Open Arms Blog

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.

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Whether you expected it or not, finding out you're pregnant has likely brought on a laundry list of questions...

6 Risks of Medical Marijuana When Pregnant

"Can I really not eat sushi for 10 months?!"
"What kind of exercise can I do?"
"Is a glass of wine here and there okay for the baby?"

The reality is, your body is going through some major changes to be able to grow your pregnancy, and you may need to alter your lifestyle to meet its new needs.

Some women ask the question, "Can I use marijuana when pregnant?

While marijuana is legal in many states and sometimes even used by women to combat pregnancy nausea and pain, there are six risks to consider before continuing the use of medicinal or recreational marijuana while pregnant. 

1. Issues with Neurological Development

Studies show that babies born to women who have used marijuana during their pregnancies are more likely to have neurological development problems. Some babies born after prenatal use of marijuana show symptoms like slow responses to visual stimuli exaggerated trembling, or an unusually high-pitched cry.1  

2. Low Birth Weight

Another harmful effect of the use of marijuana during pregnancy includes physical developmental issues which can result in low birth weight and other neonatal complications.2

3. Can Cause Harm to the Woman During Pregnancy

In addition to having negative side effects on the health of the baby, using marijuana can also impact the health of the woman carrying the pregnancy. Studies show that marijuana can increase heart rate, decrease blood pressure, and cause dizziness, anemia, or confusion during pregnancy.

4. Impacts on Learning and Social Skills Later in Life

The use of marijuana can impact babies long after birth. Studies have linked the use of marijuana during pregnancy to long-lasting inabilities to focus, problem-solve, and behave normally in social settings later on in the child's life.3

5. Exposure to Chemicals

While marijuana is a plant, there are more than 400 active chemicals in some strands. When used by a pregnant woman, these chemicals can reach pregnancy through the placenta, leading to unnecessary and potentially harmful chemical exposure in utero.

6. Increased Reliance on the Substance

Women who use marijuana before or during their pregnancy may develop a dependency on the drug. Recent studies revealed that 30% of individuals who use marijuana may develop a marijuana use disorder — meaning they may experience a dependency on the substance and go through withdrawals without use.4  Babies could then be exposed to THC through breastfeeding, which could have long-lasting negative impacts on their young, developing brains.

Pregnant and not sure what to do? We can help!

Finding out you're pregnant can bring about feelings of worry and anxiety. From wondering if you're ready to parent to knowing how to keep you and your baby healthy, there's a lot to navigate. Thankfully, you're not alone.

Here at the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we provide women with free and confidential pregnancy testing, ultrasound, options counseling, and pregnancy classes so that you can move forward with confidence.

Photo by Ömürden Cengiz on Unsplash

  1. De Moraes Barros MC, Guinsburg R, Mitsuhiro S, Chalem E, Laranjeira RR. Neurobehavioral profile of healthy full-term newborn infants of adolescent mothers. Early Hum Dev. 2008;84(5):281-287. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2007.07.001
  2. Conner SN, et al. (2016). Maternal marijuana use and adverse neonatal outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obstet Gynecol. 128(4): p. 713-23.
  3. Richardson GA, Ryan C, Willford J, Day NL, Goldschmidt L. Prenatal alcohol and marijuana exposure: effects on neuropsychological outcomes at 10 years. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2002;24(3):309-320.
  4. Hasin DS, Saha TD, Kerridge BT, et al. Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States Between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(12):1235-1242. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1858

Top 5 Side Effects of Abortion 

When considering any medical procedure, it's important to sit down and do some research on the potential side effects and risks you might experience. The same can be said about abortion. 

Whether you're considering abortion as an option for your pregnancy, researching for a friend, or have a confirmed appointment for an abortion, becoming knowledgeable about the procedure is an important step to take and will help you make an informed decision.

First off, what is abortion? 

You likely know that abortion is the process of ending a pregnancy, but do you know exactly what happens during an abortion? We're here to help you understand the procedure as well as all of your pregnancy options.

First, there are two types of abortion — medical abortions (often referred to as "the abortion pill") and surgical abortions. 

Medical abortions utilize two drugs in the form of pills to end a pregnancy within the first 70 days of gestation. The first drug, Mifepristone, stops the production of progesterone, which is a naturally produced hormone that the body makes to help the pregnancy grow. This pill is typically taken at a doctor's office or clinic. The second step utilizes the drug Misoprostol, which forces contractions and pushes the pregnancy from the uterus. While the process is started at a doctor's office, it is completed at home. 

