For many women, an unplanned pregnancy is an emotional, complicated journey. Depending on your situation, you may be feeling a range of emotions like shock, anger, denial, and disappointment all at once — and that’s completely normal.
An unplanned pregnancy is a situation that many women don’t want to find themselves in, but this unexpected news does happen more often than you might realize. If you think you might be the only one, consider that about half of all pregnancies in the United States are considered unplanned every year, and there are plenty of resources available to help you during this difficult time. While you’re thinking about your next steps, here are five tips for coming to terms with an unplanned pregnancy.
1. Look for Support from Your Loved Ones
When you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you should never feel like you’re alone. While they shouldn’t make any decisions for you, having a strong support system of people you can count on can help lift the burdens that you may be facing.
Many women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose their friends and family to be the first ones to hear the unexpected news. Your loved ones can be a great source of comfort if you’re looking for someone to lean on. If you can, and you know that the birth father will be supportive, having him by your side can make coping with an unplanned pregnancy much easier, as well.
You should always remember that you’re the one in charge of your body and your unplanned pregnancy. The only people who should be involved in your future decisions are ones that you trust wholeheartedly, and who are ready to do everything they can to support you.
2. Contact a Professional for Help
There are plenty of people outside of your immediate circle who can give you professional advice. Some ideas for who you can reach out to include:
- An adoption professional: Adoption specialists are knowledgeable about all unplanned pregnancy options — not just adoption. You’re never obligated to place your child for adoption unless you’re sure that it’s the right option for you. By calling a 24/7 adoption hotline, you can get unbiased information that you need to make the best decision for yourself and your baby.
- A medical professional: You can always find out more about unplanned pregnancy options from your doctor.If you are considering an abortion, talk to your doctor as soon as you can to learn more about your options.
- A counselor: You should never feel ashamed or guilty for wanting to reach out to a professional during this difficult time. Whether the person you speak to is a licensed adoption specialist, options counselor or a therapist, you’ll have plenty of people available who are ready to listen and can give you the support you need.
3. Take Time to Focus on Yourself
If can be hard, but putting your needs first will help tremendously. Remember to eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise — if you can. These small steps can go a long way toward improving your mental health. You can take this time to try new hobbies, or just spend time with your loved ones when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
4. Reach Out to Other Women Who Know What You’re Going Through
If you’d like to speak with other women who understand what it’s like to have an unplanned pregnancy, there are in‐person and online support groups. You can also ask an adoption specialist or counselor for information on in‐person support groups in your area. While these support groups can be extremely helpful, it’s important to always be vigilant about receiving unbiased information. It’s very important that in‐person and online support groups are not your only means of finding information about your unplanned pregnancy options.
5. Remember that Everything Will Be Okay
When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, it’s easy to less the stress and anxiety of the future overwhelm you. But no matter what you decide to do, always remember that there are so many people who love you and only want the best for you. It may seem impossible to imagine now, but we can promise you that you are going to be okay. No matter how bleak everything may feel, you can handle everything that comes your way.
The Next Steps
Throughout your entire pregnancy, you are in the driver’s seat. You might not be able to come to a decision about your next steps right away, and that’s perfectly understandable. Whatever decision you come to, know that help is always available.