Pregnancy Options Counseling

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IMPORTANT!

1. If you think you might be pregnant you need to go to a clinician or clinic and have
reliable pregnancy test done.

2. If you are pregnant, you should have an exam done. During the exam, the clinician will tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy. They will also offer you tests fo STDs and HIV. Ask the clinic staff to make sure they are doing all the tests you want and need!

3. If you thought you were pregnant, but it turned out you weren’t, (you got your period or you had a negative pregnancy test) you should still have an exam. You may want to get a birth control method. The clinician will also offer you tests for STDs and HIV. Ask the clinic staff to make sure they are doing all the tests you want and need!

What does "pregnancy options counseling" mean?

Pregnancy Options is a term used to describe the different choices a woman has when she learns she is pregnant. Pregnancy Options Counseling is a name for the session between the pregnant woman and a counselor or clinician where they discuss the woman’s different choices.

Example:

Every woman who has planned a pregnancy needs to decide where to get prenatal care & where and how she will deliver.

Every woman who has an unintended pregnancy should learn her legal and medical options for dealing with the pregnancy.

Pregnancy Options are explained during a counseling session, usually face-to-face, but also over the phone, with a trained professional.

Pregnancy Options Counseling should include medically accurate and factual information.

The counseling session should be non-directive; meaning the counselor should help you figure out what is right for you. The counselor should not tell you what to do about your pregnancy.

Example:

Right: Have you thought about who will take care of your baby if you return to school?

Wrong: You are too young to have a baby, you won’t be able to take care of it.

If a counselor says anything that makes you uncomfortable or upset, ask to speak to another counselor or leave the counseling session. You have a right to stop the session when you want.

During a pregnancy options counseling session you and the counselor will discuss what you plan to do about the unintended pregnancy.
The 3 choices covered will be:


  • Abortion

    Here are some questions the counselor might ask you:
    • What do you want out of life for yourself?
    • Could you handle a child and a job or school at the same time?
    • Who will take care of your child while you’re at work or school?
    • Can you afford to support a child?
    • Do you know how much it will cost to raise a child?
    • Do you like children? Do you like doing things with children?
    • Does your partner want children? Have you discussed the fact that you
      might be pregnant with your partner?

    The counselor will ask you if you have anyone you can talk to about being pregnant.

    If you are a teen, can you talk to your parents about being pregnant?

    If you can’t talk to your parents, is there another adult you can talk to? Maybe a grandmother, older sister, aunt, a family friend, or a clergy person.

    Adult women will also be asked if they have someone that they can talk to about being pregnant. Sometimes they can’t tell their partner. It’s good to have support while you make your decision. Try talking to a friend, a sibling, your mom, or a clergy person.

    You will discuss your next step once you have decided what you plan on doing about the pregnancy.

    The importance of early and ongoing prenatal care

    The different abortion procedures.

    You will get referrals to help you carry out your choice.

    Prenatal referrals for hospitals and clinics near you where you can go during your pregnancy. It is important to take care of yourself during a pregnancy. You need to eat right, get plenty of rest and go the clinician or clinic for regular visits.

    If you choose to continue the pregnancy and put the baby up for adoption, it is still important to get prenatal care and take care of yourself. During options counseling you will also talk about adoption agencies that can help you with the legal process.

    If you decide you are unable to continue the pregnancy, the counselor will be able to give you a list of local abortion providers.

    ADVANTAGES of "pregnancy options counseling":

    • It helps you get a clear picture of how you feel about being pregnant.
    • You can get your questions answered.
    • The counselor will provide you with medically accurate and factual information on
      prenatal care, adoption and abortion.
    • If you are nervous or scared, you can practice ways to tell your parents or your partner
      that you are pregnant.
    • The counselor will give you referrals to hospitals and clinics that they know will treat you well.
    REMEMBER: You need to be sure you see a counselor who has been trained to provide "non-directive" counseling. Remember, non-directive counseling means the counselor should help you figure out what is right for you. The counselor should not tell you what to do about your pregnancy.

    Where do I go and how do I decide?
    • A family planning clinic funded by federal funds must offer Pregnancy Options Counseling services.
    • You want to go to a clinic or hospital that will give you medically accurate and factually information.
    • If you have a good relationship with your family clinician or gynecologist, talk to your clinician.
    IMPORTANT!

    If you are pregnant, it is important to get the correct information about your options in order to make the right decision for you!

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  • STD Facts
    Birth Control Facts
    Related Links
    Pregnancy Options Counseling


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