Pregnancy, Abortions, and Child Care
Giving birth is one of the revolutionary miracles of life. It can be source of great pride. However, for those too young or unprepared, can be a source of never ending struggle. Bear in mind, raising a child is VERY expensive. Make sure, if you can, that you use safe sex to avoid getting pregnant or making someone pregnant who will not be in it for the long haul. Having a child with another person ties you to them forever, regardless of how people change. That child will always remember who is mommy and who is daddy.
That said, we at STW have quite a bit of advice to help.
- 1 NOT Getting Pregnant
- 2 Emergency Contraception
- 3 Symptoms of Pregnancy
- 4 Abortion
- 5 Adoption
- 6 Pregnancy
- 7 Childbirth
- 8 Child Care
- 9 Potential Pitfalls
NOT Getting Pregnant
The best way to not have to use the information on this page is to practice safe sex. Just because you are a male does not get you out of being responsible! If it helps any, it is a bit harder to get pregnant than the sex education classes let on. In fact, women can only get pregnant during certain times in their cycle. There are also fertility issues between both men and women. Some couples have to try hard to get pregnant while others get pregnant easily. Lets talk about the common methods used.
- Don't have sex. While it may not be the funnest alternative, it has the added benefit of not attracting bad relationships with emotional attachments, not leaving yourself open to diseases, and not causing pregnancy before you are ready. While it is out of the scope of STW to give you advice on how to get women or men, we do encourage you not to give yourself bad self image or beat yourself up if you have been not getting laid or worse attracting someone who will bring you down. Everyone - even those who may be considered not attractive or shy - will have the chance at least once in life, barring extreme deformities or other rare issues. For the purposes of pregnancy this means oral, anal, and hand jobs for both sexes are not going to get anyone pregnant, but still may risk some STD's and other issues especially with anal.
- Withdraw/ Pull out. This can work. However, if the woman is ovulating and any sperm leaks out, there is a possibility of getting pregnant.
- Condom. Condoms are easy to get. Not only can you get this no questions asked in any store, they are literally giving these away in clinics and various programs if you look around. While no fun for some guys because of dulled sensations, the condom is readily obtainable and effective. Condoms are one of the few birth control methods that also protect against sexually transmitted diseases. It does have the disadvantages, though. Condoms can slide off if the penis becomes flaccid and is not pulled out right after ejaculation. Some cheaper condoms can also bust. Condoms can also break down if stored for long periods of time in hot places like wallets or car glove compartments. These should always be carried by BOTH boys and girls if sexual activity is likely.
- Rhythm Method. If you are a woman, you can keep track of when you ovulate and when periods arrive. Try not to have sex or use condoms if you do have sex three days before and during the time you are fertile. This is not foolproof, though. Stress, some drugs, being around new females (it is scientific fact that ladies that work together and live together tend to adjust their cycles to match over time), some medical conditions, and illnesses can change your cycle with little warning. Remember, sperm can live inside the vagina for up to 3 days.
- IUD/ Diaphragm. You will need a doctor to place this. It forms a barrier between the spermies and the eggs they try to reach.
- Spermicide. Place this in the vagina before sex. Many folks do not like this because it has a nasty taste and discourages oral sex on the lady.
- Tube Tie/Vasectomy. The final solution. Vasectomy is out patient. However, this requires a doctor's visit and can get expensive. It is also intended to be PERMANENT and reversing a vasectomy is very expensive and isn't guaranteed to work.
Commonly called 'the Morning After pill', Emergency Contraceptive pills (EC) can be taken up to 120 hours (that's five days) after sex to prevent pregnancy, but the sooner the better! Plan-B and Next Choice are available at Planned Parenthood, drugstores, and health centers without a prescription.
If you are unable to get a hold of EC pills, but do have regular birth control pills, SOME birth control pills can be safely taken in higher doses as EC. This chart contains information on which pills and which doses can be used as EC: []
Symptoms of Pregnancy
The symptoms of pregnancy vary widely from person to person. There are home pregnancy tests of varying accuracy. A pregnancy test from a private doctor is recommended as the doctor has much more accurate tests available.
