you're feeling disappointed with yourself, tell them. If you're feeling scared and overwhelmed, tell them. Knowing how you're feeling will likely help them see the full picture of what you're experiencing. 

5. Prepare for all Situations 

As you prepare for this conversation, it might help you to run through the many scenarios in your head. While we hope your parents' reaction will surprise you in a positive way, you should also prepare for the worst. Instead of letting this worst-case scenario detract you from telling them at all, use it to help you prepare.

If you feel like your parents might be overly angry, or if you've ever experienced verbal or physical abuse, you might consider bringing a friend, mentor, or someone else you trust.  Again, we recommend you speak to your Case Manager at your local pregnancy clinic who will provide you with important considerations, suggestions and resources.

Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy isn't easy, but thankfully there's help available to you. Here at Open Arms, we're passionate about guiding women and men as they navigate their pregnancy options.  If we can help, call or text us to schedule your free and confidential appointment.

Finding out your girlfriend is unexpectedly pregnant can bring feelings of shock, fear, and maybe even anger.

My Girlfriend Is Pregnant - Where Can We Get Free Help?

While you want to be supportive and loving during this time, you're also likely finding yourself consumed with your own fears and worries. Whether you feel too young to be a dad or don't feel financially ready for the costs that come with parenting, you and your girlfriend need to take time to carefully consider the options available to you.

The good news is, you don't have to walk through this alone.  Here's our advice on next steps and where to find free help when facing an unplanned pregnancy.

1. Confirm the Pregnancy

Your girlfriend took an at-home pregnancy test and you both immediately freak out. When facing an unexpected pregnancy, these feelings are normal, however, it's important that you take a deep breath and take the necessary steps to confirm the pregnancy.  While taking a pregnancy test is a great place to start, you'll want to schedule an appointment at your local pregnancy clinic where you'll have access to free clinical pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan.

The ultrasound will confirm how far along the pregnancy is and whether or not the pregnancy is viable.  Regardless of the pregnancy options you and your girlfriend are considering, an ultrasound is essential in helping you both make an informed choice.

2. Take Time to Consider Your Options

After you confirm your pregnancy, it's important that you take time to carefully consider the options available to you. When facing an unplanned pregnancy, there are three options — parenting, abortion, or adoption.

Instead of letting fear and anxiety drive your decision-making process, take time to gather information about the various options and the resources within your community.

Your local pregnancy clinic specializes in assisting those facing pregnancy-related decisions.  Schedule an appointment to talk with a male case manager who will guide you through your decision-making process and give you a safe place to process your thoughts and get answers to all of your questions.

The more knowledge you have, the more confident you will feel as you and your girlfriend make this important decision.

3. Tell Someone You Trust

It might be tempting for you and your girlfriend to attempt to handle this challenge on your own. However, making decisions in isolation can be dangerous and can lead to regrets.

While it can be hard to tell a friend or family member that you're facing an unplanned pregnancy, this important step might be key in making an informed decision, as those around you might be one of your greatest resources during this time. Anxiety over how your family member or friend might react may cause you to not want to tell them.  That's normal.  But consider how they would feel years later not having been trusted to help you through this.  Anticipate that the news may be hard for them at first, but you also might be surprised by the support and love you and your girlfriend receive from your community.

Whether you decide to tell a friend or family member or not, consider scheduling an appointment to talk to one of our male case managers. The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is a safe space for you and your girlfriend to process your thoughts and fears, ask questions, and make an informed decision.  

All of our services are free and confidential.  Call or text us today at 818.626.9404.

 Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

If you think you might be pregnant, there's no better way to find out than taking a pregnancy test. While this may seem a bit obvious, there's a lot more that goes into taking a reliable pregnancy test than you might think.

When should I take a pregnancy test?

How long after sex should I wait to take a pregnancy test?

Regardless of whether your pregnancy is planned or unplanned, waiting to take a pregnancy test can feel agonizing. However, if you're looking for the most accurate result, it's important to know when exactly to take the test.

Some pregnancy test brands advertise early detection, however, we still recommend waiting at least one week after your missed period for the most accurate results. While it's possible you could get an early positive test, it's also possible you could get a false negative. Your body needs time to develop detectable amounts of the pregnancy hormone hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), which is what pregnancy tests use to identify pregnancy.

It's also best to take the test when you first wake up in the morning before you've had anything to drink, as water could dilute your urine and affect your results. 

Because the accuracy of at-home pregnancy tests relies on the user following instructions perfectly, you might also consider scheduling an appointment for free clinical pregnancy testing at your local pregnancy clinic.

Signs you might be pregnant

If you're sexually active, there's always a chance you could become pregnant — even if you use birth control.

Aside from missing your period, there are few common symptoms to keep an eye out for that might indicate pregnancy.

These symptoms might include:

  • Breast tenderness or changes in the appearance of your nipples
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • New food cravings
  • Sensitivity to smells
  • Irritability and mood swings

My pregnancy test was positive!  What should I do?

Receiving a positive pregnancy test can be accompanied by a wide range of emotions. If you're experiencing feelings of fear, worry, or anxiety, you're not alone.  In an unplanned pregnancy, you have choices and it's okay to take the time you need to make the decision that's right for you.

Wondering where to start? Scheduling an appointment at your local pregnancy clinic is the perfect first step as you begin to explore the many options and resources available to you during this time.  If you're close to Northridge, we invite you to contact the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic for your free pregnancy confirmation and options counseling.  We are here to help.


Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash