How Do You Know If You’re Ready To Be A Parent?

How Do You Know If You’re Ready To Be A Parent?

Finding out you’re unexpectedly pregnant can be overwhelming. Once the initial shock fades, worry may creep in. If you weren’t planning on having children for a while (or not ever), you may wonder whether you’re ready to be a parent or whether you’ll be ready within the next nine months. If you need help with your pregnancy or just a sympathetic and compassionate person to talk to, Avail NYC is here for you.

Read on to learn more about some of the questions you can ask yourself to determine if you’re ready for a child, as well as the free, confidential services offered by Avail NYC that can help you during this life-changing time.

Will you be able to provide for your baby’s needs?

In today’s consumption-focused society, it can be easy to assume you need a carload of baby gear before you can even check into the hospital. However, a baby’s needs are very simple: food, clothing, shelter, and affection. As long as your baby has a safe place to sleep, a car seat or stroller, a couple of outfits and a blanket or two, a way to eat (whether bottles and formula, breastfeeding, or a breast pump), and close contact with a loving caregiver, he or she should have all needs met.

Are you ready for a full-time commitment to parenting?

Having a child, while incredibly rewarding, can be like having a job with no sick time, no vacation days, and no overtime pay. If you’re not sure you can commit your full-time attention to your child or share the load of responsibility between a significant other or strong support system, you may want to consider alternatives or other helpful solutions for parenting.

Do you have enough financial support?

While kids can be as expensive as you make them, some costs that are all but impossible to avoid, from food to diapers to childcare. If you’re already struggling to support only yourself, adding another mouth to feed may not make much sense. On the other hand, in some states, a single-parent household with a single child may qualify for a greater government aid package than a single (or married) non-parent.

Fortunately, even if you do some soul-searching and find you’re not yet ready to be a parent, Avail NYC can help. Our confidential pregnancy support services can help line you up with available assistance programs or even help you pursue adoption plan as an option. Avail is a safe place to make a confident pregnancy decision.

How can Avail NYC help?

Avail NYC is a pregnancy care center designed to help anyone dealing with (and making decisions about) an unexpected pregnancy. Avail offers holistic care and practical resources for all facets of pregnancy, from taking your first pregnancy test and attending pregnancy classes to buying baby clothes and supplies, or even lining up childcare. We are not a medical provider.

Avail’s team of friendly client advocates can give you the space you need to come to a decision. Our network of free, confidential pregnancy support services can be an invaluable resource during what may be a stressful time. Contact us today to make an appointment.

Make an appointment today

Unexpectedly Pregnant? How A Pregnancy Class Can Help

Unexpectedly Pregnant? How A Pregnancy Class Can Help

Discovering you are unexpectedly pregnant can be a shock, even if you had planned for children in the future. You may find yourself feeling adrift and with nowhere to turn for support. From offering no-cost, self-administered pregnancy tests to parenting classes, Avail NYC is here to help you make informed decisions about your options along every step of the way.

One of the many ways Avail offers support is through its parenting-education program that offers free pregnancy classes. These classes seek to provide you with the information and resources to better understand your various body changes that occur during pregnancy, your baby’s development through each trimester, and even how to care for your newborn once you take them home from the hospital.

Here are five ways a pregnancy class can provide practical help from the very first meeting:

1. Improved Confidence

You may find yourself leaving your first pregnancy class with even more questions than you had when you arrived. Fortunately, this is a good outcome: knowing what you don’t know can spur you to find answers rather than assuming you are on the right path. Asking questions and delving into additional research on your own can allow you to gain greater confidence in your ability to make the best parenting decisions for your child.

An unexpected way a pregnancy class improves your confidence is through developing connections with other moms who you can share ideas with during your pregnancy and parenting.

2. Head Start on A Birth Plan

A birth plan is written communication that explains your wishes to your care team during childbirth. One page in length is best. Birth plans are helpful to avoid misunderstandings during labor and delivery and can be as varied as the women who use them. Deciding what is important to you when you bring your child into the world can help you develop a comprehensive birth plan to provide to your obstetrician (OB/GYN) and other medical providers well before you go into labor.

Medical personnel can indeed receive birth plans negatively, but this usually happens when parents are demanding. So keep it positive and see your medical team as partners. One way to do that is to design a positive birth plan. Make a list of what you do want rather than what you don’t want. When you incorporate phrases like “we hope to” or “we anticipate” rather than “we don’t want,” it helps sets up a cooperative team atmosphere.

Things typically included in a birth plan:

General Information

Include your name, your doctor, or midwife’s name, hospital name, and who you want with you during labor and delivery.

Atmosphere

Everyone has a differing idea of what is a comfortable environment. Think about what would be a soothing environment for you during labor and delivery. Do you like music and people talking around you, or do you prefer it quiet? Would you prefer the lights dim? Do you want photographs taken?

Pain Management

Think ahead about pain management. Do you prefer to have an epidural as soon as possible? Or do you prefer to manage pain with other techniques such as breathing and massage? Do you want your birth team to encourage you to avoid an epidural or encourage it if you ask for it during labor?