- Missed Period
The most common symptom of pregnancy is a missed menstrual cycle. There are cases of women still having a cycles during pregnancy, but it tends to be lighter and shorter. Other causes of missed, delayed, or changed cycles include mental stress, excessive weight gain or loss, ceasing birth control, and some hormonal problems.
- Implantation Bleeding
Sometimes around 6 to 12 days after conception, the egg implants itself on the uterine wall. This can cause 'spotting' that can be mistaken for a period. This can also be caused by some infections, changing birth control pills, and abrasion during intercourse.
- Morning Sickness
Perhaps the most famous of all symptoms. It usually shows up about a month or so after conception. Some ladies luck up and do not have this. Food poisoning and stomach illnesses can also cause this feeling.
The old 'pickles and ice cream' joke is a mainstay in movies with the hapless guy embarking on late night missions to 24 hour grocery markets to appease his lady. The cravings are real, however, and can be anything... not just pickles. Poor diet, depression, stress, and impending cycle can also cause cravings.
- Back Pain
A dull back pain is common during pregnancy for many.Improper lifting, sedentary lifestyle, and bad posture can also give back pain.
Some experience headaches. Headaches can also be caused by eyestrain, hangovers, stress, diet, some infections, and many other things.
- Frequent Urination
Ladies who are pregnant tend to go to the bathroom to urinate more often. However, a diet with lots of fluids and the onset of diabetes can cause this, too.
- Nipples darkening and enlarged breasts.
Nipples can darken and breasts can feel swollen. Of course, hormonal issues can cause this, as well.
The need for a good pregnancy test can not be stressed enough due to a fact that many of these symptoms are duplicated by other situations. If you or your lover have missed a period and experience any of these other things, a visit to a doctor is in order.
Abortion is not a form of birth control. It is expensive, can have complications, and can cause a feeling of emptiness and depression lasting years afterwords for the ladies. To some, it may also be a moral or religious issue. Please use good birth control to avoid having to resort to this.
That said....Women, and men for that matter, may consider abortion as a solution if the pregnancy is not too far along. Abortions, while expensive, can save you from severe hardship, lost dreams, and a life of poverty as a single parent or worse. With Roe vs Wade, Abortion is now a recognized constitutional right. There are religious groups, social workers, and Planned Parenthood that will be glad to help you make up your mind, of course. But, just like DARE and the drug programs we talk about in Free Dope, these groups often have an agenda as well. Use your own moral compass when making a decision like this. There have even been some groups that claim bias within these groups, encouraging white, suburban kids towards adoption and black, inner city kids towards abortion. We here at STW will leave that to those groups to fight out.
Free abortions are a thing of the past and myth. Only in the rare case of the mom's life being in danger and going to an emergency room will an abortion EVER be given without money up front. Most of the time, you and your mate are going to have to go to an abortion provider. That provider is going to want 500 USD to 1000 USD or more. Because of liability and pressure from the religious right, many states may only have one provider serving a large geographical area. A long road trip may be needed. In addition, some states are going to require if you are a minor that your parents need to sign off on the abortion. Other states will not.
In the end, you will have to decide what is best for you. If you are extremely sexually active and never want kids, it may be economical for a vasectomy or tube tie. If you change your mind later, this can sometimes be reversed.
You may in some research come across some links for herbal abortions. However, we here at STW strongly discourage this due to the fact that you can seriously mess yourself and your kid up. Herbal remedies are well known to widely vary in strength and dose potency and are avoided by the medical community for serious issues for good reason. Instead, talk to a social worker or doctor for much better and less dangerous options.
If there are real religious or moral objections to abortion and there is no way financially to support a kid, adoption may want to be considered. On the web there are many organizations both secular and church affiliated that can help with this. Sometimes, your pregnancy is paid for.
This can be heart-wrenching on the birth parent to 'lose' a kid. However, the adoption process is very expensive for the adopters and background checks are extreme. Most of the time, the baby will grow up in a more privileged environment.
Most of the time, the adoption court records are sealed to prevent the birth parent or adopted child from finding out each others name until the kid hits 18. However, recent court decisions have been far more lenient in helping people search for their real parents. You may very well have a 'visitor' decades in the future to thank you for sparing their life! And, who knows... that baby could go on to be the person who causes great positive change in the world.
