Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting are tasks that every new parent can find daunting. While the idea of becoming a parent for the first time can be exhilarating, it can also be a little terrifying! However, fear does not have to characterize this season of preparing for your baby. Participating in prenatal education classes as well as parental classes are logical steps that any woman or couple can take to become better informed (and more excited!) about what this beautiful, new adventure entails.
Here at Heart to Heart we highly encourage our clients to participate in prenatal and parenting education classes. Our classes provide accurate, honest, and encouraging information to help you know what to expect during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and to help you and your partner prepare for the adjustment to life with a newborn. According to a recent study, another benefit to coming to prenatal education classes is that women who participated in childbirth classes may be more likely to have a vaginal birth instead of a C-section. Which in turn, can reduce the length of your hospital stay, lower your risk to infection, and quicken your recovery.
Heart to Heart provides a wide variety of free classes through our Earn While You Learn program that can help you understand more about pregnancy, birth, and parenting. We provide pregnancy classes, labor and delivery classes, breastfeeding classes, and parenting classes. Our classes help prepare you for what to expect during all three trimesters, how to provide the best prenatal care for you and your baby, and how to care for your baby after giving birth.
Pregnancy and motherhood is a beautiful journey that we at Heart to Heart would love to equip and empower you for! Interested in starting a class? Stop in our office or give us a call at 307-745-3444 to meet with our Earn While You Learn instructor and see what classes we offer!
(Study referenced: Afshar, Y., Wang, E., Mei, J., Pisarska, M., & Gregory, K. (2016). 279: Higher odds of vaginal deliveries in women who have attended childbirth education class or have a birth plan. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 214(1). doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2015.10.318 )
A missed period can often be an indicator of pregnancy, and is often the most common first sign that alerts a woman to a potential pregnancy. But there may be several other early pregnancy symptoms that you may be experiencing. We've included a list of common early pregnancy symptoms below, but it is important to remember that not all women experience pregnancy the same way, and pregnancy is not necessarily the root cause if you are experiencing these signs and symptoms. If you think you might be pregnant, please call our clinic for a free pregnancy test.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms:
Contact our clinic with any questions at 307-745-3444 or via email at email@example.com
We recently came across some literature that claimed that pregnancy care centers (like Heart to Heart) are trying to prevent women from exercising their right to choose abortion. Quite frankly, we think that part of a woman's right to choose is exercising her right to all of the information! And that's what we strive to offer our clients: objective, updated information presented in a safe, confidential, non-judgmental way.
While we do not perform abortions nor refer for abortions, we will never attempt to make that choice for any of our clients. And while we will not hide the truth about possible long-term effects of abortion, we will never distort the truth to try to influence our clients or any person that walks through our door seeking help. Our mission is to equip and empower women and men as they make their choice regarding their pregnancies.
When clients come into our clinic for a pregnancy test, they will often remark that they felt respected the moment they stepped through our doors. We've even had clients say that they were expecting to feel judged and pressured when they came in, but that they were surprised by how accepting, informative, and non-judgemental our counselors are. We firmly believe that our job is not to make a choice regarding an abortion for our client, but that our job is to provide a safe, confidential space in which a client can process through their decision and weigh all of the information.
If you're facing an unexpected pregnancy and you'd like more information before making a decision regarding abortion, please call our office to schedule an appointment! All of our services are completely free of charge and completely confidential.
No matter what your situation or what your decision regarding your pregnancy is, Heart to Heart is here to help.
For many of our clients, the prospect of telling their parents about an unplanned pregnancy is the most difficult of their immediate challenges. And, in all reality, it's very likely that it will be a hard conversation. We've talked with some of our clients, and they've given us their "top three" for having that conversation with a parent.
1. Decide when you're going to tell your parents.
Giving yourself a set day and time to tell your parents that you're pregnant helps you to start the preparation process. Telling your partner or a close friend when you're planning on talking with your parents can help you stick to your goal. It can be a daunting conversation! Having someone else keep you accountable can help you if you start to get nervous. Setting a day and time to talk with you parents can also help you avoid blurting the news out at an inopportune time. Plan to meet with your parents in a place where you can talk privately, and at a time where you're least likely to be interrupted. It's a conversation that can take quite a while, so giving yourself time and space to talk can be helpful.
