5 Books for Expectant Moms

With all the emotions and joyful chaos of pregnancy, sometimes you need to sit back and take time for yourself. Here is a short list of books for young moms preparing for motherhood. These books are a great source of hope and help whether this is your first time or your third! Take a moment, kick up your feet, and start flipping the pages. You’ll be glad that you did.

(Not preggo?? Consider buying one of these books for a friend!)

1. Tiny Blue Lines

Tiny Blue Lines is the perfect book for you or your friend who is going through an unplanned pregnancy. Author Chaunie Brusie shares her college pregnancy experience. Young mamas, Chaunie knows exactly what you are going through! This book provides excellent advice for answering tough questions like whether to give the child up for adoption, to marry the father, to stay in school, to pursue a career, and how to process their experience in a way that frees them to move forward. Don’t forget to read all the way to the end to learn the “6 Lessons from an Unwed Mother”!

2. A Bump in Life

In the book A Bump in Life, Embrace Grace founder, Amy Ford, shares 22 unplanned pregnancy stories (including her own!). These stories are a great reminder that you are not alone, and you may even find yourself exclaiming– “That’s my story!” A Bump in Life is a great source of encouragement and hope for any young mom facing the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy.

3. The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy

Pregnancy is not all glowing mamas and cute bellies. Vicki Iovine delivers a “no holds barred” style guide to pregnancy. Do you really want to know what to expect? Read this book. Vicki provides a very honest critique of all the “lovely” physical and emotional experiences of pregnancy. If you want to laugh, this book is for you.

4. The Gentle Birth Method

If you’re looking for natural ways to improve your pregnancy experience, check out The Gentle Birth Method. Whether you are planning on a hospital birth or something a little more unconventional, this book has helpful tips to prepare you for a natural birth.

5. What to Expect When You’re Expecting

What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a great read for any first-time mom! Hailed as “America’s pregnancy bible,” this book offers a comprehensive month-by-month, in depth look into pregnancy. You’ll be informed of what to expect and provided with tons of FAQs from moms like you. If you want thorough, informative read, this is the perfect all-around book to read throughout your pregnancy.

Remember: Every mom has different expectations for what they want out of a pregnancy book. Some want to laugh. Others are looking for guidelines and advice. Some want medical, no fuss explanations. Others simply want to read a good story! Whether you are buying a book for yourself or for a friend, pick the book that best suits you or the expectant mom

 

If you have a story to share, or you want to become involved in the Pregnant on Campus Initiative, please email Beth at brahal@studentsforlife.org.

Oh no! I may be preggo!

MPregnancy Testissed your period? Feeling sick? Witnessing an unusual increase in your spare tire? Before you sound the alarms and brace yourself for the family lecture, pause for a moment to consider your situation. You may be panicking when simply you are late for this month’s visit from Aunt Flo.

Take a deep breath. Let’s go over the basics!

1. Are you sexually active?

If you are sexually active, proceed to #2-4. If your period is late but you are not sexually active, give your doctor a call. Stress, diet, excessive exercise, and other lifestyle changes may be causing your delayed period. Your doctor can work with you to identify the problem and then determine the best course of action to get you back on schedule.

2. When was your last period?

Whether you mark your calendar religiously or you simply wait in anxiety for your T.O.M., take a deep breath and figure out your last period. You may have miscounted, or you could simply be panicking without good reason.

3. How are you feeling?

Early signs of pregnancy may include some of all of the following symptoms: missed period, headaches, tender breasts, nausea, lower backaches. While women’s experiences vary, you may be experiencing a few or all of these signs.

4. Have you taken a pregnancy test?

If you are sexually active, get over to the store, and purchase a pregnancy test. If you are nervous, a friend may be willing to do this for you or accompany you for the trip. Go home, read the instructions, and get to it. Pregnancy tests can identify pregnancy as early as 7-10 days after ovulation. Testing too early may result in a negative test. You should do a second test to be sure that your results are accurate. (See this fact sheet for more information.) If your test comes up positive, schedule an appointment with your doctor to confirm your pregnancy. Even if it is negative, you should consider scheduling a doctor’s appointment to make sure that you are healthy. Your doctor will help determine why you missed your period, examine you for STIs, and address other health concerns.

“I’m PREGNANT! Where can I get help?”

An unplanned pregnancy is often a very emotional time for young women. Please know that you are not alone in this journey. There are thousands of pregnancy resource centers and pro-life organizations across the country that are prepared to assist you in your needs. Please check out our page,  Resources for Students, to guide you through the resources on this website. You can check out our National Resources page, or simply search for your campus to find resources to meet your needs. You should also go to OptionLine.org to search for the pregnancy resource center nearest you.

 

This post was contributed by Beth Rahal, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. For comments and questions, please contact Beth at pregnancyresources@studentsforlife.org 

Creating a Pregnancy Resource Website

UA Pregnancy websiteA common trend among pro-life student groups is to create a pregnancy resource website that is separate from their pro-life student group’s website. This effort helps broaden their audience by avoiding bias that may result from your pro-life position. In turn, these websites provide strictly pregnancy resource information for peers at your school and women in your community.

A pregnancy resource website can be a simple, effective project if organized as a group project. You can assign members to divide areas of research to collect all the necessary information to serve a woman in an unplanned pregnancy situation. Do you have a tech savvy member? Assign them to develop the website. Members can be enlisted to create graphics (or purchase appropriate stock images), and others can be assigned to developing the website content and checking the pages for edits.

Does this project interest your group? Here are some basic steps for developing an effective pregnancy resource website.

