Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be one of the biggest challenges in life. Sometimes fate works against you, despite all the necessary precautions. It can be difficult to explain your situation to others, not knowing what their reaction would be. However, it’s important to remember that you are not the only one going through this.
Almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Thousands of women of all backgrounds, age, race and marital status face the same situation each day. Even though it may seem like the end of the world, it’s not. Remaining calm will allow you to handle the pregnancy rationally. Here’s what you need to do:
1) Are you sure?
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you are pregnant. Taking a home pregnancy test is considered a reliable way to find out, but you should also visit your health care provider, just to be sure. Once you are 100% sure that you’re expecting, it’s time to plan.
2) Calm down
While it is completely normal to feel a little stressed out during a pregnancy, too much stress over a long period can be damaging for you and the baby. High levels of stress hormones can cause premature births. So it’s important to stay relaxed and composed.
3) Talk it out
An unplanned pregnancy isn’t something you deal with overnight, but sharing your feelings with others will help you relieve built-up emotions. No matter how hard it may seem, it’s vital that you talk to your partner and discuss what this situation means for the future. Also discuss it with your family and close friends. Having a support system will prove to be very valuable when moving forward.
4) Time for some TLC
You need to start taking care of yourself and the life growing inside you. This means quitting bad habits like smoking, drinking and other activities that can harm the fetus. Go to your local healthcare provider and get yourself examined. You may be required to take pre-natal vitamins and supplements. Being pregnant changes your overall lifestyle.
5) Change of perspective
Once your emotional and physical needs are met, it’s time to cultivate a balanced state of mind, so you can start assessing all your options logically. Pregnancy is not the end of your life; it’s the miraculous beginning of another. Create a list of everything you are unsure of or would like to learn more about. Educating yourself will give you the confidence to enjoy your pregnancy and to look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
There are three options available to you and we will take a closer look at each of them in this article.
Keeping the baby:
Just because the pregnancy is unplanned doesn’t mean that becoming a parent is out of the equation. Giving birth and raising a child is a joyful and rewarding experience. And most importantly, babies are cute and everybody loves them. However, this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Bringing a life into this world comes with great responsibility. There are certain things you need to carefully evaluate before making this decision.
- Are you emotionally and financially capable of raising a child? Becoming a parent is not simply a matter of giving birth. It is a lifelong commitment that requires passion, love, patience and physical resources.
- Do you have an adequate support structure? Raising a child in a family is difficult on its own, but doing it alone is a different matter altogether. Having the support of your partner, family and friends will make a world of difference. Moreover, it will ensure the proper upbringing of your child.
- Can you make compromises on your personal goals? Around 50 percent of teen mothers don’t finish their school. Moreover, raising a child can severely hinder your ability to meet professional goals. Children are a full-time job, especially in the first few years. So you must be ready to make some sacrifices when it comes to educational or career objectives.
Giving the child up for adoption:
If you feel that you are not ready to become a parent, then you have the opportunity to help other people. There are thousands of couples in the United States who want to become parents, but cannot conceive naturally for various reasons. Placing your child with another family is a noble and selfless act.
Adoption works in the best interest of the child and also allows you to carry on with life where you left off. Knowing that your child will grow up in a loving and caring environment will bring a sense of satisfaction. Adoption will not cost you anything and you can choose the adoptive parents. As adoption requires you to give birth, it’s imperative that you start pre-natal care as soon as possible.
The first step in the adoption process is finding a reliable adoption agency. You can choose between an open, semi-open and closed adoption. These days most adoptions are open, as it gives birthmothers a chance to develop an ongoing relationship with their children and the adoptive parents. However, if you want to remain anonymous, a closed adoption will conceal your identity. Adoption is a legally binding and permanent contract. However, you can take back your decision at any point during the pregnancy.
Terminating the pregnancy:
For some women, continuing the pregnancy is simply not an option. This is probably one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make. Ending a life can cause pain and grievance for a long time. It’s important to think about this option carefully before reaching a decision.
If you decide to terminate the pregnancy, then you will need to obtain an abortion from your health care provider. Abortion in the early stages of pregnancy is done though medication i.e. without surgical intervention. So it is best not to delay the decision too much as the risk of complications increases with time.
Getting through an unplanned pregnancy is all about self-control. Only you can decide what is best for you and the baby. Being fully informed will allow you to navigate this difficult period with confidence. Taking other people’s opinions is helpful, but in the end, you have to live with the decision you make. Don’t rush into anything and don’t let anyone pressurize you.