It may also be good to plan for a time to talk to your parents again to follow up. They may have strong reactions in the moment, and it's okay if you feel the need to excuse yourself from the conversation. Scheduling a time later to talk again with gives both you and them time to process, cool down, and approach the conversation in a new light. Alternatively, your parents might have a much more calm reaction than you anticipate! Scheduling a time to talk later can still be helpful to give you time to process and to let them know how they can be best supporting you during this time.
2. Have a plan.
This will probably be a shock and surprise to your parents. They may have a lot of questions about what you're thinking, what your plan is, and they may even want to know how they can be involved. Knowing what your plan is beforehand can help you answer these questions, and engage your parents more in the conversation about how they can support you.
3. Have someone with you.
Many of our clients have found that having their partner or a close, trusted friend their with them is an amazing support in what can often be a very intimidating conversation. Tell your plan to whoever is coming with you, and they can help answer questions from your parents.
Telling your parents about an unexpected pregnancy can be an intimidating conversation. The sooner you start preparing yourself for it, the more confident you'll feel. Need help figuring out your plan? Not sure what figuring out your plan even means? Our nurses are very skilled at providing a safe place for you to process through your situation and your options, and can help connect you with resources in the community! Call our office at 307-745-3444, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free and totally confidential appointment.
At Heart to Heart, we often talk about the importance of making an informed decision. Many of our clients who find themselves facing an unexpected pregnancy either aren't aware of their options, or don't feel like they have any choice in their situation but to abort their pregnancy. An unexpected pregnancy can be a scary and confusing situation! Knowing all of your options, and the long-term effects of each of your options, can help you make an informed decision. Talking through these options with one of our trained nurses can help provide you with honest, objective, and up-to-date information about pregnancy, adoption, and abortion. Plus, all of our services are offered at no charge to you, and with the full assurance of complete confidentiality.
If you are considering an abortion, have you exercised your right to make an informed decision? The questions below can help you step back, take a breath, and gather all the information you need to make a decision based on facts, not fear.
1. Am I pregnant?
While a positive pregnancy test can indicate the presence of the pregnancy hormone in urine, it does not necessarily indicate a viable pregnancy. An ultrasound and a consultation with one of our nurses can give a much more accurate picture into your situation. Approximately 1 in 5 first trimester pregnancies result in miscarriage. An abortion can be be an expensive and dangerous procedure, and can be avoided if the ultrasound reveals that it is not necessary.
2. Do I understand the potential risks?
No matter how 'routine' abortion clinics claim their procedures to be, all medical procedures carry risk of complications. You have the legal right to give fully informed consent, meaning you have the legal right to all of the information available. Specifically, you can request information about the following:
3. Have I considered all of my options?
While an abortion might seem like your only option, there are several alternatives available to you. Some women who had initially considered abortion have found joy and delight in parenting their child. Others who don't feel ready to be parents have been able to put together an adoption plan and bless another family with their baby. You do have options, and you won't regret informing yourself!
4. Do I know what to do if I change my mind?
Even if you have an appointment already scheduled at an abortion clinic, you have the right to change your mind at any point before the procedure starts. Some women have even gotten up off of the examination table and left! Others have changed their minds after taking the first set of pills before the medical abortion. An abortion is your decision and you have the freedom and the right to take your time in making that decision, and the right to change your mind if you so choose. Don't let anyone pressure you into staying with a decision you're not comfortable making.
5. Do I know how the abortion clinic handles complications during the procedure?
Does the abortion doctor have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital in the event that you have an emergency? What is the clinic's plan for emergency care or follow up care in the event of an emergency during or after the procedure? You have a right to know!
6. Do I know my rights as a minor?
Even as a minor, you have certain legal rights that cannot be violated. You cannot be forced to have an abortion, not even by your parents. If you are being pressured to have an abortion that you don't want, please immediately contact the police, your local pregnancy care center, or call this toll-free number: 210-614-7157.
7. Have I been tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
Any surgical procedure, including an abortion, can be complicated by infection. Have you been tested for a sexually transmitted infection (STI)? Many STIs do not have obvious symptoms, so you may have an STI and not know it. These infections can often cause serious damage to your pelvic organs, and lead to long-term problems such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy. While Heart to Heart does not offer STI testing, we can help give you information for where you can get tested.
