Figuring out how to cope with an unplanned pregnancy is challenging. Pregnancies are life-changing events in all cases, so it is important that you take care of yourself as you go through this process. If you’re unsure about how to cope with an unplanned pregnancy, here are some steps to think about taking.
Confirm the Pregnancy
The first step is to take a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests are most accurate if taken after you have missed your period. If you take a pregnancy test too early, it could produce false negative results because there is not enough of the pregnancy hormone for the test to detect yet.
If the results are positive, you will then want to receive an ultrasound. This painless procedure can determine how far along your pregnancy is and if it is viable. Ultrasounds look for a fetal heartbeat and determine if your pregnancy is developing in the right place, at the right pace. Having an ultrasound performed is a vital step, no matter what you are considering for the outcome of your pregnancy.
You can get a free pregnancy test and ultrasound by visiting a pregnancy help center, or you can go through your insurance at a local OBGYN office.
Tell Someone You Trust
Revealing your unplanned pregnancy to anyone can be scary. You’re in a vulnerable position and might be worrying about how the other person will react. Will they judge me? Will they make me feel bad? These are normal concerns, and it’s okay to have them.
Make sure you choose someone you feel close to and trust completely. This may be a family member, a parent or guardian, or a friend. While there will probably be initial surprise in their reaction, remember that this person loves you and wants what is best for you.
In addition to confiding in someone about your situation, you may want to tell the father as well. How involved he will be in the pregnancy and decision-making process is entirely up to you or the two of you to decide. If your partner or the father is abusive, on drugs, or participating in any unsafe behavior that might cause you or your pregnancy harm, please seek help. The 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233.
Remember that You are Not Alone
Even after telling a trusted person about your pregnancy, you may still feel alone. It is important to remember that you do not have to go through this journey by yourself. A solid support system is essential for maintaining a healthy state of mind, thinking clearly, and making the best decisions for yourself and your situation at each stage.
You can also talk to your doctor or a staff member at a local pregnancy help center to discuss your concerns and get your questions answered. Sometimes, talking to someone who is not directly part of the pregnancy or who isn’t acquainted with you can help provide an objective outlook on the situation. Regardless, you have people in your corner who care about you!
Just make sure that you’re seeking counsel from people who are not trying to make the decision for you. Others can offer you support and information, but the decision is yours to make.
Consider Your Options
When facing an unplanned pregnancy, you might find that it is difficult to think clearly. You have many options to consider before making your decision, so it’s okay to take some time to think about each one.
Each option you have for your pregnancy, whether that is parenting, adoption or having an abortion, may appeal to you in different ways. It is important to assess the way each option would impact your unique situation. Remember, no matter what you choose, this is a lifetime decision. You need to make a choice that will honor you as a person.
Take the appropriate amount of time to research all your options:
o Parenting – Think about if you are ready to give birth and be a mother. Are you in a position to financially support this child? Will you have help? Are you mentally prepared to provide everything this child will need?
o Adoption – This involves giving birth and then placing your child into the care of another family permanently. What kind of adoption would work best for you? Would you like contact with your child after he or she is adopted? Would you like to keep your information private and a sense of anonymity throughout the adoption process? You have many adoption options to choose from.
o Abortion – This involves taking medication or undergoing a medical procedure that will end your pregnancy. There are certain risks and side effects associated with each procedure, so you’ll want to make sure you are aware of those before making an appointment.
Making the decision is easier for certain women than others. Your decision is personal and is yours to make based on your unique situation. If you are struggling to make your decision, you might benefit from speaking with a trained professional.