If you're pregnant and you decide to continue working after you start to show, you need to be prepared for the wide range of reactions you're going to get from clients, the general public (if you're open about what you do for a living) and even from other sex workers. The furore recently in the States over Alana Love, a women who began working at Nevada's Bunny Ranch brothel when she was 7 ½ months pregnant, is a good example. Alana went public with what she was doing, appearing on the Howard Sterns show, Tyra Bank's chat show and starting a web blog. Howard flirted with her, Tyra gave her a vicious tongue-lashing and the comments on the web ranged from hugely supportive to death threats. Meanwhile, back at the Bunny Ranch, Alana had a constant stream of clients until she quit working shortly before she was due. Some were lovely, some were vile and asked her questions like whether she could feel the baby kick when they came. Some clients will find your belly a real turn-on, others won't want to get anywhere near you in case you break. Other sex workers may be extremely supportive - they may have been there themselves - and others may not be able to resist the chance to be mean and spiteful. No matter how much you steel yourself up for it, the cocktail of hormones that your body floods you with in pregnancy means that you'll probably find it all quite hurtful. Rest assured: as long as you're careful (see the page on Pregnancy for things to be aware of) you're not doing anything that can harm your baby.
Parenting and work choices are always a difficult balancing act, but there's no reason this should be any more complicated if you're a sex worker. There is no reason why being a sex worker should affect your parenting skills, but you may find that you get some negative reactions if you're open about what you do, particularly from professionals who are involved with your kids. The very fact that you're a sex worker is enough of a reason, under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, for professionals to have concerns about your child's welfare. If they can't come up with any concrete reasons for concern - such as apparent neglect, poor school attendance, or any of the other valid reasons that they approach non-sex working parents about, they may refer to 'moral endangerment'. This is almost always successfully challenged, although the process can be harrowing. The fact that sex work is not illegal and that you are not breaking the law is the primary weapon that you have. See the page on Child Protection for more information on what you might expect if social work become involved. One of the most difficult decisions, as your children get older, will be whether to tell them what you do for a living. There's no right or wrong - some kids can deal with the information, others can't. You should base your decision on how comfortable you feel about them knowing - and possibly telling others - and how well you think they will handle it, based on your expert knowledge of your own children.
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