Options: Why We Do What We Do

Options has been around for 35 years offering free pregnancy support services to women in our community.

Many people have asked us during the course of these 35 years why we give our services away for free without making any profit from our clients. They don’t understand what keeps us in the game.

The answer is simple: Love.

That’s it.

No big explanation.

No hidden agenda.

There is no -if you do this, then we’ll do that.

Our clients just show up and we do what we do, a little or a lot, depending upon their asking.

Options is faith-based, founded on the principle of loving others as God loved us.

That’s why Options responds in love to our clients, especially now, when we are all faced with so many challenges, from Covid, to the economy, to strained relationships and uncertain futures.

Women with unexpected pregnancies are no exception.

A lot has changed during the 35 years we’ve been open, but certain things are as true now as they were back then.

Even in 2020, with all the technology available to us, women still get pregnant when they aren’t ready.

We understand that not every pregnancy comes at the ideal time or in the best of circumstances. Women still consider their choices, to carry or to end their pregnancies. Some women go through the pain of deciding all alone without anyone to hear them out. Some are indecisive and can find no peace with either choice. Some want more information to help them decide like an ultrasound or medical exam.

Options is here for all these women.

Options will continue to reach out in love no matter where women are in their decision. Many of us have been there. Many have struggled with the same choices. At a time like this, no woman should be alone without knowing she is loved. The least we can do is offer a network of love and support and practical help in real-time.

For over 3 decades, women know they can come to Options and be accepted for who they are and where they’re at.  They know that when they walk into our center they can relax, that they will receive high-quality early pregnancy care, and emotional support, no matter what they decide.

What’s in it for us?

Love has no reward other than loving.

Each client, each human person, deserves nothing less.

Who’s Influencing Your Pregnancy Decision?

 

Influencers. They are all around us. Do they empower us with confidence or do they make us feel like we don’t measure up? 

Influencers, whether on social media or in real life, can affect our everyday decisions, from the clothes we wear, the purchases we make, and the lifestyles we choose, including feelings about an unexpected pregnancy. 

Who is influencing your pregnancy decision? 

Is your decision coming from your heart or do you have other forces influencing your choice? 

If you feel stuck with an impossible choice to make, it may be helpful to identify all of your outside influences, and then compare them to your own feelings about your pregnancy. 

Many women who were polled about their pregnancy decisions admitted that their relationship with the baby’s father was a powerful influence. If the quality of their relationship was poor, the more negatively, they viewed their pregnancies. Even in good relationships, if their partners felt that the timing was off, women felt a negative influence.

Some good questions to ask yourself to understand the power a major influencer on your pregnancy decision are: 

 

Do I feel pressured or encouraged? 

Are my feelings validated or dismissed?

Do his feelings about the pregnancy seem more important than mine? 

Am I stressed I will freak him out if I discuss how I feel? 

How much is his presence or absence affecting my choice?

 

The answers to these questions will help you to see how your relationship is influencing your decision, and how you may need to shift the conversation so your feelings are heard. It is often hard to express yourself freely when you are worried you will upset the listener. Sometimes it’s helpful to write your feelings down first before you share them with a person of influence in your life, whether it’s your intimate partner, parent, relative, or friend.

Ask yourself:

 

Do they respect my feelings and let me talk freely?

How much do I value their opinion compared to my own?

Do I feel confident or insecure when under their influence?

 

Consulting with people who care about you and who will listen to your concerns is a positive thing. We all need someone to talk to when we’re down or confused. Most experts recommend that when faced with a problem, it’s good to talk it over with someone you can trust as long as they are coming from a place of concern, not control.

When choosing your influencers, in regard to your unplanned pregnancy, remember, to expect concern, not control; encouragement, not judgment; hope, not despair. 

Do your influencers inspire hope and confidence? 

If your influencers stress you out or frustrate you, maybe it’s time to check in with yourself without any outside interference.

If all you want right now is a medical consultation and an opportunity to be heard without defending the complicated feelings you have about being pregnant, then Options is the place for you.  

We’re safe, we’re free and we listen. You can come here to chill and just be you, while receiving free, early, no-hassle pregnancy services. Even if you can’t find the words to say, you can come here to be quiet and listen to yourself.

