Some women are very happy to find out that they are pregnant. Others may be quite unhappy. Still others may be unsure of how they feel, and need time to sort things out. Whatever group you or your partner may find themselves in, this page seeks to provide useful resources for pregnancy.
Abstinence and contraception are ways of preventing pregnancy. Visit the Student Health and Wellness Center (if you are a student), Planned Parenthood, CommuniCare Health Services or your doctor for more information on various forms. If you 'forget' or otherwise experience problems with your initial contraception method (such as condoms), don't wait it out to see if you're pregnant. Ask about Plan B/emergency contraception. One reason that preventing pregnancy is important is overpopulation. Overpopulation is the main and the worst environmental problem in the world today, especially because of high levels of postindustrial overconsumption; new human lives mean more stress on the planet, especially American ones given high rates of consumption in the U.S. as compared to other countries. Other reasons include: some women may not be physically or emotionally able to keep themselves healthy during pregnancy, some women may have other plans for the next 9 months of their lives that are not consistent with being pregnant, some women may neither be comfortable with giving up a child for adoption nor prepared to raise the child themselves.
Over The Counter tests are available at most supermarkets and drugstores. Most brands will work as soon as your period is due, but read the package before buying to be sure. Consider buying a two-pack if you're testing early, are trying to conceive, or have pregnancy scares often, as they are generally significantly cheaper than buying two tests separately. Dollar Tree carries pregnancy tests that cost, predictably, $1.00 and are as accurate, if not as fancy, as the mainstream brands.
Once you have the test, read the instructions carefully, and follow them exactly. Pay close attention to the instructions on how to interpret test results, as some tests are easy to misunderstand.
False negative tests (both home and at the doctor's) are very common. The test may be defective or performed incorrectly, or it may be too early for your hormone levels to have built up enough for the test to detect. If you get a negative and still feel you may be pregnant after a week has passed, take another test.
False positive tests are very rare. If you get a positive test, it is safe to assume it is accurate unless you have a specific reason to believe otherwise. True false positives can result from rare hormonal disorders or certain medications (usually fertility drugs, which can lead to confusion). Most false positives are the result of misreading the test. Make sure you read the instructions carefully. Many brands have a line that will appear when the test is used to indicate that it is working properly - this line does not indicate pregnancy. Another common problem is that a negative test may turn positive over time; this does not indicate that you are pregnant. Read the instructions carefully in order to determine how long the test remains accurate. In general, the result you have after 5 minutes is the correct result.
Over The Counter tests are primarily for your own knowledge - your healthcare provider will want to do their own test (either blood or urine) before providing care. See Low Income Resources below for information on where to get free or low-cost pregnancy tests. When choosing where to obtain a free or low-cost test, make sure you keep in mind any bias of the agency providing the test. An agency that provides abortion may push this as the preferred option, while a pro-life organization will usually strongly discourage abortion, often pushing adoption.
If You Think You Might Be Pregnant...
Don't put off taking a pregnancy test (Most Over The Counter tests are accurate around the time your period is due). The earlier you know you are pregnant, the more options are available to you, and the less time you'll spend worrying about whether you are or not.
As soon as think you may be pregnant, start taking care of yourself if you have any thought of keeping the pregnancy.
- Start taking prenatal vitamins (available over the counter at most supermarkets and drugstores). They won't hurt you if you aren't pregnant, and may help prevent birth defects.
- Work on quitting smoking, drinking, and drugs. The earlier you quit, the better for the potential baby. Talk to a doctor about any prescription drugs you may be taking - don't quit any essential drugs or birth control until you know you are pregnant and that it is safe for you to do so.
- Look into resources for prenatal care, medi-cal, WIC, and other social services.
The following options are presented in alphabetical order. If you are pregnant (or think you may be), remember that you have to decide what is right for you and your potential child. Do not let anyone talk you into anything that you do not want to do! Your parents, friends, significant other, Preachers With Signs, pro-life, pro-choice, or pro-abortion activists and anyone else who tries to tell you what you should or should not do are not the ones who are going to have to live with your decision. Regardless of what decision they make, the women who are happiest with their choice in the long run are generally those who make the decision that feels right for them, and women who allow themselves to be pushed into an option that doesn't feel right often seriously regret it.
This page is intended to provide information, not to serve as a forum for public debate.
Keeping the pregnancy
With adoption today, the pregnant women can make all the choices for her baby. She can choose the family, choose to meet and talk prior to delivery, choose the type of ongoing contact she wants after adoption (like visits, emails, Facebook friends, texting), and even choose how things go at the hospital. You can have as much (or as little) say as you desire.
Adoption can be arranged privately with the help of a lawyer specializing in adoption, or through an agency. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure that someone is serving as an advocate to ensure your rights.
- Independent Adoption Center does open adoptions.
- Visit California Adoptive Families to view families waiting to adopt in California. For adoptive parents in other states see State by State Adoptions.
Parenting the Baby
Despite what many people will say, you will most likely not ruin your (or the baby's) life by having a baby while young or single, and you are not inherently any less capable of caring for a baby than someone in a more socially acceptable situation. Some things will be more of a challenge, but young or single parents can be found at all levels of education and in all types of jobs.
