Creating a world where no one faces pregnancy or pregnancy loss alone.
Why pregnancy support is important
Pregnancy support is one of the most important things we as a society can do.
Creating a world where no one faces pregnancy or pregnancy loss alone means empowering women facing unexpected pregnancy, and supporting those who are experiencing pregnancy loss to find their feet again.
We live in a culture that can often – even unwittingly – work against that. Our culture can stigmatise the pregnant student (like Zooey, one of our clients, in the image above), ignore the pain of pregnancy loss, pass judgment on the woman who struggles with pregnancy, criticise decisions for adoption, or be unforgiving to the career woman who is trying to integrate motherhood and her aspirations.
As Life co-founder Professor Jack Scarisbrick MBE so wisely noted, sometimes a pregnancy – particularly if unintended and even in a stable relationship – can initially seem like a disater. The overwhelming sense of change, the upending of plans, the practical necessities, and the unexpected new role as parent can all feel so devastating that they threaten to end her dreams and her life as she knows it.
For someone facing pregnancy or pregnancy loss, their underlying question is often, “How am I going to navigate these changes without sacrificing my life or my dreams?” Through our vision and work, we hope to offer a practical, tangible answer to that question.
So why “Life”? It’s because every pregnancy journey is a life change – transitions, changes, decisions, and options all come to the fore. At Life, you are important, you are whole. And we’re here for you on your journey.
A lot of people are facing pregnancy or pregnancy loss. There are 800,000+ pregnancies a year in the UK. Of these, according to the Government, nearly half “are unplanned or associated with feelings of ambivalence.”
One in five women experience mental health problems during the perinatal period (conception to one year after birth), which can also have long-term impacts on the child. The financial costs linked to maternal mental ill health during the perinatal period is £8.1 billion per cohort of UK births.
There are 3,000 children placed for adoption every year. Adoption can take immense courage, responsibility, love, and strength. It’s a journey where sadness and happiness mingle together as birthmothers work to provide a better life for their child than the life they feel able to provide themselves.
In addition to parenthood and adoption, three in eight pregnancies end in some form of pregnancy loss – miscarriage, abortion, or stillbirth. The emotions associated with this – which are unique for each person – can be complex and intense.
Pregnancy, motherhood, parenting, adoption, and pregnancy loss – these are experiences that go to the core of what it means to be a human being. Nothing will call on our reserves of strength and love quite as these journeys do.
Life is a charity offering a gentle, non-judgmental support for people navigating their way through all that pregnancy and pregnancy loss brings. We provide a space for people to explore their situation, the new sense of self-identity it brings, and to respond to and integrate these changes successfully into their life.
Supporting the child starts with supporting the parents. We support measures that will provide help in and around unplanned pregnancy, increase support and services so that women and their children can thrive, improve adoption access, and make British society more child- and parent-friendly.
Life’s services are carefully designed to meet parents’ and children’s emotional and practical needs so they can flourish. Our work supports the Government’s 1,001 Days initiative, which aims to promote child and parent wellbeing from conception to two years after birth.
By offering our services, the people we help can transform themselves through the powerful experiences they undergo. The legacy this leaves is tremendous: babies carry families and communities into the future; motherhood can be one of the greatest accomplishments in someone’s life, and; even the most unexpected pregnancy can open new doors and invite us to find new depths of love within ourselves.
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