Delivery Preferences

Do you want your doctor to avoid an episiotomy for a vaginal birth? Do you want a water birth? Would you prefer to be in a particular position for birth? Do you have a preference for if the room is quiet or dim? Do you want to see your baby’s birth, or have your baby handed to you immediately? Would you like your partner to cut the cord, and do you plan to save cord blood?

While it isn’t necessary for you to have your birth plan outlined and finalized after your first pregnancy class, it can give you a head start when it comes to thinking about your options and what you would like your child’s birth to include. You will also be able to get more nuanced information and first-hand testimonials on some of the procedures or processes you are considering.

3. Nutrition and Exercise Education 

Even if your pre-pregnancy eating and exercise habits were not always the healthiest, pregnancy could provide the perfect time to create some good habits. Avail’s parenting-education program and curriculum will inform you on what types of food you should and shouldn’t be eating, and what kinds of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats you’ll want to consume to keep you healthy and active in this season.

4. Understanding Pregnancy

Avail’s pregnancy classes led by volunteer registered nurses help you understand changes that happen in your baby and your body, particularly during your last trimester of pregnancy.

Your baby’s last trimester:

  • Baby continues to grow in length and weight
  • The lungs mature
  • Moves to head-down position
  • Baby is about 6-9 pounds and 19-21 inches long
  • Rapid brain development
  • Head may “drop” into the pelvic area
  • Baby cries and sucks thumb in the womb

Your last trimester:

  • You may urinate more often
  • Your ankles, hands, and face may swell from retained fluids
  • You may notice more body hair
  • Increased Braxton-Hicks contractions
  • Stretch marks on stomach, breasts, thighs, and buttocks
  • Increased constipation and heartburn
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Varicose veins

5. Labor and delivery

Our pregnancy classes also help you prepare for labor and delivery. As these classes are instructed by registered nurses volunteering to give helpful advice, you will learn breathing techniques to enhance your childbirth experience. Breathing techniques can improve relaxation and decrease the perception of pain.

There are also comfort strategies to help reduce your pain level and enhance your childbirth experience. We will also discuss various comfort strategies that you can incorporate into your labor time, such as massage, massage oils, changing positions, moving, dancing slowly, birthing ball, counter-pressure, and aromatherapy.

We Are Here for You

If you’re pregnant and need support, don’t hesitate to contact Avail NYC. Our compassionate client advocates can provide free, confidential support or connect you with resources to help you in all aspects of your pregnancy.

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider. 

Could I Be Pregnant?

Could I Be Pregnant?

In the movies, it seems the first sign of pregnancy frequently comes in the form of morning sickness, often displaying itself at the most inopportune or embarrassing time. However, did you know that up to 15 percent of pregnant women experience no nausea at all? In fact, another 30 to 40 percent avoid vomiting while pregnant all together. This can mean that relying upon feeling sick to confirm whether you’re pregnant may leave you without solid answers.

Read on to learn more about five signs of pregnancy, including what to do if you suspect you may be in the early stages of your own pregnancy.

Extreme Fatigue

If you find yourself collapsing on the couch after work or calling in sick because you simply can’t drag yourself out of bed, you may wonder whether you have a virus or bacterial infection. However, in many cases, fatigue, rather than nausea or vomiting, can be the first sign of a pregnancy.

This fatigue tends to hit hardest during the first trimester when the fetus is in its period of most rapid growth and cell division. Despite taking place in a very small part of your body, this process is incredibly physically taxing, and in combination with changes in your hormone levels, can leave you feeling exhausted.

Battling Heartburn

Even women who don’t find themselves battling nausea or vomiting may have other digestive symptoms, most notably heartburn. Heartburn occurs when acid in the stomach backs up into the esophagus, resulting in an overly full feeling (even if you haven’t recently eaten) or causing a burning sensation deep within your chest.

If you’ve found yourself recently experiencing heartburn for the first time in your life, or the worst heartburn in your life, even waking you up in the middle of the night, it may be a good idea to take a pregnancy test to confirm your suspicions.

Unusual Mood Swings

The same mood swings that accompany PMS in many women can also show up during the early stages of pregnancy due to the frequent changes and shifts in hormone levels. If you find yourself cycling through strong feelings of rage, sorrow, or happiness without much prompting, it may be because your normal moods are being amplified by higher levels of estrogen and progesterone in your bloodstream.

Sore Breasts

Another common sign of PMS, sore breasts can often signify the beginning of pregnancy as well. If your breasts stay sore for more than a week, with no menstrual period in sight, it could be due to pregnancy.

Sensitivity to Scents and Tastes

Many women can identify the moment they knew they were pregnant by their sudden and unexpected disgust (or attractions) to certain scents and tastes. If you’re a lifelong steak lover but find yourself gagging at the sight of a rare filet, or notice that you can smell a cigarette smoker from yards away, you may be experiencing pregnancy-related food and scent sensitivity.

Avail NYC offers free, self-administered pregnancy tests and support for New Yorkers who may be facing an unexpected pregnancy. Contact us today to make an appointment with one our client advocates or learn more about our free, confidential services.

Make an appointment


Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider. 

 Subscribe in a reader