Surgical abortions are another form of abortion that involves surgical removal of the fetus from the uterus. There are several types of surgical abortions each varying based on the stage of the pregnancy. 

Regardless of the stage of the pregnancy, a surgical abortion will entail some form of dilation of the cervix to give the abortion provider access to the pregnancy and provide a way for the pregnancy to pass from the uterus. The fetus will either be removed through suction or scraping.

What are the side effects of abortion? 

Most abortions will be accompanied by minor side effects like abdominal pain, cramping, and bleeding. With a medical abortion, common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Along with these minor side-effects, more serious complications are possible. Here are the top five side effects you should know about: 

Mental Health Issues 

Even if a woman does not experience any physical side effects from abortion, it is possible to encounter lasting mental health issues in the wake of the procedure. Many women have reported experiencing new mental health issues that are "caused, triggered, aggravated, or complicated by their abortion experience." 1 Mental health issues are not to be ignored and can have long-term implications. 

Life-Threatening Complications

Incomplete abortions occur when the abortion was not successful in expelling all of the pregnancy tissue from the uterus. This is one of the more serious risks of abortion.  When left untreated, it can result in infection or hemorrhaging. If a woman thinks she may be experiencing an incomplete abortion, it is very important a doctor be contacted immediately. 

Future Infertility

According to The Mayo Clinic, abortion can cause infertility. This is especially true for women who are using an IUD for birth control, have high blood pressure or diabetes, take blood thinners, smoke tobacco, or already have heart, liver, kidney, or lung diseases. 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

It's important to get tested for STDs before scheduling an appointment for an abortion. Women who are infected with chlamydia at the time of their abortion procedures have an increased risk of 23% for developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). 2 Once developed, PID can cause fertility issues, chronic pain, and increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy.  

Difficulty Bonding in Relationships

Many women experience this seemingly "hidden" side effect — the difficulty bonding in future relationships. This includes both romantic partnerships and future child-rearing. One study suggests that post-abortive couples have a 45 to 75 percent increase in the likelihood of breakup or divorce. Similarly, women who go on to have children after their abortion report difficulties bonding with their babies. 3

I'm pregnant! What do I do? 

Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy? You're not alone. In fact, millions of women experience unintended pregnancies each year. While it's normal to feel worried or scared, remember that you have options.

Here at Open Arms, we're passionate about guiding women through unplanned pregnancies by providing free pregnancy confirmation, resources, and options counseling. 


1. Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

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. Women's Health After Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence Paperback – April 1, 2002. Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy (Author), Ian Gentles (Author)


 

You've likely heard of an ultrasound and have a general understanding of what they're for. You've probably even seen a few of them in recent pregnancy announcements as you scroll through your social media. However, if you recently found out you're expecting, you might have a few questions you need answered.

How do Ultrasounds Work?

Here's our guide to the ins and outs of ultrasounds — how they work and why you should get one.

How do ultrasounds work?

Ultrasounds, or sonograms, are imaging scans sometimes used to diagnose a medical condition, guide a surgeon, or most commonly, to create images of a pregnancy inside of the womb. Unlike other imaging scans, ultrasounds do not use radiation. Instead, they use high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves are produced by a small ultrasound probe and result in echoing that produces the ultrasound image.   

Medical professionals use ultrasounds in pregnancy to analyze the health, viability, and development of the pregnancy.

Do I need to get an ultrasound?

For some women, ultrasounds are an exciting and sometimes emotional part of the pregnancy process. However, if you're deciding whether or not to keep your pregnancy, you might wonder if getting an ultrasound is necessary.

Regardless of what you choose to do, here are some reasons why it's still key to schedule an appointment for an ultrasound.

Ultrasounds will determine°

  • if your pregnancy is viable (in the right location and has a heartbeat).
  • how far along you are in your pregnancy.
  • if there are multiples (twins, triplets, and so on).

When should I get an ultrasound?

An ultrasound is not provided until there is a medical indication of a positive pregnancy test.  Even if you've taken an at-home test, you should still schedule an appointment at a local pregnancy clinic for a free clinical pregnancy test.  