Useful websites (while many of these are aimed at teens, they apply equally well to anyone with an unexpected pregnancy):
The Parenting page has resources for student parents.
Surrendering a Baby
If you feel that you cannot take care of your baby, you can safely turn the baby over to the employees at an Emergency Room at a hospital or to employees at a fire station within 3 days of birth any time. No names are asked, only a family medical history questionnaire if you choose to give that information. A physician will exam the baby for health and the baby will be placed in a foster home. You cannot abandon the baby on the doorstep of a hospital or fire station. You must give the baby to an employee in the Emergency Room or inside the fire station.
You will receive a bracelet that is the same as the baby's and if within 14 days of surrender you decide you do want the baby, return to the same hospital or fire department with your bracelet and they will give you information on getting your child back.
This is a safer and legal alternative to baby dumping or abandonment which is a felonious crime. If you are caught abandoning a baby, you can be arrested and prosecuted. Save a baby's life and give him or her away and protect yourself.
A better option to surrender is to choose adoption. In California, you have 30 days to change your mind and you can have ongoing contact with the family who has your baby. Call the National Adoption Hotline at 1-800-923-6602 24 hours a day to learn more about adoption as an alternative to surrender.
Prenatal Care and Delivery
Kaiser Permanente - Kaiser offers prenatal care at their Davis clinic. You can choose whether you would like your care to be with an OB/GYN, NP, or Certified Nurse Midwife. For delivery, you can go to the Women's and Children's Hospital in Roseville (opened in 2009) or the hospital in South Sacramento.
I personally wouldn't recommend Kaiser for prenatal care if you have a choice. I have no idea what their care is like later in pregnancy and for birth, as I switched after my first trimester, but I was exceedingly unimpressed with their care during the first trimester. They screwed up my pregnancy test results three different times (how difficult can it be?), and didn't provide ANY information (not even nutrition recommendations) until the monthly group meeting which (due to their screw-ups) I wasn't able to attend until the 10th week. Under Kaiser insurance, you can have your baby at the Kaiser hospital in Sacramento or South Sacramento. — JessicaLuedtke
Sutter Davis Hospital - Pregnant women in Davis are lucky, because Sutter Davis Birthing Center is widely considered to be the best in the region, especially for women interested in natural birth. They offer several innovative programs, including water birth and a volunteer doula program. Routine care is provided by Certified Nurse Midwives, though they have OBs on staff as well. An operating room is available for cesarian sections, but very high risk pregnancies (for exmple, labor prior to 36 weeks) and babies in need of NICU care will be transfered to the main Sutter hospital in Sacramento.
Woodland Hospital is quickly gaining a good reputation. Many midwives from Sutter Davis Hospital have moved over there in the past few years, they are less busy than Sutter, and have tubs in all birthing rooms (though they apparently do not allow waterbirths).
The Sacramento Life Center provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, counseling and adoption information.
Their location is:
|930 Alhambra Blvd # 210|
|Sacramento, CA 95816-4487|
Birth Centers offer some of the benefits of Hospital Births, but with a much more relaxed and home-style atmosphere.
The Birth Center is located in Sacramento and has a very good reputation. They offer a large tub for water-birth, and also operate a Milk Bank. LifeCenter BirthCenter is located in Sacramento and offers midwifery care and home postpartum visits. They are staffed by a Certified Nurse Midwife, several student midwives, RNs, and LVNs. Patients receive prenatal care from an OB-Gyn and if they meet the criteria for low-risk, are encouraged to give birth at the center.
Giving birth at home, supervised by a trained midwife, is at least as safe as giving birth in a medical setting. In parts of Europe, most women with non-complicated pregnancies give birth at home. These areas generally have better maternal and infant outcomes than in the US.
BirthStream is a Davis-based midwifery practice.
Auburn Birth Works is a midwife practice that serves Davis.
Welcome Home Midwifery Services is a 501(c)(3) charity providing home birth midwives that serves Davis.
The California Association of Midwives can provide you with further information. The local contacts are:
- Claudia Breglia, LM, Sacramento, CA, 916-451-0312, [email protected]
- Kristine Garcia, LM, CPM, Rancho Cordova, CA, 916-363-8386, [email protected]
- Susan Pelican, CNM, Woodland, CA, 530-668-7940, [email protected]
- Barefoot Yoga Studio http://barefootyogadavis.com/classes.html offers Prenatal Yoga and Baby & Me Yoga. Prenatal Yoga helps pregnant women to relalx and stretch out the bodies and get ready for birth. Baby & Me Yoga helps new moms to regain core strength and flexibility, also fun ideas to play with your babies. Suitable for babies from 6 weeks to crawling. Daddies are welcome too.
- The Bo Tree offers prenatal and postnatal yoga classes. Babies through crawlers welcome.
- Davis Athletic Club used to offer "Moms in Motion", a prenatal aquatic fitness class, to both members and non-members, however it no longer appears on their class schedule.
- Sutter Pregnagym - located in Sacramento, but available to women receiving obstetric care through Sutter Davis.
