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What is Love?

Modeling true love for your kids.

Love…it’s a word we throw around a ton, but have a hard time defining. We might say we’re “in-love” with someone, but what is that all about? When we use the same word to describe our feelings about pizza or our favorite movie, what does it really mean to love another person, especially in a romantic relationship?

As new or expectant parents, we need to remember that our relationships with adults affect our relationships with our kids. Michael Einev suggests in research published in The Journal of Psychology that the quality of marital relationships between parents influences the expectations their children have about their own future intimate relationships. The ways we show love in every area of our lives become our kids’ working definitions of what love is and how human beings should be treated.

A dictionary definition might not be the best way to figure this out, so let’s talk about what true love looks like and what it doesn’t look like. There are so many ways to show someone you love them, but we’ll discuss some major defining characteristics that set love apart from just a crush or infatuation.

Real love…

  • Respects. You can’t have love without respect. Respect means to hold esteem for a person, to recognize their priceless value and act on that. This includes speaking kindly, honoring each other’s boundaries, and listening well.
  • Is loyal. Love looks like standing up for somebody else, not going behind their back. Loyalty is like respecting another person even when they’re not present. In a romantic relationship, this means staying true to each other and saying no to other romantic interests.
  • Cares about others’ needs. When we love another person, we do what we can to help them be healthy emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, socially, and spiritually. Love means thinking beyond our own desires and preferences to meet another’s needs.
  • Grows with time. Feelings fade, but love lasts. It’s a choice. We can choose to love someone every day, even when we aren’t necessarily happy or feeling out-of-this-world-in-love. As we keep choosing that person, we can get better and better at loving them.
  • Has boundaries. This may sound restrictive, but one of the most loving things we could do for another person is to set ground rules together for the relationship. Boundaries are limits we make for ourselves that tell us what is healthy or unhealthy. For instance, having physical boundaries: what kind of touch is appropriate for this relationship, or what activities should be saved for when this relationship is more committed? Or emotional boundaries: what is appropriate to say to each other? How much time should we be spending together?

This all might sound pretty straight forward, but our culture confuses us with all kinds of unhealthy misconceptions about love. Let’s tackle the characteristics of infatuation, or “fake love.”

Fake love…

  • Obsesses or possesses. It might feel like love if you can’t stop thinking about that person, or hate to see them with someone else, but this is actually toxic. If one or both parties tries to control the other’s schedule, behavior, body, or anything else that belongs to them, this is manipulation, a warning sign of abuse.
  • Revolves around physical attraction. Though being attracted to someone physically can be an important part of a romantic relationship, that should never be the primary focus or reason those two people are together. Physical attraction will come and go. A relationship can’t stand on that alone, there must be a deeper attraction that values the person as a whole, not for their body.
  • Feels unsure or unsafe. If either party is scared or intimidated of the other, that’s another red flag for abuse. Both people should feel safe physically and emotionally. Love never uses power to get what it wants.
  • Moves fast. Fast and furious relationships often end as dramatically as they begin. When a couple can’t keep their hands off each other, or start throwing around plans to get married or move in together early on, they’re selling their relationship short. Real love leaves room for the relationship to grow before getting serious and doesn’t put someone else at physical or emotional risk because of impatience.
  • Wants what feels good. If we act on every impulse we have, we put ourselves and others in danger. Just because something feels pleasurable or exciting, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Love means looking beyond the moment to what is best for the health of both people.

Love is action.

Remember, how we treat others and how we let others treat us speaks volumes to our children. It tells our sons and daughters what they should expect from their own relationships. Let’s all take some time to look for real love in our lives, and expel any fake love. We owe it to our kids, friends, family, partners, and ourselves.

Want to learn more about healthy parenting? Check out Lifeline’s other blog posts to get more info on issues relevant to parents and expectant parents. You can also make an appointment to get in-person education and earn baby supplies at no cost to you: contact us today to learn more.

By Kath Crane

Resources:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00223980.2013.805116#.VDAw1_ldWbM

What is a Safe Haven Law?

No matter how overwhelmed or scared a woman may be, she never has to abandon her baby. All 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico have a Safe Haven Law. This law allows a woman to bring her baby to a certain locations or “safe havens” if she is unable to parent the child. No questions asked. Some examples of safe haven locations include fire departments, police stations, hospitals, and pregnancy resource centers. We’ll go through the details of the Missouri Safe Haven Law. But if you live in a different state, check out this guide to find out your state’s Safe Haven Law.

Missouri Safe Haven Law Details:

 

Baby’s Age

  • A baby 45 days old or younger can be given to a safe haven, no questions asked.