If the clinically-performed pregnancy test is positive, you'll then be offered a free and confidential ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy.  Before you get an ultrasound or make any other decisions for your pregnancy, this is a vital first step.

What happens after the ultrasound scan?

After an ultrasound, you'll be provided with information on all of the options and resources available to you.  Here at Open Arms, we provide women with all of the resources they need to make an informed decision, including abortion counseling, prenatal care referrals, parenting resources, and information on adoption.

Schedule a Free Ultrasound

If you're experiencing an unintended pregnancy and are considering your options, know that it's okay to take time to learn more about your pregnancy and the resources available to you during this time so you can make a fully informed decision.

Open Arms is here to help.

Schedule an appointment with us today.

The morning-after pill, the abortion pill, Plan B, Plan C, emergency contraception°it is all very confusing. According to the Mayo Clinic, abortion is a "major decision with emotional and psychological consequences." If abortion is what you are considering for your unexpected pregnancy, you need to know the differences and risks between Plan B and Plan C.

The Difference Between Plan B and Plan C

If you have questions and want to learn more about all of your options, give Open Arms a call. We will be happy to talk with you.

Plan B

Plan B is known as the "morning-after pill." It is taken after sex, but before conception. Depending on where a woman is in her cycle, conception can occur anywhere from a few minutes up to 5 days after unprotected sex. If fertilization has already happened and the egg has implanted, the Mayo Clinic indicates Plan B will not end a pregnancy that has implanted.

What are the side effects of Plan B?

  • Increased bleeding and cramping as you expel the pregnancy
  • Headache and possible dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • A delay in your cycle and a change in your menstrual flow
  • The risk of an incomplete abortion

NOTE: Emergency contraception should not be used as a routine birth control method. Plan B is a 50x dose of the progesterone-only oral birth control pill that is designed for daily use. Although studies are continuing, in a Pharmacology Review by the FDA, a higher dose of levonorgestrel "might have the potential for masculinization of female fetuses exposed in utero." 

Plan C 

Plan C is known as a "self-induced abortion." It involves ordering the abortion pill (medication abortion) online and performing the abortion at home. Unfortunately, because they are not government regulated, some of the online sites are not legitimate drug providers. The FDA offers a warning for purchasing the pills online. No matter how authentic the pills may appear, a woman cannot determine the quality, the dosage or the effectiveness of the drug.

Self Magazine cites a number of reasons why a "self-managed abortion" is risky. They write, "you carry the risk of not being totally sure what you're actually taking if you obtain medication from an unverified source, and whatever is in that medication could carry additional unknown risks. And if complications arise, the solution is the same as after a clinic-induced medication abortion: you would need to go to the emergency room." 

What are the side effects of Plan C?

The known symptoms of a self-induced abortion are the same as a medication abortion.

  • Adverse side effects from unknown drugs
  • Severe cramping
  • Headache and possible dizziness      
  • Tender breasts
  •  Nausea & vomiting  
  • Fatigue
  •  A delay in your cycle and a change in your menstrual flow (usually heavier)
  • No FDA oversight to make sure the drugs are legitimate and the manufacturing is safe
  • The risk of an incomplete abortion requiring a surgical abortion

What is the difference between Plan B and Plan C?

Plan B is considered emergency contraception while Plan C is an abortion procedure.
Plan C is designed to have little to no doctor oversight. As a result, the possibility of taking ineffective or dangerous drugs is very real. Both have the same risks in terms of side effects if the drugs are manufactured the same, but since the country of origin for online drugs is not always known, you have no guarantee of their quality.

What You Should Do

The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is here to help you make an informed decision. Talk with us first about such things as the first day of your last menstrual cycle, when you ovulated, or if the drugs you take are safe. Schedule your appointment for a clinical pregnancy test and a limited OB ultrasound to confirm whether or not your pregnancy is viable. We offer both completely free of charge. We can help you know for sure and chat with you about all of your options. We truly care about you. Let us help.
 
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Think you might be pregnant? First, pause for a second and take a deep breath. Before you start tossing around worst-case scenarios, it's important to confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test.

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

With something as life-altering as an unplanned pregnancy, you should be sure to take time to understand how pregnancy tests work, what kind to take, and how to get the most accurate results possible.

So how do pregnancy tests work?  