- In general, you can continue pretty much any non-contact exercise that you participated in before becoming pregnant as long as you remain comfortable with it and your doctor does not restrict your activity.
- Davis Mama Yoga offers classes of prenatal yoga and a "Mama and Baby" class for moms and pre-toddlers.
- FIT4BABY®: a workout designed specifically for moms-to-be. All exercises are carefully selected to prepare your body for the many changes you will experience during pregnancy.
- Mother & Baby Source offers birth classes focused on the Sutter Davis Birthing Center. Includes baby care and breastfeeding classes.
- Sutter Davis Birthing Center offers classes for expectant and new mothers and families.
- Joyous Beginnings provides childbirth preparation and newborn care classes in group, private, and in-home settings.
- Lamaze Childbirth Class Small private class teaches you to trust the birth process. 916-525-7596 [email protected]
- Birth Voyage offers doula services and childbirth preparation classes.
- Welcome Home Doula Services offers private and group classes on prenatal wellbeing, labor and childbirth, new baby care, and breastfeeding.
Doulas provide emotional, physical, and informational support for women and families throughout the childbearing year. Their services can include prenatal visits, continuous labor support, postpartum support, and/or breastfeeding counseling. Doulas are not medical care providers, however women who hire doulas tend to have faster labors, more satisfying experiences, and lower rates of medical intervention.
- DONA and CAPPA are two popular doula organizations. Both provide directories on their websites where local doulas can be found.
- Capital City Doulas
- BABIES Postpartum Doula Services Empowering mothers and families with new babies by offering a variety of services from breastfeeding support to helping mom get that needed sleep and shower. BABIES Postpartum Doula Services will be the rock you need as you start life with your baby. 916-525-7596 [email protected]
- Sutter Davis Hospital has a volunteer doula program. This is a great resource, and if you find yourself wanting extra support during labor, don't hesitate to ask. However, if you know you want a doula during labor, look for one during pregnancy, as the relationship you'll develop prior to birth will be invaluable, and, while the volunteer program aims to have someone on call 100% of the time, there may not be a volunteer available at the time you go into labor. For information about becoming a volunteer doula, see Volunteer Opportunities.
- Davis Doulas: a listing of Davis-area doulas.
- Doula Match is a site where you can find birth and postpartum doulas by zip code, availability, and qualifications.
Low Income Resources
Many uninsured pregnant women will qualify for Medi-cal, even if they wouldn't otherwise. You may also be eligible for WIC (supplemental nutrition for pregnant and nursing mothers and children up to age five) or other services.
The Youth and Young Adult Clinic at UC Davis Medical Center offers free reproductive health services to teens and young adults 13 and older.
CommuniCare Health Center offers pregnancy tests and prenatal care on a sliding scale.
Cowell Student Health Center provides low cost pregnancy tests to students with the SHIP healthcare plan. A mandatory consultation with a nurse is required in order to get the results. If you are pregnant, you will be referred elsewhere for further care.
Crisis/alternative pregnancy centers are pro-life and generally Christian-affiliated organizations that provide support and services for women experiencing unintentional pregnancies. These centers can be invaluable resources for crisis pregnancies; however, you should be aware of their biases in order to determine whether they are appropriate for you. Counseling, which may be mandatory in order to receive services, is faith-based and strongly anti-abortion. These are not medical centers, and are not authorized to provide medical services beyond pregnancy tests and non-diagnostic ultrasounds, though they can and will provide referrals to supportive doctors. Some may strongly pressure you to convert to Christianity and/or put the baby up for adoption. They can also provide free counseling, assistance for parenting, parenting classes, community referrals, medical referrals, and even clothing and diapers for your babies.
Pregnancy Support Group is the closest crisis pregnancy center, located in Woodland: They have recently moved to:
|324 Lincoln Avenue|
|Woodland, CA 95695|
Planned Parenthood, located in Woodland, provides pregnancy tests. Abortions are provided on a sliding scale at the Sacramento 29th street, and Roseville locations. While some Planned Parenthoods (including the Sacramento locations) also provide prenatal care, the Woodland office does not.
|520 Cottonwood Street, Suite 10|
|Woodland, CA 95695|
|201 29th Street, Suite B|
|Sacramento, CA 95816|
|729 Sunrise Blvd., #900|
|Roseville, CA 95661|
Welcome Home Midwifery Services, Inc. is the only home birth provider accepting Medi-Cal in the Davis area, and they provide income-based sliding scale fees for services as well.
A good first step for those suffering unknown fertility problems is to read Taking Charge Of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler website. It's a simple, non-invasive, low-cost way to troubleshoot and solve fertility problems. The Experimental College now offers a class in the Fertility Awareness Method, which is promoted in this book.
Davis-area fertility specialists:
Miscarriage is the term used for a pregnancy that ends on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss. For more information regarding miscarriage, including warning signs and treatment, visit the American Pregnancy Association Miscarriage page.
- Pregnancy Loss Support Groups — For women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or other types of pregnancy loss, these groups are intended to provide a safe place to meet and share, to give and receive support.
- See Parenting