New York City’s Pregamara neighbourhood has seen an uptick in pregnant Thai women, but it’s not all happy-go-lucky ones.
In a bid to help these women avoid a grim future, the community has been working to raise awareness about pregnancy and the importance of prenatal care, as well as offer help and advice on how to get pregnant safely.
“There are a lot of pregnant Thai people, but I think we have to be aware that there are so many people who are pregnant,” said the resident, who preferred to remain anonymous.
Pregamara’s new community health centre is one of several in the city that aim to help pregnant Thai residents avoid the stigma and social isolation that comes with being pregnant. “
We’re not trying to be a place where we take care of them but rather, we want to make sure that they’re not at risk.”
Pregamara’s new community health centre is one of several in the city that aim to help pregnant Thai residents avoid the stigma and social isolation that comes with being pregnant.
One of its new clinics, which opened last week, will offer free pregnancy tests and help pregnant women plan their first two months of life.
The clinic also provides health screenings, including one that allows women to take a pregnancy test, and information about contraception options.
Other community health centres have also launched in the past year.
A community health officer in Pregama said that there is a high prevalence of pregnancy in the area, and that the women of the community were sometimes too afraid to come forward with their stories.
But the Pregamaras clinic has been a lifeline for the residents, who often don’t have access to contraception or are afraid of seeking help because of the stigma that comes along with being a pregnant Thai woman.
“It’s difficult to go through that process without being told, ‘You’re not doing the right thing’,” the resident said.
Her story, like many others, is not uncommon.
As the population in Pampas grows, so too do the numbers of pregnant women.
There are approximately 7,000 pregnant women living in the Pampasi neighbourhood, but that number has jumped from 5,000 to 10,000 in the last decade.
Many of the pregnant women are women who have lived in the neighbourhood for many years, often with only their parents or grandparents around, said Dr Kwon Chan, a resident physician at Pampam.
Chan said that the increasing number of pregnant men has also meant that the number of women living at home has also increased.
Pampam has become a hotspot for births, as many of the Thai women living there are expecting their first child, but Chan said that many of these pregnancies are also unintended, because many women are scared of coming forward.
So far, Chan said, there has been no record of a woman in Pumakopu ever having an unwanted pregnancy.
For Pampamas residents like Chan, the Pregnancy Prevention Centre, which is run by Pampamara Health Services, is a way to help reduce the stigma.
If someone is pregnant, Chan says, the clinic will refer them to another clinic that specializes in pregnancy prevention and birth control.
According to Chan, pregnant women in Pampsakopa can get referrals to a clinic at a cost of about $150 a month.
While Pampampam residents are aware of the importance and safety of taking care of themselves during pregnancy, Chan, who is also the director of Pampampsakapu Health, said that some pregnant women still worry about the stigma surrounding pregnancy.
“If you’re a Thai woman, I think there’s a lot you have to worry about,” Chan said.
“Because if you don’t want to be pregnant, then you should have a baby, right?”
As Pampamsakopai’s population grows, the number and frequency of women who are at risk for a pregnancy has risen.
At the Pumkopam community health center, a woman can be seen getting a prenatal test at her door, which she will be asked to sign.
When asked if she wants to go to a private clinic, she replied, “I don’t know what the clinics are like, so I don’t really want to know.”
The woman then takes a pregnancy scan at her home, which will be followed by an ultrasound.
She then receives a phone call from the clinic, which informs her that she has a positive result.
Then she is offered the opportunity to come back to the clinic for a second scan.
Although Pampapsakapai residents are concerned about the number, Chan is hopeful that a new clinic will help these pregnant women avoid the stigmatization that comes from being pregnant in the first place.
“[A clinic like this] would really help a lot, and would also help me to educate women about what pregnancy is and what it does to you,” Chan added. “This is