Now is the time to be kind to yourself and to welcome self-care.

Never underestimate the power of influence, but let that influence be kindness. You deserve nothing less.

Call: 856-795-0048

Text: 856-417-6944  or 856-230-0990

 

Staying Emotionally Present AND Socially Distant During Pregnancy

We live in troubled times. There’s a virus on the loose, and even though it appears to be tamed, no one is certain if it’s been completely beaten. 

George Floyd’s tragic killing ignited a firestorm of response as people take to the streets to protest against racial violence and injustice. We are moved to grief, anger, and frustration and feeling like we’re living on the edge. 

Ugly politics, folks out of work, and financial problems caused by the COVID quarantine are taking its toll on us too. 

In the midst of all these larger than life issues, smaller, but no less important things are happening in each of our lives, including unexpected pregnancy. Right now, a woman who is alone, uninsured, and anxious, is holding a positive pregnancy test.  

This woman could be you or someone you know. 

Unexpected pregnancy crosses all boundaries.

It doesn’t matter what color you are or how you will vote. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have children or not, if you are alone or with someone you love. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, where you live or where you work. It doesn’t matter what you believe or what you don’t believe, or what language you speak.

What matters is how you feel about your pregnancy.

What you do next will determine your future.

In these days of social distancing, it’s important not to isolate yourself from your feelings about your pregnancy, even if you are conflicted. One minute you may be happy, the next angry and unaccepting. One to one peer support can have a positive impact if you are feeling anxious about an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy.  Anxiety can be a threshold to depression and affect your mental health. Finding support is one of the best things you can do during this vulnerable time to benefit your emotional well being.

 If you’re undecided, Options is a good place to find support so you can start figuring things out for yourself.

You can come in for a free medical exam and for pregnancy verification, and return for a free ultrasound so you can accurately date your pregnancy.  

Above all, you can come for the comfort and compassion you will find here. 

Compassion and understanding are needed now more than ever. In fact, they are our specialty.

 

We promise we will put your needs first and that you will leave here feeling better than when you arrived. 

In a world that has gone mad, let Options be your neutral zone because to us, your life and how you feel about your pregnancy, matters. 

Quarantine Pregnancy: Covid Stress and The Abortion Pill

Let’s face it, living through the Coronavirus pandemic is no joke.

Being pregnant during this fretful time can be traumatic and seem even impossible.

But here you are with a positive pregnancy test… what will you do?

Quarantined and frightened, calling your doc to get a prescription for a do-it-yourself abortion may seem like the best choice.

How hard can it be? 

Harder than you think.

The abortion pill can have more side effects than surgical abortion. There is heavier bleeding, digestive discomfort, and the possibility of incomplete abortion which may need to be followed up with a surgical procedure, and the continuation of an ongoing pregnancy if taking the pill doesn’t work. Infections and fever are possible. Medical abortion (abortion pill) also has a lower success rate than surgical abortion.

Before you try the abortion pill while quarantined in your home, educate yourself about the infection risks and side effects. You will need to follow up with a physician either in person or by phone.

Even in quarantine, you can’t do this alone. 

Having an abortion is an extreme step even when done in the comfort of your home and one that will affect the rest of your life long after the current pandemic is gone.

Think about how you might feel after this current health crisis is over. Weigh your alternatives and consider the impact the abortion may have on your future.

Talk to other family members or friends who won’t add to your stress or pressure you to make a rash decision.

Seek help from a spiritual advisor or counselor – or you can call Options for Women to speak with someone who will listen, someone with whom you can feel safe, someone you can trust. We’re always here to answer your call. 

These are tough times.

The quarantine may have caused a loss of income and worries over money. Troubled marriages and partnerships may be strained to their breaking point. If you live alone you may be feeling lonely and depressed.

Call us.

And how about being with your kids 24/7 without the relief of extended family to help or friends and babysitters to give you a much-needed break?

Underlying health issues apart from COVID 19 could be affecting your or a family member’s health.

Mix up all these concerns with a general fear that either you or someone you love could die from the coronavirus and you have a highly anxious state that influences every area of your life, including your pregnancy decision.

