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Crisis Pregnancy Centers

A friend on a message board brought up an interesting topic last week.  She had started volunteering for her local crisis pregnancy center and discovered the information they had to share with families about birth consisted of two outdated books.  This ignited a passion within her, and I want to help grow that passion in others.

I didn’t realize the crisis pregnancy center where I volunteered was lucky.  They had a full education program they offered to women for free.  Run by a volunteer nurse, she helped the women find the right questions to ask and grow their confidence in their ability to mother their child. They used incentives to increase attendance, center tickets that could be exchanged for baby care items that had been donated to the center.

Not only did this help strengthen the women’s confidence and improve their health knowledge, it also gave the volunteers extra time with the women.  Time to pray with them and learn how to better help them grow in Christ.  Some volunteers (like me) were able to offer free doula services – a luxury for some of the women who lived far from family and had no means to pay a fee for labor support services.

It isn’t an easy way to serve your community, but it is so valuable.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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