What's Having Your Baby About
If you're pregnant and you want to give birth but you don't know how you're going to make it through the pregnancy and the period afterwards, this book is for you. It's also for you if you're thinking about giving birth but haven't made up your mind yet. Is it possible for you to work through your problems and have your baby? What adjustments will you have to make? How can you make them? No matter what your problems, this online book will answer your questions and provide information that you probably never thought existed.
This book is not a balanced discussion of abortion. If you want information on abortion, you can find many books and articles on the topic. Those resources tell you how to end a pregnancy. This book tells you how to continue it.
If you're like most people, you're unaware of the vast network of help available. You certainly don't have to handle your pregnancy all alone, poverty-stricken, distraught, or ashamed! This book provides guidelines that will help you change from a victim of your situation to a victor over it. It really is possible to bear your baby and have a future at the same time.
Several years ago, I looked for a book like this one. I had gone through two minor pregnancy crises myself, and the only book I had found to help me was reassuring, yes, but offered no specific guidelines. I was left with the feeling that my life would work out if I gave birth, but I didn't know how I was going to make that happen.
I also had been a volunteer crisis pregnancy counselor. Women were still calling me even though I was too busy with my family to spend time in the crisis pregnancy office. For years, I searched for a book that would give these women some solid direction and information. Most of these women had crises far worse than mine. And some had unbelievable difficulties. Yet they wanted to be strong enough emotionally to work through the problems and give their babies a chance. I could find self-help books on all sorts of other problems. Why nothing on this? So, I decided to write the book you're looking at now.
If you're like most women reading this book, you're facing more than one problem. You may even have several severe problems that make it difficult to carry your baby to term. Difficult, but not impossible. This book is designed to help you work through your problems, either by yourself or with the help of others.
Chapter One will help you define your problems and understand why you feel compelled to give birth, even though many of your emotions are pulling you in the opposite direction. If you're interested in your unborn baby's development, Appendix A will give you some idea of how your baby is developing. Appendix E will help you focus on just exactly what is bothering you about pregnancy and birth. You will probably want to discuss some of your questions with a counselor. Appendix J lists reading material that may help with specific concerns.
In Chapter Two, you'll learn how to meet your basic needs, beginning with the confirmation of your pregnancy and the concealment of it until you're ready to tell the world. And, if you don't want to tell anyone, you'll discover how to keep your pregnancy a secret. In Chapter Two, you'll learn the vital techniques of managing stress and thinking positively so that you can pinpoint your emotions and use them to define your problems. Keeping a journal will help you organize and work toward obtaining all the necesities of pregnancy, including shelter, food, money, clothing, medical and other professional care, and a supportive, trustworthy friend.
Appendix I lists many agencies that may be able to provide help, answer questions, or make referrals.
Because other people can, often unwittingly, make a pregnancy crisis even more alarming, Chapter Three explains how you can handle others. In this chapter, you will find tips on choosing a good doctor and other professionals. You'll decide how, when, and if to reveal your pregnancy to your family and friends, teachers and fellow students, coworkers and bosses, and community and religious groups. An entire section contains suggestions on successfully managing your love life during pregnancy. In addition, you'll learn how to deal with rejection, social stigma, and abuse, and you'll read about particular techniques for handling an increasing problem, namely, dealing with pregnancy while in prison.
Appendix G presents a list of questions to ask when deciding love, career, educational, or group influences on a pregnancy.
Either you or your baby face health difficulties, discussed in Chapter Four. With more and more people suing doctors for malpractice, doctors have become extremely cautious in treating pregnancy. They may want to caution you about all possible complications and outcomes, and attempt to influence your decisions. Chapter Four has suggestions on dealing with this type of pressure.
You need to be aware of your rights and responsibilities, as detailed in Appendix B.
Appendix F has questions you should ask professionals and yourself as you choose medical options. With this information, you will be able to make better decisions based on total information.
