For a woman who decides to carry her pregnancy to term, there are two options: to parent or to create an adoption plan. Today we’ll focus on the choice to parent.
Choosing this option can seem overwhelming at first. Parenting involves carrying the pregnancy to term and delivering the baby as well as loving, nurturing and raising the baby until he or she is an adult. Some of the fears women express about parenting include the fact that she can’t keep the pregnancy a secret. As a woman’s body changes and grows throughout the pregnancy, people will know that she is pregnant. She will have to talk with friends and family and face whatever emotions and concerns the people in her life throw at her.
Finances and the fear of not being a good parent are also some of the concerns many women have as they consider the option of parenting. Choosing to parent involves changing one’s lifestyle to fit with a new baby. Having insurance or not, figuring out how to pay for medical bills, needing childcare, beginning to learn to put the needs of another above her own needs can all be scary, and these frightening thoughts can impact a woman’s decision to carry to term and to parent her child.
Despite some of the difficulties and life changes involved, there is hope and support available for women who decide to parent. Many unexpected and amazing positives come into a woman’s life with the addition of a new baby. The baby becomes family…someone special and important in a woman’s life. Many women who chose to parent feel they have made a decision that they can look back on without regrets, and in fact, they could not imagine life without their child. They have time during the pregnancy to slowly get used to the idea and prepare their hearts and home for the arrival of their baby. Most women who choose to parent are proud of their decision. They may have made a difficult decision, but in the process they allow their hearts to grow and to love another more than their own self.
When considering how one can be a good parent, a woman can look to a number of different groups and/or people in her life to help guide her. Many organizations offer birth and parenting classes to help prepare for the arrival of a wee one and to help strengthen families, especially during what inevitably will be stressful times, as nearly every family experiences difficulties at some point. In Casper, Mercer Family Resource Center, for example, offers parenting classes, and Wyoming Medical Center provides birthing classes through Women’s Services. True Care offers our patients many community referrals that women may not even know are available to them. True Care also offers a class for our patients where we walk through the pregnancy with her providing education, emotional support and needed resources.
There are several website resources available as well to help a woman be a better parent. The US Department of Health & Human Services offers a Child Welfare Information Gateway that provides not only parenting tips but also links to other organizations that provide information on insuring her child is physically and emotionally healthy. The Center for Parenting Education is another online resource that offers not only a variety of articles, but also online workshops and a resource directory, and WyoFams is a Wyoming resource that provides information useful to single parents, couples, and stepfamilies.
Parenting is an option for those facing an unplanned pregnancy, and with the numerous resources in a community, in the state, and even nationally, a woman can learn what she needs to know to be a confident, strong, and loving mother!