 

Who can give their baby to a safe haven location?

  • Either of the baby’s biological parents can leave him or her with employees at a safe haven.

 

Who can receive the baby?

  • A staff member of any hospital, maternity home, or pregnancy resource center (like Lifeline) in a health-care provider position, or on duty in a non-medical paid or volunteer position
  • A firefighter or emergency medical technician on duty in a paid position or on duty in a volunteer position
  • A law enforcement officer

 

Responsibilities and rights of the safe haven provider

  • If a safe haven provider believes that the baby is 45 days old or younger, and the person delivering the baby is his or her biological parent, the safe haven provider must take physical custody of the baby.
  • If the provider does not work in a hospital, they must immediately make plans to transport the baby to the nearest hospital.
  • A safe haven provider is immune from civil, criminal, and administrative liability for accepting custody of a baby. That immunity won’t apply if they abuse or neglect the baby after accepting him or her.

 

What happens to the baby?

  • The hospital will make sure the baby is safe and healthy.
  • The hospital will also let the Children’s Division and the local officer know about the baby. The juvenile officer will immediately begin protective custody proceedings.
  • The officer will ensure that the baby becomes a ward of the court during the baby’s stay at the hospital.
  • When the baby can leave the hospital, the Children’s Division will take physical custody of him or her.

 

The Relinquishing Parent’s Rights

  • A parent voluntarily relinquishing their baby (giving them to a safe haven) isn’t required to provide any sort of  information about him or herself or about the baby, like names or dates of birth or health information. However, that information about the baby would be really helpful for the new caretakers to know. No one can force you to give any information about yourself or the baby.
  • A parent can’t be prosecuted for child abandonment or endangering the welfare of a child for leaving their baby at a safe haven if:
    • The baby is 45 days old or younger when delivered to the safe haven.
    • The parent delivers the baby safely to the physical custody of any safe haven provider, and lets that provider know that they do not intend to return for their baby.
    • The baby hasn’t been abused or neglected by the parent before the voluntary delivery.
  • Once the parent delivers their baby to the safe haven and states that they do not intend to return for the baby, that parent is giving up their parental rights and responsibilities for the child.

 

The Non-Relinquishing Parent’s Rights

  • If one parent gives custody of his or her child to a safe haven provider, the child’s other biological parent (non-relinquishing parent) can preserve his or her parental rights by working with the Children’s Division and juvenile court. The Children’s Division will make a public notice about the child. After that, the non-relinquishing parent has 30 days to take the steps necessary to establish parentage.
  • If the non-relinquishing parent asks the hospital about their baby, the hospital must refer the parent to the Children’s Division and juvenile court.

Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic is a safe haven provider. If a parent leaves his or her child with us, we’ll make sure that baby gets all the care he or she needs. We exist to help anyone facing an unexpected pregnancy, free of judgment and full of compassion. Our hope is that women and men get the help they need before faced with a decision to deliver their baby to a safe haven. We offer confidential pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, education, counseling, and community referrals at no cost. If you have any questions or want to know more about Lifeline, contact us today.

 

Make an Appointment

Resources:

Infant Safe Haven Laws

Missouri Safe Haven Law

Love Speaks: What’s Your Love Language?

What we all need.

If you’re a human being (and chances are pretty good that you are), you need to be loved. We all do. The desire to be cared for is innate to who we are. Our lives teem with opportunities to love other people. Throughout our years, we’ll meet amazing individuals who we could form meaningful relationships with. Family members. Friends. Neighbors. Coworkers. A significant other. Just think of all the people around you. How incredible is it that you were put in the same place at the same time as them?

As we figure out how to love our parents, significant others, kids, and friends well, we might get frustrated. Like super frustrated. Maybe you’ve tried so hard to show your son or daughter that you completely adore them, but they totally don’t get it (even if they’re old enough to do so). Or you’ve made all kinds of moves to let your partner know that they’re special to you, but it’s like they speak a different language or something.

Maybe it’s because they do.

Ever heard of the Five Love Languages?

It’s a concept created by Dr. Gary Chapman, and it has transformed relationship after relationship for over twenty years now. It’s built on the idea that everybody expresses and receives love differently. Dr. Thomas proposes that there are five main ways to show love (or love languages): Gifts, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.

Each individual is usually drawn to one or two of these languages in particular. For instance, you might naturally show your love through gifts. You enjoy carefully picking out the perfect present for your partner, or making a DIY gift just for them. But maybe they don’t get you gifts in return, and that leaves you feeling like they don’t care for you. Likewise, maybe your partner really appreciates quality time with you, and would much rather go on a special night out with you than buy each other gifts. Two people can both think they’re loving the other person really well. But that love gets lost in translation when they don’t understand each other’s love languages.