Whether you're hoping to get pregnant or not, it's no secret that the human body is capable of amazing things, and pregnancy is at the top of the list. Within moments of conception, the female body begins to change in preparation for carrying a pregnancy. One of the first things the body does is produce a pregnancy hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG).

This hormone doubles roughly every two days from conception until about nine weeks. Pregnancy tests identify pregnancy by detecting traces of this hormone in urine.

Pregnancy tests contain a strip that's treated to react in a certain way in the presence of hCG, indicating whether or not you're pregnant. Each pregnancy test is different in how it displays its results, so be sure to carefully read the instructions beforehand. Most frequently, a positive test will show two lines or a plus sign, while a negative test will show a single line or a minus sign.

Should I take a pregnancy test?

If you're sexually active, it's always possible you could become pregnant. Yep, even if you're using birth control. If you've recently experienced a missed period or have noticed any common pregnancy symptoms, it would be wise to take a pregnancy test.

In addition to a missed period, common pregnancy symptoms include:

  • Breast tenderness or nipple sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained exhaustion
  • Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to smells, or new food cravings
  • New mood swings and unexplained emotions

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

If you think there's a chance you could be pregnant, it's tempting to want to take a test right away. However, since pregnancy tests measure hCG, you'll want to wait until there's enough of the hormone in your urine to be detected. We recommend waiting at least one week after your missed period and taking it right when you wake up.

Remember, the accuracy of an at-home pregnancy test requires that you follow the instructions perfectly. To ensure you're getting the most accurate results, schedule an appointment for a free clinical pregnancy test at a local pregnancy clinic like Open Arms. 

I'm pregnant. What do I do?

For some women, a positive pregnancy test is the farthest thing from their plan. If that's you, it's okay. You're not alone.  At Open Arms, we can guide you through any pregnancy-related decisions you may be facing.

After a positive pregnancy test, Open Arms can provide you with a free ultrasound. Your ultrasound scan will give you information about the viability of the pregnancy and its gestational age. These details will be essential as you consider your pregnancy options and learn more about abortion, adoption, and parenting.

Schedule a Free Appointment

Here at Open Arms, we believe that you should have access to the resources and information you need to make a fully informed decision for yourself and for your future. Come visit us for your free clinical pregnancy test. Schedule your appointment today!

 

If you're facing an unplanned pregnancy, you're likely wondering what your pregnancy options are. When it comes to abortion, it's essential to understand the various types of procedures and the risks associated with each.

Which Type of Abortion is Safest?

Here at Open Arms, we believe each woman should be fully informed prior to making a decision about her pregnancy, including understanding the various abortion procedures and the risks involved with each.

The Abortion Pill

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is actually a two-step process, typically prescribed by a doctor and taken by the woman in her home. The first involves mifepristone, which causes the woman to stop producing progesterone, the hormone that allows the pregnancy to grow in the uterus. The second step involves the drug misoprostol, which causes the uterus to contract and dispel the fetus.

Is the abortion pill safe?

Because medication abortion happens at home, it's often portrayed as something as simple as taking a pill. However, the patient should still take the procedure seriously and should first consider the risks associated. When taking the abortion pill, it's not uncommon for the patient to feel intense physical pain from cramping, along with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and heavy bleeding. In more serious cases, the abortion pill can lead to clotted blood, infection, and excessive bleeding.

When can I take the abortion pill?

The pill is most typically administered to women whose pregnancies are less than ten weeks along, meaning it's essential to get an ultrasound before scheduling an abortion procedure.

Surgical Abortions

What is a surgical abortion?

Surgical abortions (also known as "in-clinic abortions") include vacuum aspiration, dilation and evacuation, and dilation and extraction. These procedures are based on the age of the pregnancy. While each procedure varies slightly from the next, they all begin with the patient's cervix being dilated, followed by a suctioning or vacuuming of the fetus.

Are surgical abortions safe?

Like all serious medical procedures, surgical abortions come with risks that each patient should be informed of before the procedure. Women will often feel abdominal cramping and pain following their procedure and might experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In more severe cases, abortion has also been linked to heavy bleeding, damage to the cervix, uterine lining, and other internal organs, infection, and death.

When can I get a surgical abortion?

Surgical abortions are typically performed after the pregnancy is past ten weeks. The type of abortion will depend on the initial due date of the pregnancy, so it's important to schedule an appointment for an ultrasound scan prior to your abortion.