If any of the pressure points bogging you down could be lessened or removed, would you still take that pill to end your pregnancy?

Your circumstances will most likely change and improve once this pandemic ends, but nothing can improve a pregnancy once it’s aborted.

The important thing to remember is that you do have choices and there is help available to you if you want it. We’ll help you sort through the issues that complicate your unplanned pregnancy, one at a time.

Please remember, during this pandemic and after, if you are facing a crisis with your unplanned pregnancy, you are not alone, even under a quarantine. 

Call us.

Early Pregnancy Concerns in the Age of the Coronavirus

Finding out you’re pregnant during this season of the cornonavirus can be extra stressful.  A trip to the grocery, or even a medical appointment, can seem downright life-threatening as the number of infected people with the coronavirus increases in our region. Add the fact that many pregnant women are uninsured and without easy access to healthcare, and you have a recipe for worry and anxiety.

The good news is that if you are uninsured or unsure about your pregnancy, you can receive official proof of pregnancy (free) from Options for Women. Proof of pregnancy is necessary in order to apply for Medicaid before you can see a provider or can help you in your decision-making process.

Options has adopted a new policy to accommodate recent Covid-19 health restrictions that will allow us to operate during these troubling times. Just call our office to make an appointment, and our nurse or appointment scheduler will tell you all you need to know before your verification appointment.

We understand that If you’ve just found out that you are pregnant during the thick of the pandemic, finding prenatal care is a priority.

Our goal is to get you connected to a healthcare provider as soon as possible. We know that you have deep concerns about your pregnancy especially now in the early stages when there is so much uncertainty. The fact is that there is yet, little known about the pathology of the coronavirus. According to a recent NY Times article, there is no current data on Covid-19 and first-trimester pregnancy.  What is known is that pregnancy alters the immune system so it is best not to take any chances and limit your exposure as much as possible to anyone who is sick in general.

How can you keep yourself safe from the coronavirus?

The CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend pregnant women follow these guidelines:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Try not to touch your face, nose, eyes, and mouth
  • Use hand sanitizer if you can’t wash with soap and water
  • Keep your distance (at least 6 feet)
  • Stay home
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Wear a cloth mask when out in public
  • Talk to family and friends online or on the phone to feel less isolated
  • Talk to someone if you feel sad or overly anxious, preferably your doc
  • Take a break from social media and news outlets in order to stay positive
  • Get your sleep
  • Eat healthy and exercise reasonably

The most important thing is not to panic but know that if you take precautions, access prenatal care, follow your doctor’s instructions and keep yourself positive, you will be doing everything you can to have a healthy pregnancy. 

Now more than ever, you are not alone.

Sources:

https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/pregnancy/coronavirus-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding#What%20should%20pregnant%20women%20do%20to%20avoid%20the%20coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html

 

Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update

The coronavirus has hit our region and Options is committed to doing all we can to help flatten the curve in order to lessen the risks of infection. What does this mean for our potential clients? We are still booking appointments for our pregnancy clients with just a few necessary tweaks to our policy. Here they are:

  • For the next few weeks, all pregnancy appointments need to be scheduled by phone. We are suspending online bookings for the time being.
  • When you come to Options for your appointment, come alone or limit companions to just 1 person. If you bring more than 1 person with you, they may be asked to wait in the car.
  • Try to find a babysitter for your children. If you can’t, we will still accommodate you but it’s best if children stay at home for now.
  • Options STD services are suspended until the virus threat loosens up. Men and women age 29 and younger who call will be directed to Camden County, Gloucester County and Philadelphia STD testing sites which will remain open during this current health crisis.
  • No walk-ins , (visitors, volunteers, donations) until further notice. Call us first!
  • Anyone who needs to talk to someone about pregnancy concerns can always contact us on our website (if our center is closed)  and someone will get back to you right away. There is a contact form on our website that we check daily. https://www.optionscherryhill.org/contact-us/
  • You can always leave a voice message too. 856-795-0048

Options pregnancy services will remain open for our clients who need us. We know that life happens no matter what and we will be here for you. Check our website to keep updated on any further changes.

Thank You!