How To Help Your House Helper
What to do if your house helper suddenly becomes pregnant?
Sometimes, circumstances may leave you in a position where your house helper finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy. If she is young, unmarried, or away from her family, it is likely going to result in some form of a crisis situation for her. She may find herself depressed, scared, or ignorant of her options. In some cases, not knowing what to do may result in an attempt to take unwise and drastic measures to deal with her pregnancy.
(Read more: How to Help a Pregnant Woman in Crisis)
For the past year or so, we have gotten to know some of these pregnant women in crisis. While their circumstances and needs are all different, one thing they have in common is a deep appreciation for being surrounded by people who are willing to support, guide, and care for them. A lot of times, this care comes in the form of employers and members of the household they are part of.
How you can help
Should your house helper be in this situation, here are some tips that would be helpful to know:
- Listen with empathy and give advice without judgment. Do not castigate them over past mistakes but respond to the needs of the present – the emotional and physical needs of the pregnant mother and the child in the womb. Remind your helper that every child is precious and that you are willing to help her figure out a plan of action that will be beneficial for both mother and child.
- Inform her about the dangers of child trafficking. Child trafficking is a form of human trafficking and is defined by the United Nations as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, and/or receipt” of a child for the purpose of slavery, forced labor, and exploitation. Child trafficking is also done in order to illegally adopt children. Facebook groups are very accessible to many of the vulnerable pregnant women we encounter. They may be tempted to sell their babies or give their children up for adoption in exchange for a sum of money. This is illegal and puts both your helper and her child at risk for exploitation.
- Given that she did not intend to get pregnant, carefully discuss her plans for this child. Have conversations about her capacity and willingness to raise this child. Make clear that regardless of her decision, abortion or abandonment should never be considered. If she is open, present legal adoption as an option, or reach out to us for counseling.
- As her employer, if possible, allow her to continue her work. Healthy pregnant women can continue the work of a house helper even into her third trimester (for as long as her work is not very strenuous). Her continuing to work leaves her with some financial security and some sense of certainty over her future. Having her basic needs secured would lead to better physical and mental health, and fewer chances of her abandoning the baby due to poverty.
- Help with what you can. Small gestures mean a great deal for these women in crisis. While you may refer them to us for prenatal care and counseling, your kindness and emotional support can save the life of a child. Accompany them to their check-ups, give them hand-me-down baby clothes, lend them a kind ear or a shoulder to lean on.
- Help her find a person, support system, or an organization that could assist her with her pregnancy. This can be in the form of medical, financial, physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual help.
How we can help
The ROHEI Foundation has a Pregnant Woman in Crisis Program which aims to help women who are in a crisis situation. We help mothers who are at risk of abandoning, neglecting, and/or aborting their child. Our aim is to handhold women in crisis towards orphan prevention—whether they choose family preservation or legal adoption.
If your house helper or anyone you know would benefit from this program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to counsel both yourself and your helper on how best to navigate these situations.
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