Can I Finish College While Pregnant?

You’re a dynamic woman. You set a goal to get a college degree, and you’ve taken steps to achieve it. You have juggled your schedule, living arrangements, work, and finances to attend college.

You might be aspiring to enter a career that has been on your heart since you were young, or maybe you’re the first person in your family to attend college. Whatever your story is, you value your education, and it’s evident through all of your planning and perseverance.

But now you’re unexpectedly pregnant, and it feels like everything you have worked for is going to implode. This was definitely not part of your plans.

You feel conflicted, and you’re wondering, “Can I finish college while I’m pregnant?” The answer is yes, you can. Many women, just like you, have successfully done it. Support is available to help you finish college while you’re pregnant.

Even if you have not ruled out abortion, you may be wondering what life would look like if you choose to parent or place a child in an adoptive family. However, you don’t have to make this decision now.

Adoption

Adoption is a loving choice. When a birth mother chooses adoption, it is from a heart of love. She wants the best for her child, and she knows she is not in a position to provide it.

Millions of loving mothers, just like you, have decided to place their children for adoption in homes devoted to raising their children well.

Positive Aspects of Adoption

  • You choose the adoptive family.
  • You can finish college and pursue your career aspirations.
  • You don’t have to process abortion grief and the “what-if” questions.

Difficult Aspects of Adoption

  • Like abortion, there is a grieving process. Support is available through the adoption agency you choose or through support groups with other birth mothers.
  • Your family and friends may not support your adoption decision.

Parenting

Choosing to parent while you’re in college is a choice that nearly five million other college students have currently made, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. You can finish college and parent just as these students did. Is it simple? No, but with support, you can do it!

Positive Aspects of Parenting

  • Birth parents report a new intensity and depth of love they are glad they experienced by parenting.
  • You can finish college and pursue your career aspirations.

Negative Aspects of Parenting

  • Some students delay graduation by a semester after taking time off after their child is born.

Whether you choose adoption or parenting, the bottom line is that you can finish college while pregnant. Be resourceful, and you will find help is available to you!

Help Is Available

At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we understand you are facing the most agonizing decision you have ever encountered. You need someone to listen to your concerns, provide unbiased support, and answer questions. You need someone to advocate for you and empower you to make the best decision for you. Our licensed medical professionals and compassionate advocates are committed to providing you with what you need to make an informed decision about your unplanned pregnancy. Whether you would like more information on abortion, adoption, or parenting, give us a call or text us at 816-244-7824 to see if you qualify for one of our no-cost, confidential appointments.


Which At-Home Pregnancy Tests Are More Accurate?

There is little that makes you more anxious than wondering if you’re pregnant. You want a reliable answer as soon as possible. Thankfully, at-home pregnancy tests are available, but there are so many to choose from. Which ones are the most accurate, and how can you know which one is the best choice for you? 

Types of Pregnancy Tests

One thing all home pregnancy tests have in common is they detect if human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is present in your urine. However, they do have different features to consider:

Digital Pregnancy Tests

A digital home pregnancy test result is obvious. Have you ever held an at-home pregnancy test up to the light to figure out if there is a faint second line? You won’t have to do that with a digital test because the result gives you a written “pregnant” or “not pregnant” answer. A digital at-home pregnancy test usually costs more than a non-digital test.

Non-Digital Pregnancy Tests

The results window for a non-digital home pregnancy test reveals a control line and a test result line. If you are early in your pregnancy, the test result line can be faint, which can make it confusing to read the results. The advantage of non-digital tests is they cost less than digital tests.

Early Pregnancy Tests

Early pregnancy tests are more sensitive and can detect hCG in your urine up to six days before you miss your period. However, you are more likely to need to retest after getting a false negative result. They can also detect chemical pregnancies, which can cause unnecessary anxiety and grief when the pregnancy miscarries. Women typically never know about chemical pregnancies because they miscarry before a woman knows she is pregnant.

Test Sticks or Strips

Pregnancy tests come packaged with test sticks or strips. The difference is in how you get the urine sample to test. You urinate directly onto test sticks. For test strips, you urinate into a cup and then dip the strip into the urine.

