What it means to be pregnant in prostitution
This is a summary provided by an undisclosed organization helping prostitutes in need mixed with experiences from practicing midwives. It is a view on pregnancy in German prostitution, but most of it also applies to other countries.
If a woman receives the news that she is pregnant, this is in most cases a longed-for confirmation of a couple's decision to live with children. But there are women for whom pregnancy is an "occupational accident" in the context of their self-employment.
Multiple sexual contacts per day
Men who visit nudist and sauna clubs tend to expect a happy ending to relax from the stress of work or everyday life. If a dream woman is available in erotic lingerie, she will gladly be used.
Service without protection are practices that are frequently requested by men who believe they have a right to sex and can enjoy it unhindered. The possible consequences of 3-10 sexual contacts per working day for this "dream woman" increase the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
Some of them are mothers already
Looking at the so aforementioned 'dream woman' in the nudist club, we'll find women, 'single mothers' with lacking professional qualifications, insufficient schooling, and poor German language skills. Women who are reportedly emigrating from Romania, Bulgaria but also from other countries to Germany, trying to financially support their family - their children - in their home countries. These women left home to achieve what all mothers would want for their children: to give them a better life. Unfortunately, not all of them get the chance to work however they want. Sometimes they are also in an emergency and will not be able to find any other means of earning a living, but to get into prostitution.
Image by Erik Tanghe
The answer as to whether clients of these ladies would be willing to take on the responsibility of supporting a child as a result of this service would probably be "no". For the majority of women, this means being alone with questions about the future, psychological conflicts, and physical ailments, and asking themselves whether this child should be born. Given the already precarious living situation, this question is rarely answered with yes.
Nevertheless, some women decide to have this child conceived in prostitution. For mother and child, whether it has a good start in the new life depends to a large extent on whether there is an opportunity to develop other life plans. Immediate cessation of prostitution and financial support are the prerequisites for avoiding stressful prenatal situations for mother and child. To welcome their children into life right from the start, these mothers-to-be need good support and alternative perspectives in life.
How midwives see the process
Prenatal classes are unlikely to be attended by prostitutes because they might fear being recognized as such. This circumstance makes midwife-led care much more difficult. Not only will the pregnant be less prepared for the birthing process, but also, valuable information that the midwife usually collectswon't be accessible during outpatient labour and birth.
Some hospitals offer an option for anonymous births. So the pregnant giving birth may provide a false name during her stay in the hospital. After birth, the mother will have the possibility to hold and bond with the baby. However, the infant will be sent to the youth welfare office after appropriate care by the midwives.
Not all mothers want to hold the child again. This might be because bonding goes both ways. And thus, those mothers still have about three months to regain guardianship unbureaucratically.
For this, the corresponding welfare institution offers the option to encrypt the mother's name, so the child may later have access to her name and get in touch.