Basic prenatal care at a physician's office encompasses the health services and resources necessary for a woman to have a successful pregnancy—regular check-ups, screening for complications, tests and blood work, and the like. The team at Care Net Pregnancy Center in Houston, Texas works to complement those essential services with support and resources for pregnant women in their community—from the initial pregnancy test until well after a woman’s baby is born.
Care Net is just that, a caring network of individuals who provide families with unconditional support.
“Every woman that walks through our doors, even though she’s here for a pregnancy test, we know there are other determining factors that make her walk through those doors,” Jerrie Amos, the Associate Director of Care Net, shared. “So we want to make sure we meet all of her needs to help her walk down her path.”
At its offices in Houston, one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the country, the wide range of pregnancy-related services Care Net has to offer can be a lifeline to expecting women.
“We have a growing number of immigrants from all over the world, and they come with different ideas about pregnancy and childbirth,” Dr. Nanda Kirkpatrick, the Executive Director shared. “They’re in a foreign country and don’t know how to access prenatal care, or it’s not even on their radar.”
Care Net steps in, offering classes, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, consultations, and Vitamin Angels’ prenatal multivitamins.
“We’ve been receiving Vitamin Angels’ prenatal multivitamins since March of 2014,” Wendy Robinson, RN, Care Net’s Nurse Manager, noted, praising the comprehensive list of ingredients that comprise our prenatals. “There are so many nutrients that can be helpful to a developing baby.” She added, “Each of our clients that has a positive pregnancy test is given a bottle. In general, they’re very grateful and happy to have them—a lot of times they’re financially stressed and can’t afford them, so that allows us to introduce the concept of prenatal nutrition.”
To maximize the resources of their small cohort of staff members and volunteers, they connect their clients with other community organizations to fill any remaining gaps in services from counseling to legal advice, immigration assistance, housing, financial advocacy, and transportation.
“Many of our clients [have complex needs], so we work hard to create a network to put them in contact with other organizations to meet those needs,” Nanda said. “We just want to do more of what we’re doing, and stay really laser-focused on our mission. Just continuing to do what we do with excellence.”
The Care Net team shared how changing the lives of others changed them for the better, as well.
“I’ve always had a heart for helping women through difficult or challenging points in their lives, but working at Care Net has given me more compassion, knowing that everyone has a story,” Wendy said.
Jerrie noted, “My focus has changed a lot. The more I’ve learned about the differences in people, the more I’ve come to value people. Our differences make us stronger.”
The need for care—from the very beginning to the very end—however, is universal.
“Families are the same the world over. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Houston or Katmandu or Beijing,” Nanda said. “It’s an amazing thing, to see the families who have welcomed babies because they managed to find Care Net. I’m just privileged to be a part of that.”