Post-Abortion Care

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We have a new type of appointment available here at Center of Hope! A post-abortion appointment can be scheduled for those women who have had an abortion in the past 4-6 weeks. You might be thinking… “why is this important?” This appointment is very important to assess the woman for any possible infection or blood loss that could be occurring due to the abortion recently had.

At this appointment the nurse will meet with the patient and go over paperwork. A pregnancy test will be performed, and results will be given. The Nurse will take vital signs of the patient and assess if they are abnormal. Fever as well as high heart rate can be an indication of infection. The nurse will assess the patient and see if there are any new symptoms being experienced that may indicate infection. Symptoms may include worsening pain, bleeding, foul smelling odor from vagina, etc. The nurse will discuss and assess emotional wellbeing as well. This will be a time the patient can discuss her abortion experience if she so desires. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Once that is completed, the nurse will collect a small amount of blood from the finger to check for the Hemoglobin levels in the blood. This is done with a fingerstick. A low hemoglobin level may indicate blood loss.

We offer STD testing for anyone who wants to be tested, but we encourage STD testing for women who are considering abortion or who have recently had an abortion. This is why: A woman who has an STD and either doesn’t know or doesn’t receive treatment can greatly increase her risk for worsening infection. If a surgical abortion is performed, the instrument being put into the uterus can push whatever infection the woman may have even higher into other reproductive organs. If the device perforates into the uterus… infection could begin. Both medical and surgical abortions could result in an incomplete abortion which could result in infection as well. This is why this appointment is important and recommended. Infection may not occur with every abortion performed, but it is a risk that could become very serious if untreated.

Written by McKenzie, Staff Nurse

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Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices During Pregnancy: Part 2

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I encourage you to read Part 1 of the blog in order to fully grasp this information- How to change? and Will it even matter?

Both the lives of mom and baby are important, and it is important that both are healthy. We will first discuss the benefits of stopping these unhealthy lifestyle choices. 1.) Mom will be able to be healthy. Not only for herself but also for the baby in her womb while pregnant and as her child grows older. As the child grows older, they will need their mama, and it is important to be around to help guide them as they walk through life. Using drugs/drinking alcohol/smoking/etc., is dangerous and could eventually lead to serious sickness or death. 2) When Mama chooses healthier options, this benefits the baby. Baby has more nutrients and oxygen to be able to grow and develop into the healthy baby you will see at delivery. This will also decrease the risk that the baby must go to NICU, and if so, decrease the time the baby must spend there. 3) As the baby grows, they can have a greater chance of meeting the expected growth for their age. Developmental delays can be noticed as children grow and develop. Developmental delays can be caused by any of these unhealthy choices made during pregnancy that we’ve discussed thus far. Developmental delay means that the child does not meet the expected emotional, physical, or mental growth expected for their age.

Both lives are important, and both can be affected. I hope this blog encourages that mother who wants to change but feels like she can’t.

It's probably not going to be easy. Addiction can begin and it is hard to break. But you CAN break the cycle of addiction. Find a support group of friends or family that will hold you accountable. There are also hotlines you can call if you need someone to assist you: contact 1-800-662-HELP for the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Hotline or 1-800-QUIT-NOW for assistance to quit smoking. Start by removing whatever it may be from your home. Whether it be drugs, cigarettes, medications, or alcohol. If it is in your reach, it will be easier to resume. Avoid going to places you know will have alcohol/drugs/cigarettes/etc. Remember why you’re changing these lifestyle choices and remember the reasons each time you’re tempted to go back. You may need to choose a specific quit date... I recommend it today. If you’re participating in these lifestyle choices to relieve stress, try finding a healthier alternative that will help you. Whether that be reading, praying, going for a walk, or doing something simple like coloring or painting. Making these choices might be hard, but will always be worth it.

