If you just took a test and discovered you are pregnant, you probably did what most mothers do--Googled it! We are glad you clicked on us!
If you have never heard of a Pregnancy Resource Center, this article shares with you what a PRC does, and goes over a few myths that you might have heard. Pregnancy is scary, even in the best situations, but there are thousands of clinics across America who are equipped and trained to help you cope with any reproductive situation!
Contrary to popular belief, Planned Parenthood is not the only resource for women’s health services. PRCs are becoming a more popular resource for women in unexpected, traumatic, or “crisis” pregnancies because they offer a free, up-to-date, non-judgemental, confidential, and medically-based pregnancy care.
Most PRCs are faith-based, non-profit organizations. They are unique in that their services are free of charge. Centers are able to offer these incredible services because of state funding, grants, and local partner groups.
PRCs are also operated by passionate, loving women who have been in crisis or traumatic pregnancies and want to share the hope and guidance they found. These centers offer a personal community and relationships.
PRC’s are pro-life organizations who believe in women’s empowerment in every area in her life, including motherhood. Centers are not limited to pregnancy only. Post-abortive women dealing with trauma, women struggling after a miscarriage, human trafficked victims, STDs, rape, abuse, and women struggling with infertility are all client-types PRCs are trained to support.
PRCs are designed to meet women where they are and help them work through difficult life situations. Everyone, from any walk of life or orientation, is welcome! To PRC, “pro-life” is also a term applied for a mother to live an abundant life--it’s not just about her baby! We encourage and help her with education, a job, and finding new ways to improve her lifestyle. "Pro-life" includes HER life.
What To Expect During A Visit To Your Local PRC
If you are pregnant or suspect you might be pregnant, call your local PRC for an appointment. When you arrive, the receptionist will give you a packet of papers to fill out so they know how best to offer you resources. You will sign papers that insure your privacy and confidentiality at all times--we create a safe environment for all clients. The packet will also inform you about all the local services your PRC offer mothers.
Once you are signed in, the staff will administer a free, medical-grade pregnancy test. If your test is positive, a counselor will escort you to a private room where you can discuss your feelings, thoughts, fears, anxieties, or hesitations about your test results. Your counselor will help you work through urgent issues in your life and help you make a game plan. Some women need help to deal with abuse at home, homelessness, or simply the shock of an unplanned pregnancy.
Every woman is unique in her needs and we meet her where she is at.
The counselor will offer you personalized resources, both locally and in the clinic, to support you during (and long after) you’ve given birth. These resources include things like prenatal care referrals, STD testing, women's wellness checkups, food, housing support, and many other resources. She can help you write a birth plan, answer pregnancy questions you might have, and support you emotionally.
PRCs believe in relationships. It takes a village to raise a family, and we want to be your community!
A PRC counselor can also give you information about alternative options such as open and closed adoption. Centers are able to help you navigate the concept of adoption and answer any questions, or explain any myths about the process.
If you are considering abortion, PRC staff are trained in unbiased information concerning the effects of abortion and the side effects you are at risk for. Staff members can help you understand what an abortion procedure entails, and what you will experience during a medical abortion.
For educational purposes, they can share a short video of an abortion procedure (provided and shared by abortion doctors) so you can make a fully informed choice. PRC do their best to remain factual and unbiased.
PRC’s do not use pressure, force, or scare tactics to persuade a mother to carry to term. Most ethical PRC’s take great pride in offering women the right to make a choice based on facts. We believe empowerment comes through education. Uninformed choices are not empowering and can be dangerous.
If you have made an appointment with an abortion clinic, we also highly recommend you make an appointment with your PRC as well, to see what options they have to offer before making the life-changing choice to terminate.
Education Is Power.
Next, after your initial evaluation, you will be offered a free sonogram to see how far along your pregnancy is (if your local PRC has an ultrasound program.)
Remember, abortion costs are determined based on the size of the baby. The only way to determine this is to schedule an ultrasound. Most abortion clinics charge for these services, which is why PRCs are becoming a more popular choice for mothers.
During the ultrasound, a trained and licensed sonographer will show you your baby’s heartbeat and share how far along you are in the pregnancy, or if you have complications that need urgent medical care.
Not all pregnancies are viable, meaning they are not real. For example, if you have an ectopic pregnancy, the baby is not implanted correctly in the uterine wall and you are at risk for life-threatening complications. Your baby will not develop and you will need immediate medical care. This is why ultrasounds are important, and your technician can help you get to proper medical care if needed.
You might also be given free STD testing (if your local center offers them) or other medical care programs offered in your area.
Regardless whether you choose to parent or not, PRC’s do not judge you if you choose abortion. Center’s offer recovery programs from abortion trauma and many clients come back later for post-abortion support and recovery. PRC’s welcomes any woman in any stage of pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, or postpartum. You are never alone or judged!
If you choose to carry your baby to term then,
Here Is What Support You Will Be Given At A PRC After Birth
Every center has different rules, but most offer similar resources as listed below.
As a client, you will have access to practical support. All centers have donation rooms with items they can give you to support your pregnancy. Most centers carry (or have access to) formula, diapers, baby furniture, clothing, bibs, bottles, high chairs, toys, and much more! You won’t have to worry about providing these items for your baby because we have them ready to go for you! If you are struggling financially, we can help you cover most of the costs for your child's needs.
Also, as a client, you will have access to personalized parenting programs to help you work through many topics like the toddler years, birth, personal finance, breast and bottle feeding, introducing solid food, cleanliness, and even infant CPR!
Many centers also help you find free or low cost childcare, jobs, and education opportunities so you can live more abundantly. Some offer job preparedness training and coaching so you can find a better job!
Most importantly, you will have access to a community of women who have either walked in your shoes and can tell you how to find fulfillment OR women who are currently experiencing life the same as you! You are not alone. We believe real women help other women, and that’s what we do!
Now, Let’s Talk About A Myth.
PRCs Only Care About Babies, Not Mothers. PRCs Force “Unfit” Mothers Into Delivering a Child.
As you can see from the breakdown of the services above, this is not true. PRC’s first job is to support women as well as their baby.
We love babies and want to see them born, but we also want to see mothers leave our clinics with empowerment, confidence in their own strength, and educated so they can rise above their situations.
If you feel like an “unfit” mother, we think you deserve the opportunity to learn, grow, and become fit! This is empowerment. We don’t deny that pregnancy is hard and motherhood is challenging--but so is abortion. Pregnancy, regardless if it is carried to full term or terminated, will change you forever. A baby is natural, inspiring and can carry you to new places. The Bible says, “children are a heritage” and even though it might be hard, we are here to help you make that journey manageable, empowering, and rewarding.
We hope this article was informative! If you are reading this in South Florida and are curious to see how we can serve you, call us today! Mary’s Pregnancy Resource Center offers assistance in Ft. Lauderdale AND in Davie, Florida. (954-)916-7072