Women’s Resource Center a safe haven for soon-to-be parents | SummitDaily.com

Women’s Resource Center a safe haven for soon-to-be parents

Kathryn Turner
summit daily news

A pregnancy, especially an unplanned one, can be a scary and overwhelming situation.

But at the Women’s Resource Center of the Rockies in Dillon, counseling and classes are available to soothe any fears, as well as help the newly pregnant understand their options.

“It’s so much about listening, and helping them reduce their anxiety,” said Jill Serour of the resource center. The goal is to “help them make informed decisions, so that they’re not going into anything blind.”

Trained volunteers counsel the newly pregnant, as well as the fathers, about all of their options: parenting, adoption and abortion. If the couple or single mother opts to keep their child, the center offers parenting classes that helps them “earn while they learn,” Serour said – the women’s center’s basement is filled with maternity and baby clothes, diapers, toys and other accessories needed to help fill a nursery, things mothers have access to as they move through their classes.

If the parents chose adoption, the center counsels parents concerning their legal options, and refers them to an agency. In the case of abortion, no referrals are given, but volunteers do follow-up with post-abortion counseling to help the woman deal with resulting symptoms like depression, anger, and sometimes, substance abuse.

“It doesn’t matter if they believe it’s right or wrong … it’s a stressful thing,” Serour said.

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The resource center also provides free pregnancy testing and ultrasound, to determine if the pregnancy is viable.

Women’s resource isn’t just a crisis pregnancy center, “we’re a pregnancy center,” Serour said. Women go into the 4-year-old site to talk through their hopes and fears over having a child – whether it’s their first or their third, whether they’re 18 or 30 – and sometimes, just to talk through other problems they’re having.

“It’s just a safe place for women to come in,” Serour said. “Really, listening is an amazing thing for everyone.”

Most expectant mothers who receive counseling at the center end up choosing parenting, Serour said. One woman who visited the center wasn’t sure about the father’s reaction to her pregnancy; the dad wasn’t sure either, but eventually came into the picture and went through the parenting classes. The couple is now living together with their child as a happy family, Serour said.

The center, which serves both Eagle and Summit counties, is trying to expand its programs – “we’ve been really working toward the preventative,” Serour said. The hope is to provide teens and parents with information about the risks of unprotected sex – like a June presentation from speaker and author Pam Stenzel – since a lot of it “starts with the parents at home.”

For more information about the center, go to http://www.wrcoftherockies.org or call (970) 262-9274.