1. Decide on your initiative’s title.

It is important that you are clear about the name of your campus initiative and that you are consistent in using it on your website, in promotional materials, etc. This promotes good branding by strategically identifying your actions and activities as affiliated with this initiative. You may call your initiative (your school’s name)‘s Pregnant on Campus Initiative, Pregnant on Campus at (your school’s name), or Pregnancy Resources at (Your school’s name). Choose wisely! Your initiative should be a consistent, lasting part of your ministry; so you don’t want to be changing it every year.

2. Choose your host site.

A host site is a website which provides the tools for you to create and publish your own website. Some host sites that are easy to use and navigate include WordPress.comWix.com, or Weebly.com. These sites offer free blogsites, templates, and more. You may want to shop around and test different templates before deciding on your host site.

3. Pick a domain name.UMiami Pregnancy website

Choose a website domain that accurately describes your initiative. For example, Bama’s site is www.uapregnancy.org, and UMiami’s site is www.umiamipregnancy.org. You may purchase a domain at GoDaddy.com or another domain registry prior to pursuing your host site, or you may choose a domain after registering on one of the aforementioned website hosts.

4. Decide on content.

Content for your pregnancy resource website is critical. You need to decide what information will be most helpful for students at your school. Here are some subjects to consider:

  • School Policies
  • On-Campus Resources: Health center, services, scholarships, support.
  • School Insurance Information
  • Local Pregnancy Resource Centers: Locations, services, contact information
  • Pregnancy Information: Identifying pregnancy, fetal development, health and wellness during pregnancy
  • Resource Guide: Comprehensive guide of campus and local resources (available for download and print)
  • Contact Information: Provide an email address to be reached at, a Facebook page (if applicable), and a contact form (if desired)

Your group may also want to include testimonies from pregnant and parenting students at your school (or elsewhere).

7. Design and messaging sets the tone.

How do you want your site visitor to feel when they land on your site? What do you want them to see and read? As a pregnancy resources website, your site is intended primarily for students who will be curious, confused, and/or desperate. Keep the colors and tone comforting. Your messaging should emphasize hope, support, and compassion. The words, pictures, and videos included throughout the site should be thoughtfully reviewed to consider the viewpoint of the audience.

6. Contact information is key.

Your peers need to know how to reach you! How else can they find support, ask questions, and join your efforts? In addition to providing contact information for campus and local support, your group should have an email address for website visitors to contact you. It is recommended that this is a unique address that is specific to your initiative. For example, yourschoolpregnancy@gmail.com . Your group can easily create a Contact Form using Google Form that can be embedded into the website. (Go to Google Drive > Create > Form.)

7. Keep it current!

Make sure that you are regularly updating and improving your site. Each year, confirm that your sources link and refer to current resources and active organizations. Email should be checked on a consistent basis and promptly responded to. Blog posts should be posted on a frequent schedule to provide interesting, engaging material. Don’t let your site get dusty! Assign a member to update and review content each semester.

8. Update us about your websites.

We want to know what resources are available! Tell us about your site, and we will add it to our campus resources page, and we will keep it on file to promote to students and to aid students seeking help.

Set a goal, and get this done! Make it your group’s goal to create a unique pregnancy resource website by the end of this semester. By expanding your pregnancy resources, you can be one step closer to transforming your community to a pro-life, pro-family environment.

For further assistance on this project, contact Beth with questions, ideas, and comments at bomalley@studentsforlife.org.

You Are Not Alone

What students don’t know CAN hurt them

“What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” Or can it?

In the case of pregnancy resources, we are all too aware that a lack of information all too often leads to unfortunate decisions. Every day, over 3,000 women seek abortions. They do not believe that they have the support and the resources available to help them through their pregnancy and beyond. Many make these devastating decisions without realizing the support and resources available to them.

No woman should have be left without options. No woman should be forced to seek an abortion when there is help available to support her in a life-affirming choice (e.g. parenting, adoption).

In recent studies by Students for Life of America and Feminists for Life, here is what college-students responded:

  • 44% believe that abortion is not okay
  • 45% believe that abortion is okay
  • 58% do not know where to refer a friend that wants to keep their child.
  • 48% do not know that Planned Parenthood offers abortions
  • 79% did not know if their student health plan offers maternity coverage
  • 46% said that there is no housing on campus for parenting students
  • 45% said that their college does not offer on-campus childcare
  • 62% said that they had not seen diaper changing stations in restrooms
  • 77% said that there was no private place for women to nurse or pump breast milk
  • 91%  said that their college campus does not offer designated parking for pregnant women or parents with infants.
  • 78% said that their college offers flexible class times (e.g. evenings, weekends)
  • 40% could not find pregnant and parenting resources on their school website
  • 45% said that pregnant and parenting resources are not in the school handbook
  • Only 15% said that they had seen ads on campus that provided information and support for pregnant and parenting students

Don’t believe these results? Watch what happens when the late Jon Scharfenberger asks students about campus resources:

Why? Why are these students unaware of resources available to them? Yes, these students may not be pregnant or parenting. So maybe they weren’t looking for these resources. However, one would hope that there were more who were confident in responding to Jon’s questions.

It is clear that we are not doing our job. As people who love both children and womenwe must be consistently advertising available resources and spearheading projects that effectively address the needs of pregnant and parenting students. It is not enough to say that you support pregnant and parenting students. Do something! Anything. Prove that your pro-life student group supports your pregnant and parenting peers. Prove that your group supports life-affirming decisions. Prove that your group will educate and support your peers.

Take time to set goals with your group, and be accountable to your goals. Host a diaper drive. Challenge school policies. Raise funds for a pregnant and parenting scholarship. Network with administration and staff to create a system of support for pregnant and parenting students.

You can make a difference on your campus and in your community.

Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator for guidance as your group takes on the Pregnant on Campus Initiative. You are not alone in your efforts. We will help you make a difference on your campus.