Are you pregnant? Alone? Scared? Are you looking for resources to help you and your little one on the way? You are in luck. Crisis Pregnancy Centers, also known as Resource Pregnancy Centers, are all over the nation and at multiple locations in each state. They serve women through all stages of pregnancy and afterward too. Christian Pregnancy Resource Centers are especially unique because they are faith-based. Many have been founded by a church or they could be non-denominational. Many have a Statement of Faith. Most staff of these centers will be Christians. These centers make a difference in the lives of women who may be facing a crisis pregnancy center, who may be abortion-minded, or who may simply want more information and resources on their pregnancy.
One of the criticisms of the Pro-Life Community is that it is really only “Pro Birth”. In other words, many people complain that they only care about a child once he or she is born and then forget about him or her and the mother afterward. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a multitude of pro-life services, agencies, and ministries that care for the child and the mom after the child is born. One of those services is the Christian Pregnancy Center. They are Pro-Life for the whole life. Most Christian Pregnancy Centers are non-profit and do not charge for their services. A good Christian Pregnancy Center empowers women to make good choices for them and their new child. They help mom and dad to grow as a person, grow in their relationship together, and grow as a parent. Many Christian Pregnancy Centers were started by the Catholic Church, but many others were founded by Evangelical Protestant Denominations. This is the one area where you will see Catholics and Protestants coming together for a common cause. Lastly, a pregnant woman need not be religious in order to receive services foam a Christian Pregnancy Center. Here is what a good Christian Pregnancy Center will offer.
Free Pregnancy Exams
If you think you are pregnant, the first thing you need is to do is confirm it. It may be a breath of fresh air if you are not pregnant. But if you are, a free pregnancy exam can take some of the pressure off, especially if you are having financial difficulties.
An ultrasound is a device that allows you to see an image of your baby before he or she is born. A Christian Pregnancy Center that has an ultrasound is the perfect place to go to have that performed. They will do this free of charge and with no obligation. As a matter of fact, most women who face an unexpected pregnancy, when seeing an ultrasound of their baby, decide to keep and raise the baby.
It is a scary thing to have a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) when you are pregnant. A good Christian Pregnancy Center will give free tests to determine if you do. That way you will be able to determine your next course of action and receive treatment.
Any Resource Pregnancy Center worth its salt will have parenting education. Whether through official classes, online material, pamphlets, and brochures, the more information a woman has the more empowered she becomes. She can then truly make an educated decision.
- Birthing classes are available. Every pregnant woman ought to know what to expect when it’s time for labor and delivery. Choosing a partner to join you in the delivery room if the father is not available is also essential.
- Nursing education is available. You will need to decide as to whether you will feed your child formula or breast feed. There is lots of information on nursing that the Christian Pregnancy Center should be able to provide.
- Trianing on infant and child development is offered. If you have never had children before, raising a child can be a huge undertaking. Yes, children bring joy. But children can also bring frustration. Knowing what to expect can be helpful. Also, keeping an eye on their growth and development and marking milestones is important.
- Fatherhood classes are offered. If the father of your child is involved, consider yourself blessed. If he is a new dad and has never raised children before, it would be helpful to go through parenting classes. Yes, momma will do the bulk of the parenting, but dads can play a vital role in the life of a child. Getting information on how to raise a child cannot be underestimated.
Once your bundle of joy comes you soon realize how expensive babies can be. But do not fear. Resourceful Christian Resource Centers will have needed items right on site and are available at no cost.
- Formula can be an expensive item, especially if your baby is premature. Having formula on hand, if you are not nursing, can come in handy.
- Diapers are no longer $5.00 per packet. They can get very expensive. Getting started with several packs of diapers is helpful, especially knowing that your child is going to be in diapers and pull-ups for a couple of years.
- Most Christian Pregnancy Centers have baby and children clothing on the premises.
You may not think you need any help, but social services in the area can come in handy. Many Christian Pregnancy Centers will make referrals to local social services in your area as well as the ones below.
- WIC. Women Infants and Children (WIC) is a national health program that provides food services for pregnant women and children, ages 0-5.
- Head Start. Head start is a National childcare and educational program for parents and children ages 0-5.
King Solomon said, “In the company of many counselors, there is wisdom.” If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, the last thing you want to do is to go it alone. Christian Pregnancy Centers have counselors on staff or at the very least, they can refer you to a counselor.
