How to Help a Pregnant Woman in Crisis
Pregnant Women in Crisis (PWIC) are women who are in a state of personal and social crisis, leading them to be unable to provide for the child they are bearing. The inability to provide for her child can range from scarce financial resources to adequate emotional care. Moreover, when a mother has no support system to help her, the circumstance may lead her to abandon and neglect her child, or worse, expose the child to dangerous situations such as trafficking. These mothers may have also considered extreme measures in order to fix her situation, like considering abortion or even selling the child.
Heartbreaking as it is, this is a sad reality happening in the Philippines. In 2017, DSWD reported that there were a total of 3,459 children abandoned, neglected, sexually and physically abused, and exploited in different ways. The overwhelming number of children in these situations is connected to the situation of PWICs in the country and can be mitigated by helping them during their pregnancy and motherhood.
The potential causes of the crisis can be poverty, abuse, abandonment of the father of the child, and teenage pregnancy, among others. The risks are present not just to women in poverty but to any pregnant woman regardless of social status, age group, or educational attainment.
What can be done if a friend or a relative is in such a crisis?
It is best we offer our support by listening with empathy, respect, non-judgment, and understanding. They need our help physically and medically, as pregnant women are very vulnerable in this aspect. We must be ready to assist them emotionally or psychologically; and/or refer them to professionals for their mental health to be in the best condition. See that they are spiritually supported, as God gives us the best guidance and comfort.
Be present and assist them with whatever need they may have. Help them form their own informed, rational choices regarding their situation. If needed, connect them to organizations and social welfare agencies that cater to their needs.
No crisis lasts forever, and while it can potentially have a lasting effect on a person, the crisis faced by a pregnant woman need not define her. Help them get out of the valley of crisis by empowering them to rise from their current situation. Remind them of their strengths and their potentials—what they were capable of before the crisis, and what they can potentially achieve in the future. If possible, help them get jobs and improve their skills for them to be able to provide for themselves and their children. Continue to be there for them, even after their crisis.
The strength of women who are currently facing crisis and those who have persevered and overcome these trials is admirable. A pregnant woman in crisis who is able to provide for her child must be admired for her hard work and determination. Equally so, a pregnant woman in crisis who decides to have her child adopted is someone who deserves great recognition.
A profound kind of strength lies in deciding that her child would be provided for and would lead a better life in a different family. Upon deciding that she cannot provide, she did not take the route of abandonment, abortion, and trafficking the child.
To assist women who are faced with these circumstances, the ROHEI Foundation serves to provide physical and medical assistance. We are also here to provide counseling and equip them with knowledge they need to have in order for them to form an informed decision and help them cope before, during, and after the process. We find that with proper care, guidance, and support, PWICs are less likely to give up their child to further crisis situations. Instead, they are more empowered to choose to give their child the best life possible, whether raised by themselves or by the child’s forever family.
If you are a pregnant woman in crisis or know one who is, you may connect with us or other organizations that assist pregnant women in a crisis situation. There is no shame in asking for help—only strength in courageously finding support from others.
Organizations Catering to PWIC:
- Grace to be Born
53 Sixto Antonio Avenue, Kapasigan, Pasig, Near Meralco Office
Tel. (02) 393-2204; (02) 635-2204
- Kaisahang Buhay Foundation
56 10th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City
Tel. (02) 911-4180; (02) 912-1159; (02) 913-1469; (02) 421-4075
- Norfil Foundation
16 Mother Ignacia Avenue corner Roces Avenue, Quezon City
(02) 372-3577; (02) 372-3578; (02) 372-3579