 

So what are these languages all about?

 

GIFTS

Someone whose love language is gifts feels extra special when someone takes the extra time and effort into buying or creating a present for them. It’s not about the money or being greedy. Giving someone a gift isn’t something you can do on the spot, it requires planning and sacrifice. These gifts don’t need to be expensive or fancy. Even surprising them with their favorite coffee drink or a handmade card can mean a lot.

 

ACTS OF SERVICE

For some people, actions speak way louder than words. Acts of service could be doing the dishes for your mom, mowing the grass for your neighbor, or driving a friend to their doctor’s appointment. It’s putting your heart into action, noticing and doing the little and big tasks that make someone with this love language completely light up because they sense that you care.

 

QUALITY TIME

There’s nothing like a friend who we can just be with. That’s how someone who identifies with love languages feels about all their relationships. It means the most to them when their loved ones set aside a specific time to just hang out, talk, or share favorite activities together and focus their full attention them while they’re together.

 

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

Sometimes we just want to be told “I love you. You’re beautiful. You are special to me.” Folks who resonate with Words of Affirmation need to hear things like this frequently in order to feel loved. Of course, these words must be sincere. There’s nothing quite as frustrating for someone with this love language to hear a nice-sounding phrase that they know isn’t true.  

 

PHYSICAL TOUCH

Human touch is another deep desire that all of us have to some degree. For those with this love language, they feel so cared for when their loved ones share a hug, an affirming touch on the shoulder, or hold their hand. Appropriate physical touch can be a great way to remind your love ones that you are here for them and aren’t going anywhere.

 

These are just basic summaries, but hopefully you get the picture. The way you crave love may be totally different than the way your child or your partner or your parents crave love and tend to show that love. If we want to have thriving relationships, we need to figure out what is meaningful not just for ourselves, but for those we care about. Finding out your own love language helps you understand your own needs and desires and help other people know how they can show their love for you.

Want to find out your own love language? Take a quiz and read more about the Five Love Languages here! Share the results with your family and friends and encourage them to discover their own love languages as well. Dr. Chapman has written multiple books on this topic, including The Five Love Languages of Children and The Five Love Languages Singles Edition. Whatever stage you’re at in your life, there’s probably a Five Love Languages book for it.

Here at Lifeline, we love to supply you with the physical resources you need at no cost, like diapers and wipes and ultrasounds. But we also desire to provide you with the resources you need to have healthy relationships. Maybe you’re looking for a pregnancy test, or maybe you just need someone to listen. Lifeline’s got you covered.

 

Make an Appointment

Resource: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

What To Expect At Your First Lifeline Appointment

You’ve called or made an appointment online. You walk into Lifeline aaaand…then what?

If you’ve never been to a pregnancy clinic like Lifeline before, you might feel a little nervous or unsure. Do I need to drink a ton of water and have a full bladder going in? Will I be judged? Should I bring my insurance card?

Have no fear, we’ll answer all those questions for you! First, know that help is here for you at Lifeline. We’re here to listen, encourage, and support you. From the moment you step inside, we hope you feel like you’re in a safe place where you can just be yourself, ask all your questions, and let us know how we can best help you. All are welcome regardless of their race, religion, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation.  Everyone needs an extra hand sometimes, and we want to extend ours, free of judgement!

 

WHERE TO GO

  • Lifeline is located at 1515 N New St., Kirksville, MO. If you’re familiar with the Kirksville area, we’re right behind Auto Zone off of Baltimore St./ Business Hwy 63.
  • Park in the Client/Expecting Mom/New Mom spots (VIP parking!).
  • Enter through the front door and you’ll hear a happy chime and see a friendly face at the front desk ready to check you in. Just let our receptionist know your name and she’ll make sure our nurses know you’ve arrived.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • All new clients will need to bring a photo ID. This could be a driver’s license or permit, a school ID, a passport, or any other official ID that has your photo and legal name. This just helps us make sure our clinic is safe and secure for everybody.
  • If you’re coming for a pregnancy test or an ultrasound, arrive with a full bladder. The pregnancy test requires a urine sample from you, and having a full bladder for an ultrasound allows the nurse to get a better picture of the reproductive system. Don’t worry, we’ll let you relieve yourself as soon as possible!
  • Feel free to bring your significant other, a friend, or family member. We want you to have the support from loved ones that you need! The nurse will ask to talk with you individually at first just to make sure you have the opportunity to ask any questions or share private information that you wouldn’t want to share with your friends and family. But soon your loved ones will be able to join you to learn more about our programs and about your pregnancy situation and ask any questions they might have. We even offer Dadline, a fatherhood mentorship program designed just for expecting/new dads. If you are pregnant or a new mom and the father of your baby wants to learn more about being a dad, our nurse can give him more information on that program.

