FCC Health Services Offers Support to Pregnant Students
May 3, 2017
Trying to earn your degree while pregnant can be extremely challenging. Luckily, the Fresno City College Health Services offer many resources for expectant students, according to Lisa Chaney, coordinator of the center.
The Pregnancy Care Center is a mobile service which provides pregnancy tests, prenatal education, limited obstetric ultrasounds, community resources and referrals as well pregnancy options counseling. PCC provides services in the FCC bookstore every fourth Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m..
Health Services are supported by the $19 health fee which every student pays. Listed services are only available to Fresno City College students who are currently registered, matriculating, or have been accepted into a college program.
“Having the Pregnancy Care Center come out is very helpful to students,” Chaney said. “They can do an official pregnancy diagnosis while we can only do pregnancy tests.”
The mobile clinic at FCC is run by a nurse, meaning that it cannot provide official care for pregnant women. If a pregnant woman needs her blood pressure checked, the nurses can provide that service. However, if a woman has a medical problem and is in pain, she has to be referred to doctors outside the FCC Health Services system.
Health Services mainly provides supportive care to the students. If pregnant students come in with headaches, Chaney said she likes to work with alternative stuff such as lavender to help soothe the pain. She is concerned about the mother ingesting a substance that will hurt the baby.
“When a student has her baby, we have a room that they can go in and pump,” Chaney said. “We have a medela pump which is a phenomenal pump. We also have other supplies, so that they can use to pump here in this room and then go to class.”
As for official and unofficial school policies regarding pregnant students’ ability to continue their education, Chaney said, “They are allowed to come to school and get their education for as long as they can.”
And while there are no laws that mandate a teacher has to allow them extra time, “most of the time, teachers will work with the pregnant students if needed,” Chaney said.
She also explained that enabling and helping pregnant students stay in college and giving them parenting skills go a long way. “Most of these girls are young adults that do not have a lot of support, and that is what we provide here for them,” Chaney said.
Students living in poverty, or have children early in life and have little or no support are more likely to have their children who live in poverty, have more chronic diseases and a shorter life span.
“These young women are in school to try to earn an education to better the life of their children,” Chaney said. “Enabling them and supporting them while in college can make a world of difference.”