Chapter Four also addresses concerns about your health. The chapter discusses environmental influences, over-the-counter medications, illegal substances, birth control methods, stress, inherited defects, and other factors that can affect your developing child. You will read about the advantages and limitations of prenatal testing and of second opinions so that you can make wise decisions regarding each.
If you're reading this book, you probably are seriously considering giving birth. But you may notknow if you want to or can parent your baby. Even if you are married, giving birth does not automatically mean parenting. Today, more than ever before, adoption, foster care, institutional care, and legal guardianship are widely available to married and single woman alike. Chapter Five explains the new trends in adoption that can help you keep in touch with your adopted children, if you so wish. It also gives some practical tips on parenting in various situations, and discusses different types of families so that you will be able to wisely choose a parenting option.
Appendix H presents questions that you should ask yourself as you clarify your preferences.
Your pregnancy crisis may involve traumas that most other women will never face. These may involve pregnancy from rape, incest, prostitution, or sexual addiction. You may be unhappy with past sexual behavior, yet not know how to avoid the same behavior in the future. Or you may have emotional scars from past sexual encounters, some forced on you and others freely chosen. Chapter Six deals with all these problems, and gives guidelines for successfully overcoming them.
Chapter Seven will help if you face any one of several other painful situations. In rare cases, you may face death if you give birth; yet, you may want to choose this option. What arrangements must you make? Chapter Seven provides some guidance. If your pregnancy is so threatening that suicide sometimes seems like a good option, Chapter Seven will give you hope for living and tell you how to find help. Prenatal testing may reveal that your unborn baby has special needs or is dying. Should you parent? How can you? How can you respond if you know that giving birth means saying good-bye? Chapter Seven, as well as Appendix C and Appendix H, will guide you in your decisions.
Appendix D deals with birth for the mentally retarded mother, and gives direction about finding help for those working with her.
Sometimes, a current pregnancy brings back painful memories of a previous abortion. You must face these emotions if you are to have the peace you need to deal with your current pregnancy. Sadly, every woman has some chance of having her pregnancy end unexpectedly in miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. Chapter Seven gives advice and comfort to mothers dealing with these painful situations.
No matter how overwhelming it seems, this pregnancy crisis is only a small portion of your entire life. However, it may make you realize the need for greater control over your other circumstances. For this reason, Chapter Eight offers some guidance for your future personal and, if you wish, spiritual growth. Thinking positively about yourself, seeking counseling, using self-help groups, and deepening your faith experiences are all ways to grow stronger emotionally. Chapter Eight points you in the direction of this ongoing growth.
While using this book, keep in mind a few very important points. Every pregnant woman should be under a doctor's care. While this book discusses medical problems, it does not attempt to recommend treatments for specific conditions. If you face the medical problems discussed in this book, or any other medical problems, you must seek the advice of competent physicians before making decisions regarding your pregnancy.
In the same way, if you face mental or emotional difficulties, you must seek the advice of competent professionals trained in the fields of mental health and counseling before reaching a decision. If you're making legal decisions, you should consult legal experts about applying the information in this book to your specific case. Finally, you should consult specific PREGNANCY AIDgencies or other groups for assistance with specific problems.
While this book offers much advice, it cannot address each woman's specific situation. Neither the author nor publisher shall be liable for any pregnancy outcomes or ramifications of decisions made by anyone who uses this book.
This book and its appendices mention several agencies, organizations, individuals, and books that may help pregnant women who wish to give birth. Mention of these agencies, organizations, individuals, authors, publishers, and others does not imply that they adhere to any specific philosophy regarding abortion.
Keep in mind a few points mentioned in the book itself. Don't give up when seeking help. If one group or agency won't or can't help, look elsewhere. Help is available. You can bear your baby and make wise decisions about parenting. Don't ever give up looking for help!
Above all, believe in your abilities. If you think you have very few, this book will help you discover many more. If you want to bear your baby, you, like the women whose stories appear in this book, have the courage and determination inside of you to see this pregnancy through. I believe in your creativity. Believe with me.
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