Care in crisis

Women facing unplanned pregnancies often feel afraid and alone. Add in a pandemic and you have a crisis on top of a crisis for vulnerable moms on the Virginia Peninsula.

An unplanned pregnancy can make a woman feel like her whole life just got turned upside down. Thoughts race through her mind like “What will the father say?” “What will my parents think?” “This was not the plan!”

Care Net Peninsula serves these moms. Care Net is a local women’s clinic, and it wants to be the first call for help for pregnant women. That’s because Care Net provides options counseling, ultrasounds and parenting support, for free.

Unplanned pregnancies are always difficult, and Care Net has served local women facing impossibly difficult pregnancy decisions for more than 30 years. But this year is different. COVID-19 has made an unplanned pregnancy even more challenging. One mom recently called the clinic in tears because she felt isolated and no one else could see her for more than a month. Care Net Peninsula was able to meet with her that same day, while adhering to all the proper coronavirus guidelines.

“I feel totally overwhelmed” she said. “I don’t see a future for me or this baby.”

For many women, abortion feels like the only option, even though it’s not. Care Net provides a safe place where local moms can process their decision. They learn about all the options available and how their decision might affect them physically, emotionally and spiritually. Verified pregnancy tests and ultrasounds are offered for free to provide critical information to pregnant moms. Care Net Peninsula does not make abortion referrals but can refer to local adoption agencies or help navigate next steps for moms who choose to parent.

The Virginia Peninsula is home to numerous organizations that care for expectant moms in different ways. In some cases government programs can also help. There are so many options it can be confusing, so Care Net helps these expectant moms find the best programs for their unique situation.

There are more than 100 local classes on the Virginia Peninsula that will equip an expectant mom. Classes are offered at local non-profits, hospitals and churches and teach everything from breastfeeding techniques to home finances. Care Net covers any associated fees and for moms who complete three classes, Care Net hosts a mini baby shower with more than $500 of baby supplies.

Since COVID-19 prevented many classes from taking place, a new Bundles4Life program was launched by Care Net Peninsula. Moms who complete an appointment at the clinic are eligible for a bundle of items to help them and their new baby.

More than 3,500 Peninsula women will face an unplanned pregnancy this year. COVID-19 has turned an already overwhelming situation into a crucial concern. These moms should not have to face this life-altering decision alone.

To learn more about Care Net Peninsula call 757-591-0303 or email info@cnpeninsula.org. For more information visit cnpeninsula.org.

About Sister David Ann Niski 11 Articles
Sister David Ann Niski is executive director of the Bernadine Franciscan Sisters Foundation. A strong advocate and supporter of the Virginia Peninsula not-for-profit agencies, she can be reached at 757-886-6025 or by e-mail at david_niski@bshsi.org.

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