-McKenzie, RN

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Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices During Pregnancy: Part 1

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Unhealthy lifestyle choices can greatly affect your pregnancy. The baby in the womb goes through many changes in the first few weeks/months as they grow and develop. A baby’s brain, organs, and body develop all throughout pregnancy. The baby needs oxygen and nutrients to continue growing and developing into a strong and healthy baby. This is where the umbilical cord comes in. The umbilical cord is used to transfer oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s circulation into the baby’s circulation. So basically, everything that goes into your body- whether food, drink, medications, drugs, etc., is going from your bloodstream directly over to the baby. There are many dangerous chemicals in drugs and alcohol that can affect your baby’s ability to develop properly. 

 

These unhealthy lifestyle choices (using drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking, etc.) decrease the supply of oxygen to the baby. How??! Let’s take nicotine for example- Nicotine causes the blood vessels to constrict (or shrink). The shrinking of the blood vessels is not allowing enough oxygen or nutrients to get to the baby. This can have many dangerous effects on the baby. Baby could be born with low birth weight, could be born early, stillborn, have an increased risk for birth defects, decreased movement in the womb, increased risk for SIDS, and increased likelihood of having brain damage. And that was just to name a few. The mother is also affected by these unhealthy lifestyle choices and has an increased risk of developing lung cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease, or stroke.

 

There is no safe number of illegal drugs that are safe to ingest and they can be especially dangerous to a pregnant woman. The same also goes for alcohol, tobacco, and certain medications. If drugs are used all throughout pregnancy, a baby can be born addicted to drugs and face painful withdrawal symptoms. It is also important to know that it is not safe to be around second-hand or even third-hand smoke as the toxins can still enter our bodies through our lungs or skin (our largest organ!).

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Adoption vs. Abortion

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Let’s get down to the basics here. If you’ve found yourself in an unplanned pregnancy you need to know all the information you could know about both abortion and adoption.

Abortion

The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines abortion as,” The termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.” Abortions can be performed by different methods- by surgery or medication. The type of abortion that is performed depends on the abortionist and how far along you are. Surgical abortions can consist of Vacuum Aspiration, D&C (Dilation and curettage), or D&E (Dilation and Evacuation). A medical abortion is a procedure where drugs are given, either by injection or taken orally, to end the pregnancy. Abortion ultimately ends with the death of the unborn baby but can also result in trauma (either physical or mental) for the woman. Abortion is a serious medical procedure that has many risks and complications. If you have found yourself considering abortion, call our office at (601) 469-1230 to schedule an appointment where a nurse can discuss abortion in more detail for you. You deserve to have all the accurate information available to you. The different types of abortions we’ve talked about have different methods of being completed, but they all have the same result: The death of the unborn baby.

Adoption 

Adoption doesn’t have a good rep- primarily because of inaccurate information. Adoption is not foster care. Adoption is when you provide parents for your baby. Adoption is NOT “giving up your child”, but rather, choosing to give life to your child. Many women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy either feel it is not a good time in their life to raise a child, feel they cannot afford or want their child to grow up with both a mother and father in the home to provide as much security for their child. Whatever your reason may be, Adoption can give you the option to provide for your baby- through a family who will willingly choose to love a baby as their own. Today, the birth mother can be included in all aspects of the adoption plan. You can choose the family that your baby will grow up with and you can choose whatever type of adoption you feel would be best for you and the baby. An open adoption will allow you to get to know the adoptive parents by having ongoing contact with them. This will allow you to get to know your baby and form a relationship with the baby and new family as the child grows. Semi-open adoption will allow you to choose the family for your baby, but a form of privacy remains in place. Letters and pictures can be sent from your baby’s family to you through the adoption agency you choose. Confidential Adoption may be an option for someone who wants to remain anonymous. The adoption agency will support you and select a family based on your wishes. Your identity will be protected. Adoption is an act of selfless love by choosing to give your child life which can be communicated to your child as he/she grows.

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Why Have An Ultrasound?

