Empowering Women, Supporting Life, and Pretend Placentas
Organized by: Laura Lewis
You've always wanted to contribute to a fundraiser to buy a pretend placenta, right? The short version: In a couple of months, I will be providing free childbirth classes at a local crisis pregnancy center. I believe that all women should have access to the information they need to have a safe and satisfying birth experience. In order to best serve these women, I would like to have better visual aid diagrams, exercise balls and pillows to practice with, and models (plastic pelvis, placenta, etc). I have done some research and it looks like all of this should cost about $400. I am inviting you to support me as I help women who have made the decision to chose life amidst immense struggle. The long version: I have always been pro-life. Period. I have never felt tempted to have an abortion, but my first pregnancy did make me think about the pro-life movement. My first pregnancy was unintended. We were in our late twenties, healthy, married, living in a safe neighborhood, highly educated with good jobs, had ample income to support a family, and surrounded by friends and family who would be totally thrilled for us. However, for some reason I still went through a time, albeit brief, of feeling alone and afraid. I think God used this time to give me an understanding of why some women feel like abortion is their only option. If I was alone and afraid in an ideal situation to have a baby, imagine how I would have felt if I were in a much less than ideal situation (young, unsupportive partner, no family support, financially in crisis, struggling with drug abuse or other mental illness, low resources, homelessness, neighborhood and domestic violence, etc). Many pregnancy centers do a great job at providing a listening ear, free ultrasounds, and some baby clothes. However, I think in many ways we all pray for life and then leave these women and babies to fend for themselves. The pregnancy center that I will be volunteering for requires all of their clients to receive mental health counseling (if they have a diagnosed mental health disorder) or case management services (one on one educational sessions, referrals to needed resources, tools for working towards various goals, etc). Attending these services then gives the clients access to free materials that they may need (maternity and baby clothes, diapers, etc). This organization offers support to these families until their youngest child is 3 years old through parenting classes, support groups, and other programming. However, they do not currently offer childbirth classes. If you have ever been pregnant, you know that the idea of childbirth can be very scary. Accurate information, coping skills/comfort measures, and tools needed make a scary time exciting and joyful! Most childbirth classes, even those offered through the hospital, are cost prohibitive to this population. I feel honored to use my gifts as a doula and OT who works with pregnant women to support these women in giving healthy starts to their babies and lessening their fears. At this particular time in my life, I feel called to action in this area in addition to praying for life. So...wanna help me get a pretend placenta?