Being a pregnant and single woman can be overwhelming at times. But there are plenty of resources available to help. If you’re a single pregnant woman, here are a few steps you can take to put you’re mind at ease.
With recent CDC reports showing new low in teen birth rate and record high in births to unmarried single women there’s really no denying the phenomenon that females are no longer waiting for marriage to get pregnant and have children.
Whether you are an unmarried woman with an involved partner, or you are single and pregnant but aren’t in committed relationship, the experience of pregnancy can be a whirlwind of emotional rollercoaster and you do not have to go it alone.
Prenatal Care Support
First thing first: now that you are pregnant, you need to attend monthly prenatal visits. You may want to consider a midwife to a traditional obstetrician because they tend to make themselves more available to you. The wait to see a midwife is little or nothing when you go for regular check ups and they can help ease a lot of the fears and worries you may have as a single pregnant woman. Midwifery Clinics will generally work more attentively with you to devise a birth plan. If you want all natural or epidural, they provide you with a plethora of information you may not receive from your local hospitals and many of them provide prenatal and after birth classes. “I was one of those women who got pregnant before I was married,” 25 year old Jenny Lewis from New York says. “I started out going to a hospital close to where I lived and they were so cold and removed which made me apprehensive and afraid since this was my first time pregnant. I got referred to a midwife by a friend, and the environment was so much more personal and comfortable.” This is not to imply that you can’t possibly get the same treatment from an obgyn, you may just have to spend some time to make sure they address your questions and concerns in a way that makes you feel at ease. Never be afraid to switch providers should a level of discomfort or a feeling of negligence arise. Your state should provide Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP) that can assist with financial support for low income pregnant women. Most hospitals can also help you apply for financial support programs like PCAP and assist in finding low cost services.
A lot of pregnant single women find support in their siblings, parents and friends. Some of them may have been through pregnancy before and can offer you the support you need. If you happen to be a single pregnant woman and do have a close support system, there are vast resources in your area that can help someone just like you. You can contact your local city information hotline and request a Resource Directory for Single Parents. They list everything from childcare to children services, employment/education, financial management resources, health housing and utilities, legal services, mental health counseling, parenting aid and transportation services. Don’t forget to turn to your organization of faith. Many churches provide counseling and help for single pregnant women and single parenting. Your midwife or obgyn should also be able to refer you to a support group in the area for single pregnant mothers to-be. The important thing for you to know is that there are lots of services out there to help single pregnant women. You need not be ashamed to make inquiries about it.
If you happen to be an unmarried pregnant woman with the support of your partner, then chances are that you are receiving some amount of financial support. However, if you know who the father of your unborn child is and are no longer involved with him, it’s never too early to work out plans with him on financial support. If there is some discrepancy about who the father may be, a DNA test can be administered for as little as $100 dollars depending on the type of DNA testing you want. Once the identity of the father has been confirmed, under state law, you are entitled to child support. Even if you are an unmarried pregnant woman who is still in a relationship with the father of her child, it’s still a good idea have him sign an (AOP) – Acknowledgment of Paternity form. This is for the protection of your child. The form must be completed before the father’s name can be listed on the child’s birth certificate and the person listed on the form is legally responsible for the child. This is very crucial because during the period that no father is listed as the legal father, your child’s rights are not fully protected and may not only be eligible financial support but for social security, veterans benefit and health care as well.
Even in this day and age, being a single pregnant woman can be a frightening, lonely road but with proper steps and planning you’ll find that during this special journey of bonding with your baby inside, there are plenty of resources to help along the way.