 

WHAT NOT TO BRING

  • You won’t need to bring any form of payment, because all of our services are offered at no charge (celebrate good times, come on)!
  • Insurance information is not needed for our services.
  • Please leave food and drinks at home or in the car so we can keep our clinic clean for everybody.

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Our receptionist will have you fill out some paperwork when you arrive. Nothing super long, just your name, date of birth, date of your last menstrual period (if that applies to the type of appointment you are here for), and other basic info.
  • Whenever the nurse is ready, she’ll take you back to one of our comfy client rooms. No stark white walls, no obnoxiously bright lights. Just a cozy room with plush chairs, colorful designs, and plenty of privacy for you to talk one-on-one with a registered nurse who wants to help you. She’ll go through some more questions with you about your pregnancy or potential pregnancy, medical history, and what resources are available to further assist you. Your honest answers will allow her to best help you.

 

FOR PREGNANCY TESTS

  • The nurse will show you the private bathroom, and you’ll go in to provide a urine sample in a cup.
  • When you’re finished, the nurse will test your urine for HCG (a pregnancy hormone) with a medical grade pregnancy test.
  • If the test is positive, she’ll discuss your options with you and let you know about all the resources available at our clinic, like our Earn While You Learn program. She’ll also refer you to other helpful community resources.
  • If the test is negative, the nurse will still be happy to share information about our programs or community referrals if you want to know more. And, whatever the test result, whether you want to shout for joy or need time to process the situation, the nurse will be by your side as long as you want.

 

FOR ULTRASOUNDS

  • If you’re in the first or second trimester of pregnancy, you might be eligible for an  ultrasound at Lifeline.
  • Our nurse will take you back to the ultrasound room, and an additional staff person will accompany you and the nurse for extra support.
  • The exam will start with an abdominal ultrasound (on your belly), and if you’re early on in your pregnancy you will also need a transvaginal ultrasound. The vaginal probe allows us to get a clearer picture when the pregnancy is just getting started.
  • The nurse will use either or both probes to measure the gestational age of the baby (how far along you are), the baby’s heart rate, and to make sure the pregnancy is in the uterus where it’s supposed to be. At Lifeline we don’t diagnose any medical issues or determine the baby’s sex. We’ll refer you to your doctor for those questions.
  • After taking some measurements, the nurse will talk you through what’s going on in your body. You’ll be able to see the screen the whole time.
  • Photos of the ultrasound and measurements will also be reviewed by our medical director, a board-certified OB/GYN. The physician will review everything and we will let you know what sort of care he recommends. You’ll even get to take copies of those photos home with you!

 

YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

Hopefully this info gives you a better picture of what to expect from your first appointment at Lifeline. If you have any other questions, please give us a call or send an email or text. We want you to have all the information you need to feel at ease. If you haven’t scheduled your appointment yet, click the button below to book it today!

Remember, help is here for you. No judgment. No pressure. Just compassion, information, and resources to help every step of the way.

Make an Appointment

Super Heroes in Scrubs

Meet our nurses!

What happens when you cross a medical professional, a mom, a counselor, and a superhero? You get a Lifeline Nurse. These ladies are here to serve the women and families who walk through our clinic doors. They perform the pregnancy tests and ultrasounds that give clients important information about their bodies and babies. They check in every week with expectant and new parents to make sure they have all the answers and supplies they need — all with compassion because they truly care about the families in our community. Lifeline would not be able to provide families with the care they need without these warriors in scrubs.

 

Kris Polovich, BSN

Kris spent most of her years as a nurse in surgery, first in Hannibal and then at Mizzou’s University Hospital in the level one trauma center. “I worked the weekend night shifts, where I saw everything,” she says. “And then I took five years off when my kids were small and stayed home, which was hard. I was ready to go back to work, and fell into this position by chance.” Lifeline needed a temporary nurse to fill in for the former nurse’s maternity leave, and it morphed into a permanent job as both nurses decided to work part-time. Kris is still here, now our fearless clinic manager.

 

Patty Jorden, RN

Patty was far from the nursing field at first; originally earning her degree in English, she took an interest test at a career center that pointed her to nursing. She returned to school to get her associates in nursing. Her new career led her to work in oncology and outpatient surgery as well as on the general floor that handles everything, still the 4th floor at Northeast Regional Medical Center today. She joined the Lifeline team three years ago, and her passion for encouraging women has been a great asset to the clinic. “I just have a heart for them,” she explains.