Schedule a Free Ultrasound

Schedule your free ultrasound appointment today!

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There are 3 things you will need prior to an abortion. Read this article to learn what they are and how to get them for free.

3 Things Needed Prior to an Abortion and How to Get Them Free!

Before you make an appointment with an abortion clinic and spend your money, you need to know three things. Get the information you need from the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic. Best of all? You can get all three at no cost to you! 

#1 A Pregnancy Test

Even if you have taken an at-home pregnancy test, you should confirm your pregnancy with a clinically administered pregnancy test. A pregnancy test measures the level of the hCG hormone in your urine. If hCG is detected, you can be fairly confident you are pregnant. Sometimes a home pregnancy test is taken too early or the directions are not followed correctly, which produces a false-negative test result. 

Plus, there are other reasons your period might come late. Stress, a hormone imbalance, or weight gain or loss can all affect your menstrual cycle. It is even possible you could have been pregnant but are experiencing a miscarriage. A woman can have a miscarriage in the early weeks of pregnancy, before even realizing she is pregnant, and it will look like a late period. 

So, why spend the money on an at-home pregnancy test when you can receive no-cost, confidential pregnancy testing at the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic? One of our nurses will review the results with you so you can be confident you have the correct result.

#2 An Ultrasound

The next step after receiving a positive pregnancy test result is getting an ultrasound. An ultrasound will tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy. You need to know the gestational age of the fetus to determine which type of abortion you would have, medical or surgical.

Ultrasound gives you real-time details like the actual date of conception, and if the pregnancy is viable. For a pregnancy to be viable, there must be a heartbeat.  If there is no heartbeat, the pregnancy is not viable and may resolve on its own.  

Finally, you need to know if your pregnancy is in your uterus. If it is outside of your uterus, it is called an ectopic pregnancy. This is a serious medical situation and requires immediate attention. An ultrasound will reveal this very important information.

At the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we provide no-cost limited obstetric ultrasounds. They are performed by a medical professional so you can be confident the procedure is being done correctly. 

#3 Know Your Options

Where can you go to get information at no cost to you about abortion and the other options you have? At Open Arms, we will schedule a time to sit down with you, fully explain the abortion process, and discuss other options and any other pregnancy-related decisions you may be facing. All of this is offered to you at no cost. 

Every appointment and conversation we have is strictly confidential. We believe you deserve respect and privacy.

Schedule a Free Appointment

As you can see, everything you need to know before you can schedule your abortion is available to you at Open Arms, and it will not cost you a thing! You have absolutely nothing to lose, but you'll gain valuable information enabling you to make fully informed decisions regarding your pregnancy. Contact us today to schedule your appointment. Be prepared with the facts you need before you take that next step. 

An unexpected pregnancy can be overwhelming. No matter what, your life is changed forever. Your next step is critical, with many factors to consider.

Abortion vs. Adoption

As you are figuring out what to do, we want you to know you have options. While this is your decision, you do not have to make it on your own. The staff at Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is here to help you. It costs you nothing to come in and talk with us. That is why we are here.

Your Pregnancy Options

You have a decision to make. Don't panic and make a decision you may regret.  Take your time to learn and be fully informed. The most important thing to remember is this should be your choice. No one has the right to tell you what to do. 

If you know that parenting is out of the question due to your financial situation, age, or other factors, you still have choices. Your other options include abortion and adoption. As you explore both options, here are some things to consider.

Abortion

Any time you are altering your body with drugs or surgery understand there is always the possibility of complications. Before you make this choice, you need to consult with a medical professional who knows your health history.

Did you know 64% of women who have abortions do so because someone is pressuring them? Whether it is parents, the baby's father, or well-meaning friends, their advice may not be what you want. You must make this choice for yourself regardless of what others say.

Other women choose abortion because they feel people will judge them for their unplanned pregnancy. They think the "quick fix" of abortion will keep a secret or make the "problem" go away.   

Is it as easy as that? Abortion is a final solution. Once you have chosen to abort, there is no turning back.  If the reason you choose to abort is to keep the unplanned pregnancy a secret, you would then carry two secrets alone which is one reason many women report feeling a sense of guilt, regret, and loss after abortion.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I personally feel about abortion?
  • What do my parents, boyfriend, and friends think about abortion?
  • Do I feel pressured in any way to have an abortion?
  • Is it possible I will feel regret after having an abortion?