Considerations Before You Purchase an At-Home Pregnancy Test

When you are considering which home pregnancy test to purchase, look for one that is accurate, easy to use, easy to read, and affordable. Other things to think about are:

  • Digital vs. non-digital
  • Stick vs. strips
  • Early pregnancy test vs. regular
  • Expiration date
  • Cost

Regardless of which test you choose, it’s important to use concentrated (i.e., first morning) urine and follow the directions accurately.

Is There One At-Home Pregnancy Test That Is Most Accurate? 

Choosing an at-home pregnancy test is really a matter of personal preference. One independent study selected First Response Early Result as their top choice. They chose this brand because they determined it detected pregnancy early, provided quick and accurate results, and is easy to read and use.

If you read a positive home pregnancy test result, it’s essential to follow up at a clinic or with a physician. If your pregnancy test is negative, but your period is still late, follow-up is also important.

We Are Here for Follow-up Support

At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we understand all of the questions that arise when you are facing an unexpected pregnancy. Give us a call today to find out if you qualify for one of our no-cost pregnancy screenings. Our team of medical professionals is here to provide many confidential and compassionate services to help empower you with the accurate information you deserve.


7 Things to Consider Before Ending Your Pregnancy

You feel like you’re in an impossible situation, and it’s really hard to decide what to do. When you’re unexpectedly pregnant, fears rise up, and that’s normal. You have many questions that need answers, and you aren’t exactly sure where to turn for help.

Maybe abortion seems like your only option, but perhaps there’s a part of you that isn’t sure. The thing is, you can’t end your pregnancy and then reverse it if you decide you rushed into your decision too quickly. Here are 7 tips to consider before ending your pregnancy.

1. Know you aren’t alone.

Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s three million other women each year trying to make the same decision you’re facing today.

Women of every age and background can relate to what you’re going through. So if there is any part of you feeling ashamed for being unexpectedly pregnant, try to show yourself the same compassion you would show your best friend if she was in your shoes, and then focus on one step at a time.

2. Consider all your options.

You have three options: abortion, adoption, and parenting. There is no “easy way out.” Each option has short-term and long-term effects on your life. However, you deserve the opportunity to gather the facts you need about each option to make an informed and confident decision. It’s important to not move forward with a decision if you’re feeling unsettled about it in your gut.

  • Parenting: Many pregnancy centers offer information about parenting classes and encouragement to help you navigate the practical aspects of parenting each step of the way.
  • Adoption: There are three types of adoption:closed, semi-open, and open. Birth mothers are the ones who make the decision about what type of adoption they prefer. Most adoptions now are open adoptions. That means the birthmother chooses the adoptive parents and works with those who are open the level of contact she wants to have with her child after the adoption is finalized. The level of contact varies from exchanging photos and letters to the birthmom playing an active role in her child’s life.
  • Abortion: There are several types of abortion to consider depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. Here are helpful answers to common questions to also consider before an abortion. Research the emotional impact, physical risks and side effects of abortion until you feel adequately informed.

The first step before considering abortion is to be sure your pregnancy is viable.

3. Confirm your pregnancy is viable.

A viable pregnancy is one that is in the uterus and is showing signs of progressing normally. A positive pregnancy test means that a pregnancy hormone, hCG was detected in your urine. However, March of Dimes reports that nearly 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. 80% of those miscarriages happen within the first three months of pregnancy.

Before you take the chance of having an unnecessary abortion, it’s crucial to confirm your pregnancy is viable. That is a no-cost service at pregnancy resource centers  (PRCs) across the country.

Here is another scenario to consider: If your pregnancy is not in your uterus (ectopic pregnancy) and you take an abortion pill without that information, it can be very dangerous to your health. This is another reason to confirm that your pregnancy is viable before proceeding with an abortion. 

4. Seek out local resources.

You might not know there are resources, grants, and services available to you from people who care deeply about women who are unexpectedly pregnant.

There are approximately 3000-3500 PRCs throughout the U.S., and they are funded by private donations. PRCs are not places where you will be judged. To the contrary, they exist to empower you with compassion. You can Google “where is the nearest pregnancy resource center to (your city)” to receive low to no-cost, confidential services.

