Women can get pregnant during any phase of their childbearing years, often at totally unexpected times. Young girls can get pregnant before they even start their menstrual cycles. Older woman can get pregnant during the beginning of menopause. Even women being careful and using contraception can get pregnant. If you just found out you are pregnant, and you weren't planning on it, what do you do?
You have three options when facing unplanned pregnancy: Abortion, adoption and keeping the baby. Each decision has ramifications that require careful consideration and reflection. The following tips will help you to deal with an unplanned pregnancy.
- Take some time to yourself. Start thinking about your three options. Is one of them completely unacceptable or impossible? If so, you're down to two options.
- Imagine your life with each option. Imagine how much your life will change if you keep the baby. Imagine your life and what you will feel if you give your baby up for adoption or seek an abortion.
- Reflect upon your goals, with or without your baby. Will a baby fit into those goals? If not, are you willing to abandon those goals or put them on hold for a while?
- Consider talking to the father. You may, for your own reasons, choose not to let the father know about the pregnancy, but you might want his input before making a decision. And he may want to learn about single father parenting.
- Talk to a counselor, go to a pregnancy center, or call a pregnancy hotline. These professionals will help you make a decision about what you want to do. If you go to a pregnancy center, conduct a little preliminary research beforehand. Some pregnancy centers are pro-life and have their own ideas about the decision you will make. Ideally, a counselor should be an objective person who isn't caught up in the emotions of being pregnant. They can offer you the pros and cons of your decisions without the emotions the father or other family members would carry.
- If you are a teenager, speak to a trusted adult. It doesn't have to be a family member, but you need to talk to an adult about your options.
- Do your research. If you are trying to decide whether to put your baby up for adoption or have an abortion, do your research. Understand the laws in your state. Will you have to go out of state for what you want? If you're choosing adoption there are still many decisions to make, such as whether you want to know the parents or let the parents tell your baby about you.
- Take care of yourself. If you're not sure what to do, act like you're pregnant. Try not to drink alcohol, smoke or do recreational drugs. Get prenatal care, and let your care provider know your situation. They may have resources for you. If you decide to keep the baby, or put the baby up for adoption, you may regret poor decisions in early pregnancy.
- Take it one day at a time. This is one decision that can't be made quickly. Make lists, take long drives, cry, and talk to friends and family members. Try to make as unemotional and thoroughly examined a decision as you can.