Adoption

Often, women do not consider adoption as an option. Either they have never known anyone involved with adoption, or they do not understand how adoption has changed over the years.

There was a time when adoption was considered "giving up" a baby. The doctor or adoption agency chose the family for the birthmother. Neither she nor the adopting family had any information about each other. Birthmothers were expected to end their relationship with their child.

Times have changed. Today, the birthmother (and birthfather, if possible) chooses the family. You review several portfolios that include photos and a biography about prospective adopting families. In addition, you select the type of adoption you want. They can range from an open adoption that shares all contact information and allows you to know your child to a completely closed adoption that shares no identifying information.

Adoption is not an easy choice to make, either, and can also lead to a feeling of loss.  However, when you choose adoption, you can maintain a relationship with your child if you want to and have the satisfaction of watching them grow and thrive.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I personally feel about adoption?
  • What do my parents, boyfriend, and friends think about adoption?
  • Would I want to maintain contact with my child through adoption?
  • Is it possible I will feel regret after choosing adoption?

Schedule Free Options Counseling

Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic has licensed medical professionals here to help you.  We treat each patient with dignity and compassion, providing accurate and truthful information on all options.

Before you can decide, you need to do two things. You need to have a pregnancy test and ultrasound, both of which are offered at no cost at the Open Arms Clinic. Contact us today to schedule your free appointment. 

Most likely, after confiding in others, everyone will have an opinion about what you should do. What if everyone else wants you to have an abortion, but you do not want to? What can you do?

What to do when everyone wants you to have an abortion

Did you know that 64% of women who have abortions do so because someone is pressuring them? We know it will not be easy for you to tell others about your unexpected pregnancy, especially when you think no one will be happy about the news.

You worry about what others think. What if your partner leaves you? You worry about telling your parents or other family members. Will they be disappointed in you? Out of fear, you may consider not telling anyone.

Most likely, after confiding in others, everyone will have an opinion about what you should do. What if everyone else wants you to have an abortion, but you do not want to? What can you do?

You have the final say

No one has authority over you or can tell you what to do. Regardless of your age, marital status, or financial ability, only you can decide what is best for yourself and your baby. According to Canterbury Law Group, "It's 100% the mother's decision by law."

Although you may want to take everyone's opinion into consideration, no one can force you to have an abortion. It takes a powerful, independent woman to stand up to those around you and choose for yourself.

As the mother, you have all legal rights

Community Legal Aid states, "An unmarried woman who gives birth to a child has custody of the child automatically." This statement assumes you were not married to the baby's father or anyone else at the time of birth. An unmarried mother has legal custody without having to go to court also. Your rights as a parent include:

· The right to make the decision about who can see the child and for how long

· The right to limit visitation, or to remove the child from the state

· The right to enroll your child(ren) in school

· The right to acquire medical treatment

· The right to receive public benefits for the child

If you want to receive child support from your partner, you must legally establish paternity first. If the birth father does not wish to voluntarily support the child, you must go to court to obtain DNA paternity testing.

As the mother, you have the responsibility

Often, when women lack financial resources or relational support, abortion starts to feel like the only option. The biggest influencers are either the woman's mother or her partner. 

Many young men may not take responsibility for fathering a child. Unfortunately, the baby's father may even end the relationship because the woman will not abort her baby. Again, it takes a strong woman to be willing to end a relationship and choose what is best for yourself and your baby.

There are resources available

Today, there are many resources available for young, single mothers. At Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we offer options counseling. If, after counseling, you decide to parent your baby, we provide our Life Essentials Program. We'll teach you about the changes taking place in your body and what to expect as you near delivery. 

Our Essentials in Motherhood class teaches about infant care, such as nutrition and cleanliness. Plus, we offer Essentials in Fatherhood. This class teaches men how to be good fathers and to respect their child's mother. We even provide free maternity and baby items from our baby closet. 

We can discuss the adoption process, too. If you are concerned about a lack of support, adoption may be the best alternative. Today, making an adoption plan means you can have as much or as little contact with your child as you would like.  Choosing adoption for your baby also takes strength and courage. 

If you are currently being pressured into making a decision you do not want to make, come and talk with us. We want to help you walk through this important, life-altering decision. You are not alone!