PRCs don’t financially benefit from your decision. They provide resources that are available in your community in addition to no-cost or very low-cost pregnancy testing and ultrasounds to women just like you who need help figuring out what to do when they are unexpectedly pregnant. Most of PRC’s also provide sexually transmitted infection testing (STI).

5. Are you making a decision based on fear?

It’s normal to experience fear when you discover you are unexpectedly pregnant. But be careful not to make a decision about your pregnancy from that fear. Fear is temporary, and if you make a permanent decision based on temporary fears, you can unwittingly set yourself up for more pain down the road.

Know that it’s against the law for anyone to coerce you or force you to have an abortion.

6. What is your ”gut” telling you?

Everyone has that quiet voice or feeling inside themselves. We call that sense your gut feeling. After you gather information, listen to your gut feeling. What is it saying? Write it down. Consider it carefully. It just may save you from having regrets down the road.

7. Seek out advice from someone who is neutral.

You have a tough decision to make, and it’s always nice to have another person to talk to. Sometimes they have a perspective you haven’t considered. But in reality, your partner, parents, and friends can’t be neutral when they are giving you advice about you’re pregnancy.When you seek advice, ask yourself if that person has anything to gain or lose from your decision? If so, weigh the advice very carefully.

We Are Here to Help

Make a confidential appointment at Willowbrook Women’s Center today for a pregnancy screening appointment. Each day, our trained advocates and licensed medical professionals help women sort through their concerns and questions about their unplanned pregnancies. We provide compassionate care and the unbiased facts you need to make an informed decision. We’ll walk with you one step at a time until you feel empowered to make a confident decision. And we are always just a call or text away if you leave your appointment and realize you have more questions.


Pregnant from an Affair: Should I Keep the Pregnancy?

The unthinkable happened. You thought you were careful. Your mind is spinning, and now you don’t know what to do.

At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we understand how shocking and scary it feels to become unexpectedly pregnant from an affair. Know that you aren’t alone, and many women have successfully walked this path before you. You can too!

Take One Step at a Time

You might be feeling more anxious than you have ever felt. It’s hard to stop your thoughts from imagining how multiple scenarios play out.

Take a deep breath and pause.

You are facing one of the most important decisions that will impact the rest of your life, and it’s important to make that decision from clarity and strength. So pause, and take one step at a time.

1. Get a lab-grade pregnancy test.

The accuracy of over-the-counter pregnancy tests varies. A lab-grade pregnancy test will give you 99.9% accurate results.  However, it only tells you if the pregnancy hormone (HCG) was detected. If your lab-grade test is positive, the next step is to confirm your pregnancy.

2. Confirm your pregnancy.

Did you know that, according to the March of Dimes, as many as half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage? Eighty percent of those miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Before going through the difficulty of a “pregnancy or abortion” decision, you will need to confirm if you have a viable pregnancy. Viability is determined by ultrasound.

At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we provide many no-cost services including ultrasounds and lab-grade pregnancy tests, so you have the information you need before you weigh your options.

3.  Weigh your options.

You have three options for your unexpected pregnancy: abortion, parenting, or adoption. It might help you to ask yourself, “Would I make a different decision about my pregnancy if I wasn’t pregnant from an affair?” This, and other questions, can prevent you from making a decision from emotion, which may cause you to live with secrets or regret.

Recent research reveals that carrying secrets is detrimental to your physical and emotional health. Imagine how difficult it would be to keep the secret that your child is not your partner’s, knowing that someday, the truth will be revealed. Or, imagine going through the emotional and physical process of a secret abortion without the support of your partner.

As you weigh your options, consider them carefully, ask questions, and never make a decision based upon pressure from another person. Pay attention to the quiet voice within you as it may give you insight to the choice that you can feel confident about.

Willowbrook Women’s Center is Here for You

Make an appointment at Willowbrook Women’s Center today. Our licensed medical professionals and trained advocates have walked through situations like yours with many women, and we will come alongside you confidentially and without judgment. Willowbrook Women’s Center is invested in providing you with unbiased and accurate information so that you are empowered to make an informed decision – apart from the fear that can prevent you from being your healthiest.