Your friend comes to you and tells you she is pregnant. It can be a difficult position to be in when you want to show her support, but you don’t know how. Here are some tips on how to support your friend when she is facing an unexpected pregnancy.
Odds are- she is already overwhelmed. For many women, an unplanned pregnancy can feel like a crisis. It is important to remain calm so as to not escalate the situation. Your friend may have come to you looking for someone to provide a voice of reason and she will likely be able to think more clearly if you are calm as well.
She has a lot running through her mind. She may have just found out or she likely may have had it all bottled up until she told you. Give her time to tell you how she is feeling. For many people, talking about how they are feeling helps them work through all of their thoughts. A great way to communicate that you are engaged and are listening without disrupting her thought process is to paraphrase what she has said back to her. This helps her focus on what she is actually trying to communicate and lets her know that you are listening.
Ask Her What She Wants Before Giving Advice
It is understandable that you might have an idea of what you think will be best for her, but it is important to hear what she is thinking before weighing in. Additionally, she may be coming to you simply to verbalize her thought process, and she may not necessarily be looking for you to share your opinion. If you tell her what to do and it does not align with what she was thinking you could accidentally pressure her into a decision that isn’t right for her. It may be beneficial for her if you ask if she would like you to share your thoughts and opinion with her.
Remind Her She Has Options
As stated earlier, it is common for women in her position to feel like they are in a crisis. As her friend, you can remind her that there are options for her. When a woman is facing an unplanned pregnancy, she has the power to choose the path that is right for her.
Encourage Her to Meet With a Professional
As the friend that she has chosen to share this experience with, you have the unique opportunity to support her as she makes her decision. You could encourage her to meet with a medical professional where trained staff members are available to discuss her options with her including abortion, adoption, and parenting, and empower her to make the best decision for herself.
If you or a friend are facing an unplanned pregnancy, your local pregnancy resource center for support.