There are sites dedicated as registries for adoptees to find their birth parents, if they wish. If you want to help them with this, go to one of these and put in all the information you know and tie it to a free e-mail like yahho that you will maintain regardless of moves you may make over the next two decades. Avoid the paid registries and go with the better maintained free ones.
So, the test is back and the symptoms are there. You or your lover is officially pregnant. Now, not only is the health of the mother an issue, but the baby's as well. There are certain things that the mother definitely NOT do, and some things that are merely old myths. We will go through some of the major points that can help.
- Get a doctor! Doctors have many high tech tools like sonograms and tests that can determine any issues with the baby months before the baby pops out. A good doctor has seen hundreds of pregnancies and can provide ways to avoid miscarriage. Heads up can be given in the rare case the baby will have severe issues like deformities or developmental disorders which may bring abortion into consideration.
- There are CorpGov programs to help with the costs of doctor visits and the pregnancy. Medicaid is issued to low income moms without insurance. Go by your local Social Security office with two IDs and a doctor's paperwork NOW!
- If you smoke cigarettes or do drugs, STOP NOW! Most drugs, even BigPharma ones, can really mess your newborn up! Nicotine can lead to low birth weight. Highly addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin can make the baby come out addicted. Even pot can give issues as the hospital automatically drug tests both you and the baby. There is some conflicting evidence that smoking pot (even to relieve morning sickness) while pregnant can cause ADD, but it is inconclusive. Be aware hospitals do employ social workers. These guys can initiate procedures to try to take your kid away if the baby comes out with severe health problems and you tested positive.
TAKE NO DRUGS UNLESS A DOCTOR SAYS IT IS OKAY. Even then, still do your research on any prescribed drug.
- It is usually okay to be active by working and doing medium physical activity. You should be okay as long as you are not at risk of taking sharp blows to the stomach or have to do heavy labor like digging. If the job exposes you to vibrations or hazardous chemicals, you may want to take off or ask if they have something less dangerous to the baby. The authors know of some ladies who waited tables up until the last two weeks of pregnancy. Most doctors even encourage keeping an exercise program to help with mood and labor.
- The mother needs to eat healthy. This means three good meals and drinking lots of water. Try to avoid raw fish as sometimes these can contain mercury. Avoid alcohol because this can cause fetal alcohol syndrome if to much is had.
- Contrary to myths, it is okay to have sex during normal pregnancy. However, in practice sex usually happens less often. Some males can feel this to be weird. Some females may be overly self-conscious about their body or lose desire late in pregnancy. Precaution still needs to be taken against diseases if you are sleeping with someone other than the father to protect against STDs.
- If funds are an issue, there is no need to blow money on expensive maternity clothes that will only be worn for a few months. Over size, long tee shirts are perfectly acceptable to go around town or your activist meetings. Designer maternity dresses for more fancy occasions are literally dumped on thrift stores and yard sales.
- Water Breaking. The baby is surrounded in a membrane filled with amniotic fluid. The fluid can be clear, pink, brown, or green and has a distinctive ammonia smell to it because it contains fecal urine. Sometimes this happens before labor and sometimes not until during. When the membrane containing the fluid breaks, it can be a sudden gush or a slow trickle wetting many changes of undergarments. Labor is imminent when this happens. If this happens before the 36 weeks gestation, get to a doctor immediately. Many times, breaking water is accompanied by contractions which feels similar to severe menstrual cramping. It is time to get to a doctor.
A few weeks before the due date, it can be worthwhile to be prepared. It can pay to befriend other folks who have had kids in the past. They can offer hand-me-downs and other goodies as kids outgrow things pretty fast.
- Find a crib.
When you take the baby home, you really need a crib. Some poor moms keep the baby in their own bed with them. But, this is dangerous if the mom tosses and turns a lot or if large dogs or cats are around. The advice from a prominent obstetrics professor is that sleeping with the baby on the mother can reduce the chances of SIDS but if there are any sleeping issues or even worse any alcohol or drug use at all the smothering risk overrides the benefits of co-sleeping and night nursing. Hit up yard sales and thrift stores BEFORE the birth. Fortunately, if you only have a small flat, you will not have to move into a two bedroom for a few years.
- Get a car seat.
