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I've Joined the Army and I'm Pregnant

“I’ve joined the Army… and I’m pregnant.” Occasionally a woman will sit in our office and speak those words. Often the phrase is followed by a long silence. Sometimes there are tears.

Pregnancies have a way of coming at the worst times. Finally, you set the direction you want for your future – and then the plan gets shredded.

If you have been planning to join the Army, and find you’re worried about an unplanned pregnancy, please contact Avenue Women’s Center. With four Chicagoland offices, we provide free services that include accurate pregnancy confirmation tests and private consultations. All of our services are delivered with compassion and respect for you.

Today I called the Naperville Army Recruiting Office and gathered information regarding unmarried women and pregnancy:

If you’ve not yet enlisted….

  • Active Duty: You could not join the active Army.
  • Reserves: You may be able to join the Reserves. You would establish a “Family Care Plan” that specifies who would care for your child if you needed to leave for service.

If you’ve joined but have not yet shipped….

  • Active Duty: You are no longer eligible for active duty as your status has changed to “single parent.” However, the Sergeant I spoke with shared that some women have transferred custody of their child to their mom, sister, or other trusted family member. Once the woman no longer had custody of the child, then she was again eligible.
  • Reserves: The Commander of the unit makes a decision. They could say they don’t want to retain you, but often do decide that the woman can stay in.

I learned this information in one quick telephone call. My point in writing it is not to imply that I’m an expert in Army policy. I’m not claiming that these are written-in-stone policies that apply in all situations or to all military service members. My hope is to encourage you in this…

We can make new plans. Situations change. We gather data. We process options. We set new direction. And often we find that we are stronger as we move forward.

Avenue Women’s Center would be honored to assist as you face this new situation. What kind of data do you require? Maybe you need to start with having a positive home test confirmed. If you really are facing a pregnancy, we can evaluate the specific risk of miscarriage with your pregnancy. With many early pregnancies ending naturally in miscarriage (up to 1 in 5), this is important information for you to have. Perhaps you need facts about different abortion procedures. Or you feel you should have information about adoption options. While the Avenue Women’s Center staff is not Army experts, we are pregnancy experts. We will equip you with the information you need.

It can be tempting to stop there. Get the data and move towards resolution. But don’t forget your heart. Taking time to process everything that’s coming at you is important. The pregnancy-related facts have to come together with your feelings, beliefs, dreams, and direction. At Avenue Women’s Center, our pregnancy consultations are confidential opportunities for you to meet one-on-one with someone who will assist you in processing all aspects of your pregnancy decision.

Our goal is that you will have all you need in order to make your personal best decisions, being able to move forward confidently in the new direction that is right for you!

Whether you are just beginning to think you might be pregnant, or you already have your “new direction” in mind, we hope you will contact us. Our offices are located in Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, and Wood Dale, Illinois. Today, we are ready to serve you.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.