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What is an ultrasound?

 

An ultrasound, also known as a sonogram, is a method used to see the inner parts of the body. An ultrasound uses sound waves that bounce back into images or sounds. An ultrasound can be used during pregnancy to see inside your uterus to visualize the baby.

 

How is an ultrasound performed?

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Post-Abortion Appointments Now Available

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We have a new type of appointment available here at the Center of Hope!

 

A post-abortion appointment can be scheduled for those women who have had an abortion in the past 4-6 weeks. You might be thinking… “Why is this important?” This appointment is very important to assess the woman for any possible infection or blood loss that could be occurring due to the abortion she recently had.

 

We offer STD testing for anyone who wants to be tested, but we encourage STD testing for women who are considering abortion. This is why: A woman who has an STD and either doesn’t know or doesn’t receive treatment can greatly increase her risk for worsening infection. If a surgical abortion is performed, the instrument put into the uterus can push whatever infection the woman may have even higher into other reproductive organs. If the device perforates into the uterus… infection could begin. I say all of that to say this: This appointment is important to assess any possibility of infection or anything that could pose a risk to the woman’s health so that help can be sought as soon as possible. Infection may not occur with every abortion performed, but it is a risk that could become very serious if untreated.

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Symptoms of Miscarriage

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Let’s clear up some confusion- A miscarriage is different than an abortion. A miscarriage is a spontaneous loss of an embryo or fetus that typically occurs before 20 weeks gestation. I know, those are difficult words to understand! The difference between embryo and fetus is just the different phases of development that a baby goes through in the first trimester. An embryo becomes a fetus around 9 weeks after conception! A miscarriage is thought to be as common as 20-25% of all pregnancies but could be a higher percentage due to many women not even knowing of their pregnancy yet. I’m sure you know of someone who has had a miscarriage, or you may have even experienced this loss yourself. I think it’s important that we all become educated on symptoms and what to do if they begin.  

Typically, spotting or bleeding will begin. Bleeding might increase as the cervix opens. Pink discharge or tissue passing from the vagina may also occur. Uterine contractions may be felt in cramping that is typically worse than menstrual cramps. A woman may experience pain in her lower stomach or back. Along with some of these symptoms, weakness or fatigue could occur. Symptoms such as fever, chills, lower abdominal tenderness, or foul-smelling discharge may mean a serious infection is occurring. In this case, a medical provider should be seen as soon as possible.   

A range of emotions may be experienced, from grief and sadness to anger. These emotions are normal and it’s okay to take time to grieve the loss of your baby. However, if depression or thoughts of suicide begin, please seek medical help from a trusted doctor or professional mental health counselor. You don’t have to suffer alone. You may can find support from a close family member or friend- even a support group of women who know what you’re experiencing from their own personal experiences. Center of Hope offers this service to anyone seeking support and healing from their loss. Please keep this information I’ve shared with you for your own personal knowledge, but also for the event that someone you know, and love may come to you for support during a miscarriage. And remember, sometimes miscarriages happen and are not caused by anything the mother has done. Give grace, as both grief and healing take time.  

Written by McKenzie, Staff Nurse 

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Different Types of Abortion

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ULTRASOUND

First things first, you need an ultrasound. Guess what? We do them for FREE. You need to know how far along you are, ensure the baby is in your uterus, make sure there is a heartbeat, and ensure you haven't miscarried.

MEDICAL ABORTION

A medical abortion, also called "the abortion pill," is usually a series of two pills taken orally or vaginally within 48 hours to end a pregnancy. Mifepristone is the first pill that is given, which works by blocking progesterone, making the uterine lining thin, causing the embryo to become unattached, and terminating the pregnancy. The second pill, misoprostol, causes bleeding and contractions, inducing labor and causing the pregnancy to be expelled through the vagina.

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We do not offer, recommend or refer for abortions or abortifacients, but are committed to offering accurate information about abortion procedures and risks.