Cops mess with anyone who has a very young child not in a car seat. Plus, if a wreck happens, the child is much more likely to survive. A car seat is great because it can also double as a mobile get-by crib if you are visiting overnight somewhere or have not found an actual crib, at least for a month or two.
- Find a stroller
Small children should never be left unattended. However, there will be times when you must take the kid with you. A stroller makes this much easier.
- Have a hospital stay bag ready.
A few days before the birth, pack an extra set of clothes and a few things that may be needed. While most hospital stays for giving birth are only a day or too, complications (like needing a C-section) can leave the mom in there for up to a week.
- Research Hospitals
Know where you are going to give birth. This is a step sometimes overlooked. Many hospitals can not handle births and some may not take medicaid, some insurances, or charity. Do not be the mom that has to be driven around from hospital to hospital while a baby is trying to pop out! That is, unless you want to have under trained EMTs in an ambulance or your partner fumble through a dangerous delivery!
- Decide between Natural Childbirth and Medicated Childbirth.
There is conflicting evidence that not taking any drugs during childbirth makes for a healthier and smarter baby. Be warned, giving birth hurts like hell! Natural childbirth will not be possible if the staff has to do a C-section. Some midwives will assist a birth for free or on a sliding scale if you tell them your situation, be sure you are in a place with good ambulance and hospital access if there is an emergency.
In modern America childbirth is treated as a major medical and surgical emergency. A c-section is often recommended to give both the doctor and healthy mothers a way to avoid a painful and messy birth that might happen at an inconvenient time. Women are forced to push a baby up into the air so the doctor can easily catch the baby and the glory. Few mention the lasting pain and damage that even the most modern c-section does to a woman.
Home birth is the natural alternative, good medical care through the whole pregnancy is essential, but giving birth to a baby in comfortable and familiar setting is much better for many women in most cases than having a baby in a super-germ infested hospital. Unless you are certain that there is a problem and need to have surgery, giving birth in town near a hospital will have you as close to emergency surgery as someone actually in the hospital.
Find a competent midwife and begin working with her as soon as possible in the pregnancy. Make sure you are getting enough protein and green leafy vegetables. Keep track of your urine output and baby motion. It is a big problem if you start getting high blood pressure, puffy face, or seizures you might have eclampsia. It is nice to have your own quality stethoscope to monitor babies heartbeat.
When the big day comes be sure you have at least one competent helper preferably with pediatric advanced life support training, especially someone who knows what to do in case of a breech birth. Have plastic sheet or tarp and be ready for a mess. Most women like to give birth on their bed but many first time mothers need a gravity assist like pushing while sitting on a stool or toilet. Don't worry about breathing or timing, your body almost always knows what to do especially if you are in good shape. Again it is a good idea to have an experienced midwife and probably a good friend and a apprentice midwife.
It is a good idea to have oxygen and intubation equipment if there is someone skilled in their use (if you are unskilled don't attempt to use a laryngoscope or airway equipment) , airway problems are the most common problem at birth. If baby comes out purple before you panic try rubbing the baby with a towel or blowing at their face forcing them to take a deep breath. In a rare worst case you can start CPR and consider epinepherine IV or in the endotrachial tube. A bulb syringe is good for cleaning out the nostrils and mouth of mucous. If there is black bits in the amniotic fluid it could be an emergency that has to come out if it was sucked into the lungs.
As the baby is born be careful not to pull on either end of the umbilical cord, a few minutes after birth it is time to cut the cord. Keep baby level to the mother so blood doesn't flow back into the placenta from baby, clamp or tie string about three to four inches from baby to close the blood vessels. Cut the cord on the mother side of the knot! To make it easier you might tie or clamp twice an inch or two apart on the cord and cut between the clamps.
Get baby nursing as soon as possible, this will help the uterus contract and slow bleeding. There are herbs and medications that the midwife may give to assist in this contraction as does massaging abdomen over the uterus. Piece together the placenta and look for any missing pieces, if these remain inside they can cause very serious problems.
This information is in no way a substitute to a good midwife or doctor who will walk you through your pregnancy and birth. Talk to your midwife and assemble or buy a basic birth kit. After you experience your bright eyed natural home birth you become an excellent candidate to begin learning the important skills of midwifing and birth coaching. If you feel there is an emergency you can always try to call 911 and hope they show up.