- Mental Health Counseling. Pregnancy can spark lots of changes in a woman’s body. It can also cause hormonal changes as well. Take hormonal changes as well as the crisis pregnancy on top of that. Anxiety, depression would not be uncommon. There may be a real need for mental health services.
- Addiction counseling. If you are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, the Center may be able to refer you to a clinic to help you. Keep in mind that not only can Child Protective Services (CPS) get involved if they suspect that a pregnant mom is using, but also the detrimental effects of substances can have detrimental effects on your child that can last a lifetime. Get help.
- Abortion Counseling. If you are an abortion-minded woman, then a Christian Pregnancy Center is the place for you. No, they will not perform an abortion, nor will they refer you for an abortion. However, they will educate you on the different types of abortions and give you information on how an abortion will affect not only the baby, but also you as the mom. Many centers will also provide you with Post Abortion Counseling since many women suffer from Post Abortion Depression afterward.
- Adoption Counseling. Lastly, if you have an unplanned pregnancy, a Christian Pregnancy Center will help you decide whether adoption is the right thing for you and your baby. No, adoption is not giving up on your baby, but rather, it is the process of making a life plan for a child that will give her the opportunity to have a better life. Most women with unplanned pregnancies keep their babies, but if you are unwilling or unable to do so, an adoption counselor can help you to make a decision. Adoption is a loving option.
If you decide to have your baby but decide not to keep your baby. That is a good choice, as well. There are millions of couples who would love to adopt your baby. Adoption solves problems for 3 people involved. It solves the problem for the pregnant mom who may be in a crisis pregnancy. It solves the problem for the adoptive mom who may be facing infertility. And, of course, it solves the problem for the unborn child who may be facing homelessness, abandonment, or abortion. It is a win-win-win solution. And please keep in mind that adoption is not the end. You may still have the opportunity to have an open adoption if the adoptive parents are willing to do that.
If you are facing Child Protective Service involvement, your child may have to spend time in foster care for a short period of time. This happens when parents are currently struggling with addiction issues or criminal activity. Foster care can be a scary proposition, but keep in mind, that foster care is temporary and that the majority of parents who have their child in the foster care system, reunify with them if they work hard. Even if your parental rights are involuntarily severed, you may still have the opportunity to have an open adoption.
Some pregnant women face the crisis of homelessness. Perhaps the pregnancy has caused their significant other or their parents to kick them out of the house. The child should not have to suffer because of someone else’s decision. A maternity home is a great place to go for women who have nowhere else to go. They provide short term housing for pregnant women. They usually only have a few other women, about 3-10, and they provide room, board, and transportation to work and/or appointments. They also expect the boarders to contribute to the household through chores. Most maternity homes are free of charge but there is probably a waiting list.
The number one resource a Christian Pregnancy Center can provide. Is prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God. It is asking God to intercede for your behalf or on the behalf of others. Pray is asking God to meet your needs. But in a deeper sense, prayer is having a relationship with God. Prayer is pouring out our heart before the Creator of the Universe and bearing our souls. Prayer is asking Him what His will is, and then pursuing it. It is asking God, what does it take to be more like Christ? We don’t simply pray to get answered prayers, but when prayers are answered, they are a delight.
Not the praying type? That’s ok. Staff at the center can pray for you and pray with you.
- They will pray for you: that you will make good, educated decisions; that you will heal from your hurts; that you will seek good, healthy relationships; that God would meet your needs; and that you will have the strength and wisdom to raise a healthy, productive child. And if they are Evangelical in nature, they will pray for you to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
- They will pray for your child. That she will grow up physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and spiritually healthy; that God will protect them; that God will provide for them.
Lastly, some Christian Pregnancy Centers will offer Bible Studies. Bible studies are the original support group. A bible study is a group of people who love God and want to know more about what God’s Word says and how it applies to their lives. If prayer is talking to God, then the Bible is God talking to us. A Bible study is a place to go to share something you have in common with, to learn from others, and to share how God is working in your life.
Having an unplanned pregnancy can be frightening. No one knows what you are going through except you. But rest assured, you are not alone. Christian Pregnancy Centers were created to help women exactly in your situation. They are a safe place to go to that will help you in your time of need without judgment and without obligation. Call a Christian Pregnancy Center in your area today. You’ll be glad you did.