On this page you can find answers to some of your questions.
Have you had an abortion?
The decision to have an abortion was probably a difficult one for you and you may have felt that due to your circumstances, you had no choice at the time? Immediately afterwards it is common to feel relief that the problem has gone but this can be replaced with unforseen emotional reactions. Painful feelings are pushed down in order to carry on. Often the abortion is a secret. You may be frightened of being judged or criticized. Even if family and friends do know, they may be unsure of how to react. They may feel they are supposed to ‘forgot all about it’ too.
This buried pain is sometimes called post abortion stress and may happen many years after the abortion. Does this sound like you? If you are suffering following an abortion, help is available.
We offer a ten step sensitive recovery programme in complete confidentiality. This is available in English and French. The programme helps women to talk through their experience and any emotions that have arisen as a result, enabling them to move on.
If you would like to find out more, please contact us.
How do you know you are pregnant?
The most frequent signs of pregnancy are:
– no period
– nausea and vomiting
– pain in the breasts
– need to urinate more often
– constipation and bloating
– dizzy spells
– blocked nose
– back and muscular pain
– foetal movement felt by the mother
The diagnosis can be made by a couple of tests:
– Urine test; detects the presence of the pregnancy hormone (HCG) in the urine. It can usually be detected more or less 10 days after conception, 4 days before menstruation start.
You can contact us for a test in our centre at Avenue des Celtes.
– Blood test; shows the level of HCG hormone in the blood. It appears from the 5th day preceeding the beginning of menstruation, about 8 days after conception.
Your doctor will prescribe the test, that can be done in the hospital or in a “centre de prélèvement”.
– A scan for the dates can be done after 5 weeks without menstruation and allows the doctor to see the embryonnic sack. This examination is done by your gynecologist/obstetritien.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want more information ( be advised we are not a medical centre).
I want to keep my baby
There are organisations to help you during your pregnancy and after your baby is born:
– Alternatives; you can contact us if you want to talk to someone, if you are in need of some baby furniture (bed, pram…), we also offer second hand baby clothes. We organize a “mothers and babies” meeting where you can meet other mums and chat with our team members.
– O.N.E. Office de la naissance et de l’enfance. It has many missions and can help you during your pregnancy and after birth. They organise a lot of activities and take care of your child’s health (vaccination, visits with a pediatritien and much more).
These are only to give you an idea of what exists, but there are many more around.
It is important to have a good follow up, physical and emotionnal.
That follow up can be done by:
– a gynecologist-ostetritien; this is a doctor who has specialized in pregnancy, be it normal or pathological. Theywill ensure that your baby and yourself are in good health throughout your pregnancy.
– a midwife; specialises in normal pregnancies, i.e. she will take care of you as long as your pregnancy is healthy. If she detects a complication she will refer you to an obstetritien although she can still take care of you with them.
You can already go to the pharmacy and get pregnancy vitamins, ask for advice on which ones to buy.
If you are a smoker (cigarette or cannabis), it is advised to stop when you are pregnant for your babies health. You can contact a profesionnal for help (www.tabacstop.be).
It is not advised to consume alcohol during your pregnancy.
If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us (be advised we are not a medical centre).
What about adoption?
You are pregnant and are thinking about adoption. It is an important decision and you need to take the time to think about it and have support.
In 2012, 171 children were adopted, 33 came from Belgium.
The ACC (autorité centrale communautaire fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) is in charge of adoption in Belgium, it works with official adoption agencies who will go through the adoption process with the person giving up her baby for adoption and the people wanting to adopt a child. Those agencies will support them in their project.
Adoption agency Thérèse Wante say that the adoption service is a symbolic place where the passage from one family to another happens, where anyone can come back to talk, understand, find a trace of their story.
After the birth, the biological mother is legally allowed to change her mind within 2 months. During that time the baby is placed in a care centre.
If you want more information please don’t hesitate to contact us or to contact directly the adoption services:
– Autorité Centrale Communautaire ( ACC)
Direction de l’adoption
Direction générale de l’aide à la jeunesse
Ministère de la communauté française de Belgique
44, Boulevard Léopold II
Tel: 02 413 41 35 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: 02 413 21 39 Web: http://www.adoptions.be
– Service d’adoption Thérèse Wante
93, rue du Bauloy
Tel: 010 45 05 67
– ONE adoption
87, Boulevard Louis Schmidt
Tel: 02/ 538 59 99 Mail: email@example.com
Fax: 02/ 538 82 56 Web: www.one.be
I had an abortion
Following an abortion, some women encounter very strong emotions and they need to talk things over with someone. Some women feel sadness, anger, guilt or regret; even if at the time, they felt relieved.
At Alternatives, we are there to listen to you in a safe environnment, in complete confidentiality.
We are there to accompany you on your journey, up to the point where you feel at peace.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to make an appointment with members of our tea, who are trained in post abortion support.