Volumes of books have been written about baby care. We here at STW are not about to try to replace classic books like Dr. Spock or some of the excellent advice online. However, there are many key things that need to be discussed.
You need to decide if you are going to do natural breast feeding on a regular basis or not. If you do not drain breasts of milk regularly through either commercially available pumps or by feeding, the breasts can feel swollen and be painful. The doctor has medications that can dry you up to alleviate this pain at the cost of not being able to breast feed.
If the baby doesn't want to nurse for up to 36 to 48 hours don't get too stressed, especially in larger babies they have lots of stored food and water, being born is tiring for them. First time mothers might need to manually pop out inverted nipples or use nursing shields at first if baby has trouble latching on. If all fails and formula is needed try to avoid bovine or soy based mixes, we have used a mix of brown rice syrup, goat milk, vitamin drops, flax seed oil, ask your midwife what she recommends. Don't fall for WASP slave propaganda it is OK to nurse for two or three years if you and baby like, many women are without their period during this time and enjoy natural birth control for around a year and a half, it is good for bonding and great nutrition for baby. Keep your nipples clean and if your baby is sick it might be smart to wipe your nipples with vinegar or yogurt culture and then clean after a few minutes before and after nursing to help prevent mastitis, this is also a good cure for thrush for both mother and baby.
If you have issues affording milk and baby food, consider WIC. WIC is a state program that can help with juice, baby formula, and food. More information on this program is here: Food Programs
Diapers, at least until the kid is potty trained, is a major expense. Cloth diapers are still sold, and can be a more environmentally friendly solution at the cost of having to scrape poo and the loss of convenience. Be sure to keep specific lined diaper pales and plastic bags around to keep down on smells if you use this. For the store bought, disposable ones the price goes up as the kid needs different sizes. Unfortunately, we know of no programs to help with this extra expense.
Be sure to change diapers frequently as the baby can get diaper rashes. Avoid some baby powders as this can sometimes irritate skin more. Urine is a natural acid that can break down skin. It is also considered abusive to leave a kid in a dirty diaper for extended periods of time.
Child Proof your House!
When the kid is young and still in cribs and chairs, this is not an issue. But, as the kid becomes capable of crawling, this can be a major safety issue! Kids are naturally curious creatures and will explore every nook and cranny of the house. Be sure to straighten up wires around computer and entertainment centers. Keep stuff like bleach, fifths of vodka, your pot stash, and other things you would not want the kid to get out of reach or locked up! Keep the area clutter free so the kid does not trip or fall. (Admittedly, this can be rough with toddlers that spread toys all over the place.)
Drug Use and Kids
Taking care of a kid is a 24 hour job. Do not be the one that has Social Services called to the house because you were passed out drunk or left a newborn in the house in a dirty diaper for 8 hours to find crack! For that matter, you should avoid any drug that puts you 'unavailable' to the kid like hallucinogens, overuse of alcohol, or very addictive drugs like heroin or cocaine derivatives.
Smoking pot or light alcohol use is another matter which is highly debatable. Even though you still are now a parent does not mean there is no possibility of fun. If you still decide to imbibe in herb or drink, you will need to be extremely discreet and responsible. There have been cases of social services being called to 'investigate' for mere casual pot use or accidentally drinking too much by nosy neighbors, grandparents, and others. Keep your place immaculately clean and free of beer can pyramids and bongs on the coffee table. Try not to smoke pot around older kids, as councilors and teachers can be told about your use if the kid wants to lash out for being grounded or disagreements.
If you smoke cigarettes, you may want to institute a 'no smoking in the house' policy. Recent medical research has revealed a direct correlation between cigarette smoke and common childhood maladies such as ear infections and asthma. Smoking outside can save you preventable trips to a doctor with a sick kid.
Anything harder than pot, quit now. You do not have time to be tripping on LSD for 12 hours even if you have a baby sitter. You do not have the money to be snorting coke. Any deviation from a no hard drug policy is asking for a concerned grand parent or neighbor to bring social services down on you. Once again, do not be that parent that got their kid taken away because you were fucked up and left the baby in the car for three hours in the hot sun!