 

Come on by, we’d love to help.

Whether you need education on pregnancy or a listening ear, Kris and Patty are here for you. Their medical training in a variety of settings has prepared them to provide you with the health resources you need. And their years of experience as moms (and for Patty, a grandma) has given them a passion for empowering and encouraging women. Need a pregnancy test, ultrasound, or just someone to talk to about your potential pregnancy? Call, text, or email us today to schedule your appointment with one of these amazing ladies. All of our services are confidential and offered at no-cost.

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5 Car Seat Safety Tips

Open-back gowns, epidurals, living out of a suitcase: it’s all good and fun for a while, but sooner or later we’re ready to bust out of that hospital! We’re antsy to get baby home to nap in his own crib under an adorable Winnie the Pooh mobile. But before we get back to our own (albeit, forever different and totally transformed) lives, first baby needs to get home safely. Therefore, we need a car seat that works, fits baby, and that we know how to handle. To get started, here are 5 car seat safety tips that every mom and dad should know before taking that maiden voyage home.

Car Seat Tips:

  1. Find the right seat type for your baby’s size/age.

    Until he or she reaches age two or passes up the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer, baby must ride in a rear-facing seat.

  2. Only buy a used car seat if you are fully aware of its crash history.

    Never buy a used car seat from a thrift store or someone you don’t know. If a car seat has ever been in a crash, has any missing parts, or is expired, it is no longer good to use and must be replaced.

  3. Register your car seat.  

    This ensures that if there are any recalls on that seat model that you will be notified. A car seat should come with information from the manufacturer on how to register. Usually you can register a car seat online or by mailing in a card.

  4. Make sure your baby is ready

    Very small or premature infants should be tested in the hospital to make sure they can sit in a semi-reclined position. Have no fear, the hospital will be able to help you determine if your baby is ready to ride home. You don’t have to make that judgment call on your own.

  5. Avoid bulky winter wear.

    If it’s cold outside, do not dress your baby in bulky winter coats or clothing. These puffy materials make it difficult to properly strap in baby. In the event of a crash, this type of clothing can compress, making the car seat straps too loose to keep baby reigned in. This compression increases the risk of injury. Instead, dress baby in lighter layers, and drape a blanket over the buckled infant if needed.

car seat safety
If you are an expectant or new parent and live near Kirksville, MO, check out Lifeline’s Earn While You Learn education program. EWYL will help you prepare for parenthood and earn free baby supplies. Just because you don’t have doctors and nurses around 24/7 anymore doesn’t mean you have to do this alone.

by Kathryn Farmer
Resources: American Academy of Pediatrics, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Safe Kids Worldwide
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx
https://www.safekids.org/car-shttps://www.safekids.org/car-seateat

 

Breastfeeding

breastfeedingWe’ve all heard that breastfeeding is great. It’s healthy for baby and somehow magically connects the two of you. But why? What is it about breastfeeding that causes doctors and hippie moms alike to rave on and on about it?

Benefits for Baby

Firstly, breastfeeding provides the most nutrient-concentrated substance that our babies can get. Breastmilk contains the perfect amount of fat, protein, sugar, water, and minerals for baby, and its makeup develops along with baby to continue providing the right ratio of nutrients as he or she grows. Breastmilk develops with my baby? How cool is that?

Breastmilk is also easier to digest than formula and is full of antibodies that boost our babies’ immune systems and fight off common illnesses like ear infections and allergies, not to mention that infants who breastfeed are lower risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). For all these reasons, breastfeeding is definitely something to seriously consider for the health of little ones.

breastfeedingBenefits for Mom

When we breastfeed, our bodies release a hormone called oxytocin. This is known as a bonding hormone, which helps create that feeling of closeness with baby. Oxytocin also causes our uteruses to contract and help get it back to its normal size, and even decrease postpartum bleeding. Breastfeeding may also reduce the risk of breast or ovarian cancer. If that wasn’t enough, as an added bonus breastfeeding can help lose that pregnancy weight!

Of course, everyone’s situation is different, and it’s important to talk to your doctor about what is best for you and your child. If you’re a new or expectant mom and you live near Kirksville, MO, you can learn more about prenatal and parenting topics through Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic’s Earn While You Learn program. For more information, call 660-665-5688 or click here.

 

Breastfeeding Resources:
https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/pregnancy/getting-ready-for-your-baby/breastfeed-your-baby
https://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq029.pdf

 

Find Us

CONTACT US
Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic
1515 N. New St.
Kirksville, MO 63501
Get Directions
Text: 660.851.4350
Call: 660.665.5688
lifelinephc@gmail.com