Unplanned pregnancies are more common than you may think. Around 45% of pregnancies are in this category. Pregnancy can be both a thrilling and stressful journey. It may feel like an even more emotional experience if the pregnancy is unplanned. Know what options and resources are available so you can cope more easily.
- Confirm You are Pregnant
Suspicion is not enough to go on. Take a pregnancy test or go to a doctor if you think you may be pregnant. A physician will perform an ultrasound. The ultrasound determines if the pregnancy is viable and how far along you are. This consultation also informs you about any potential issues with the pregnancy. An unplanned pregnancy can lead to complications. Take care of yourself even if you don’t ultimately decide to continue being pregnant. Get plenty of rest. Avoid alcohol and other drugs. It might be a good idea to take prenatal vitamins as well.
- Decide Who You Will Tell
What is the nature of your relationship with your partner? If it is strained or they are absent you may not want to tell them that you are pregnant. At this stage in your pregnancy, you should likely gather only a small and intimate circle of people you trust. Your loved ones can help you deal with any emotional response you’re having to this pregnancy. Remember that you shouldn’t let them influence you one way or another. The choice of how to deal with your baby is yours alone.
- Consider Going to Counseling
Talking to friends is a great resource. You might want to seek professional guidance as well. A counselor is an impartial sounding board. Counseling is designed to reassure you that your reactions are perfectly normal. Stress, fear, anxiety, and acceptance are all common responses to unplanned pregnancies. You are not a bad person if you don’t yet feel a connection to your baby (if at all). Developing emotional resilience is especially important if you do decide to keep your baby.
- Where to Go From Here
As you begin to process the reality of your pregnancy you should weigh the options that are available to you. There are three possible ways to proceed: abortion, parenting, and adoption. Each of these options comes with pros and cons so you should spend plenty of time researching them.
Abortion: Access to safe abortion changes from state to state. A medical professional can connect you with these resources. You might have a moral or religious response to this option.
Parenting: Raising a child is not an ideal fit for everyone. Ask yourself a few questions first. What financial resources will you need? Do you have a partner or other loved one who can help you raise your child? If you already have children, what response will they have?
Adoption: In the case of adoption you have the choice of what connection you will maintain with your baby. Adoption agencies will talk to you about how that works.
Your partner might have their own beliefs about dealing with a pregnancy. This is something you should discuss together. You should feel completely confident with whatever option you choose.
Your life does not need to change drastically if you discover you are pregnant. It may require adjustment but you are more than strong enough to respond.