Do not let anyone around your kid that does hard drugs, either - even if these people are 'friends'.
As the kid gets older, be sure to properly educate the kid on drug use. This means responsible use and leading by example.
Life can sometimes go in bad directions. No discussion of kid related issues can be without a short mention of some of the rougher things that can happen.
When the two parents can not get along for whatever reason, a divorce or break up can be imminent. Divorce can be a brutal experience. One or both will probably have to move (especially if an apartment is involved or housing took two incomes). There are, however, rare agreements between estranged couples to still live together for a limited time. Any accumulated stuff like cars, houses, bank accounts, or anything else with real value will need to be divided.
If possible, try to work things out amicably to avoid huge legal fees. For married folks that generally agree to work things out amicably, there are no-fault divorces. These are exponentially cheaper than regular divorces. In many cases, no court appearance is needed.
After the divorce is agreed upon, most states delay the final date of the divorce for many months. This period is called Legal Separation. If a fight is anticipated from the future ex-spouse, some places consider dating someone else during this time to be adultery.
If it is any consequence, the mother usually gets custody of the kid unless it can be proven without a doubt that the mom is a habitual hard drug abuser, has severe medical or clinical mental issues, or is in jail.
Child Support and Visitation
This section is for general observations and informative posts only. It is not a substitute for a knowledgeable lawyer specialized in family law. Family Law is a very complex subject varying widely even county to county!
This is a huge, sticky issue amongst the community. On one side, you have groups telling horror stories of never being able to see their kid yet being chased relentlessly by CorpGov or even jailed for increasing amounts of money. On the other, you have custodial parents forced into welfare, living with parents, and unable to juggle child care and being employed who must constantly case down spouses who openly refuse to pay in times of real need. We are not here to be a soundboard from one group or another since both groups make valid, if not biased, points. Instead, the authors will discuss the facts of Child Support and Visitation
- Child Support is a separate issue than visitation. However, forcing an ex-spouse to do this when he/she has not agreed in the past can get expensive due to legal fees. Proven records of abuse, long distances between living addresses, and other things can make this harder or easier.
This also applies to grandparents! There have been successful court cases where grandparents successfully sued the parents to see the grand kid.
- Child Support Enforcement only gets involved if the custodial parent goes to the office to claim a case or the custodial parent applies for government assistance programs. It does not automatically get involved. If the two parents are amicable and acceptable terms are agreed to, everything is okay.
- Once Child Support Enforcement is involved, all payments are to be made to them. Most states now issue any funds received on a state issued debit card.
- If money is not paid, for whatever reason, Child Support Services maintains a database alongside employee withholding databases. Any employer that reports withholding is automatically compared against this list. Some extreme deadbeat type parents will switch from under the radar job to the next trying to avoid paying. However, the balance keeps building and if Child Support Services finds out the job, a garnishment order can be sent anyways. Tax refunds and lottery winnings can also be taken. This can be enforced regardless of state of residence and is enforced empire wide.
- Someone can not get a passport if Child Support is more than 3 months behind. US Customs also checks the database.
- If you pay Child Support, never pay in cash or money order. Use a check. Rarely, vindictive ex-spouses can claim they did not receive support from you and collect double from the Child Support office.
- Some states suspend the driver's license , fishing/hunting license, and even professional licenses (nursing, plumbers, bartender, etc.) if child support is fallen behind on.
- Someone way behind on Child Support CAN be put in jail. However, there has to be an actual judgment for support, and the person who owes may get several chances to make repayments at the court. If the one who owes in in another state, the person who owes must be extradited to actually be locked up. Problem is, some states will not pick up or extradite unless vast sums are owed or the case is high profile. Driving while a driver license is suspended for non-payment is another matter.
- If you join the military and do not have custody, the government will make child support payments for you without cutting pay.
Moral of the story is that having a child is a big deal not to be taken lightly. We encourage all men to use good sex practices and for ladies to wait for the right guy and make certain she is ready. Always try to get along with your brothers and sisters and keep a secure culture. The survival and vision of future, for all children is at stake. Will this be a corporate police state where the non-elite in society are cattle or a paradise where the workers are equal partners? Do not become a slave to the Empire by getting in a bad position.