If you are considering an abortion, we would strongly encourage you to read through these questions to empower yourself to make an informed decision. A pregnancy is a life-altering experience, no matter how you choose to respond. Please take the time to inform yourself and make a decision based on facts and truth, rather than on fear in the moment.
(Information adapted from Pregnancy Decision Line website. Full list of sources and references available at http://pregnancydecisionline.org/abortion-safety-checklist/)
Our Earn While You Learn classes cover a variety of topics. From prenatal education to parenting skills, Earn While You Learn is designed to progress with you through your pregnancy.
Did you know that you begin to bond with your baby before it is even born?
Ever wondered how your baby is developing during different stages of your pregnancy?
Do you have any questions or concerns about the labor and delivery process?
Have you ever had basic training in infant CPR?
What about parenting? Do you feel equipped with skills to handle a strong-willed child?
If any of these questions resonated with you, please check out our Earn While You Learn classes! Having a baby, whether it's your first or your seventh, is a life-changing experience. Our hope is to equip and empower you during your pregnancy so that you have a full set of newly-sharpened skills in your 'parenting toolbox.'
In addition to the skills you'll learn, you can also earn points each class to redeem for items your baby will need. Our clients can earn points toward a new car seat, diapers, baby wipes, baby clothes, bottles, pacifiers, baby shampoo, and baby lotion. All of these items are new and free to our clients who redeem their Earn While You Learn points!
Having a baby is a life-changing experience. Our classes can help equip you and prepare you for this new season. We want to help take the uncertainty and stress out of this pregnancy, and to come alongside you and support you every step of the way! In future posts, we'll continue to explore different class topics and some of the introductory information in our curriculum. Stay tuned!
When women come to our clinic for a pregnancy test, our nurses will often recommend that they consider having a free ultrasound here as well.
But why do ultrasounds matter?
Ultrasounds are important because they give our nurses and clients a better understanding of the situation. It is possible to have a positive pregnancy test, and not have a viable pregnancy. Pregnancy tests can only indicate the presence of the HCG hormone in the urine, but they cannot give any more information than that. An ultrasound can help confirm the pregnancy by determining whether or not it is viable (i.e., in the uterus with a heartbeat present).
Knowing whether or not the pregnancy is viable is crucial information to have when making a decision about your pregnancy.
Our clinic offers free and confidential limited obstetrical ultrasounds. A limited obstetrical ultrasound can provide information to help determine if the pregnancy is in the uterus, if there is a heartbeat, and what the estimated gestational age is.
*It's important to know that our ultrasounds cannot and should not replace regular prenatal care with your OB/GYN doctor.
Interested in an ultrasound? Call our clinic to schedule a consultation with one of our nurses! Our offices are open 8am-4pm Monday - Thursday, and we can be reached at 307-745-3444.
Nutrition is one of the biggest factors for overall personal health. During pregnancy, a nutrient-rich diet helps encourage healthy baby development. Your baby only gets the nutrients that you consume, so good nutrition is more important than ever during your pregnancy. Consider the questions below...
WHAT NUTRIENTS DO I NEED?
Different stages of your baby's development will be fueled by different nutrients. Understanding which foods contain specific nutrients can help you make choices about what to eat throughout your pregnancy.
WHAT FOODS SHOULD I AVOID?
Certain foods can trigger symptoms such as morning sickness or nausea. Other foods can put you and your baby at risk for diseases or negatively affect development during pregnancy. Knowing what foods to avoid is crucial for you and your baby.
WHY ORGANIC IS IMPORTANT
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of the nutrients your body needs to help your baby develop during your pregnancy. But the source of the fruits and vegetables can be equally as important as the foods themselves. Pesticides, hormones, and additives during growth can have effects on you and your baby.
WHY HYDRATION IS KEY
Adequate hydration is a key component of a healthy diet. Without enough water, your body struggles to process all of the good nutrients you're trying to feed it. The average adult needs between 2-4 liters of water each day. Now that you're drinking water for two, your water intake should increase and change as your baby grows.
Want more information? Come learn more about healthy nutrition in one of our Earn While You Learn classes, and talk with one of our instructors about how you can use nutrition as a key part of your baby's development!
Heart to Heart
We are a Christian, non-profit counseling and medical pregnancy resource center that is committed to providing excellent care.