Many birth moms receive little or no prenatal care. There are numerous reasons for this phenomenon, and they are unique to each woman. It’s crucial to understand that her lack of prenatal care is not a reflection of her commitment to the child or adoption plan. Here, we examine some of the common reasons birth moms do not receive regular prenatal care.
Fear and Denial
In the early stages of an unplanned pregnancy, there may be a sense of denial and certainly a lot of fear. Some women avoid facing the issue until the late stages of pregnancy, thus receiving no prenatal care until the last trimester. It is also possible that she didn’t know she was pregnant until later in the pregnancy,
Lack of Support and Resources
Many birth moms are juggling numerous responsibilities with little or no support from family and friends. She may have children, with no one to care for them while she sees a doctor. Furthermore, she may not have a car or reliable transportation to get to appointments.
Some families historically do not value prenatal care. If the birth mother didn’t receive care for previous pregnancies, she is unlikely to do it now. Perhaps her mother, sister, or friends didn’t receive prenatal care, so she thinks it is unnecessary. We do our best to educate birth mothers about the importance of regular prenatal care.
It is difficult for individuals with private insurance to understand the stark differences between the care they receive and that of someone on Medicaid. It is not uncommon for women to sit in the waiting room for four hours, only to see the doctor for a quick 15-minute visit. The doctors may be judgmental and occasionally even rude to the women. They are sometimes treated like “second-class citizens.” Now, imagine you have two kids with you, no transportation, and you are expected to sit in a waiting room for hours just to be treated poorly. We really shouldn’t be surprised that birth moms in these situations don’t make it to their prenatal visits.
We encourage all birth mothers to receive prenatal care and educate them on the value of such care, but ultimately, it is their decision, and we must try to understand their unique circumstances. It is important to remember that while prenatal care might be your top priority if you were pregnant, it may be at the bottom of her priority list. This does not mean she is unconcerned about her care or has something to hide. She just has barriers that others may not. Here at Destiny Adoption, we help birth moms remove those barriers by getting them on Medicaid, finding doctors, and helping with transportation. Ultimately, these things may not be enough, and she may still miss doctor appointments.
Contact us for more information and assistance.
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.