Discovering that you’re pregnant can bring along a wide array of emotions. Women react to pregnancy in different ways, from being delighted to feeling frightened or maybe even both. Pregnancies can be overwhelming in the best of times. However, pregnancy can also be devastating when you didn’t expect it.
What Should I Do?
Panicking won’t help you in this situation. Take it easy, it’s not a life-threatening condition. You have ample time to figure a way out. You can’t decide anything with a rational mind when you’re in shock. Things may have already been going in the wrong direction and finding out that you are pregnant may feel like too much. But the only way to regain control is by staying calm. You don’t want to do something that you will regret later.
Feelings of guilt, regret and self-hate might dominate your mind and may not go away immediately but accepting what has happened and being open to change will give you hope. Stop perceiving yourself as a victim and acknowledge your responsibilities for the time being. The first step is to visit a doctor and get yourself examined. Any bad habit such as smoking, drinking and drugs must be stopped immediately. Even before you decide what to do with the pregnancy, it’s crucial to keep yourself and the baby inside you, safe.
The choice is yours
Once you get a hold of yourself, you now need to decide your next move. Take your time and think about what’s right for you but don’t delay the decision too much. It may seem very difficult to make up your mind but there is support and guidance available to you on all possible options. It’s important to remember that this decision is only yours to make. Don’t let anyone pressurize you into doing something you don’t want to.
You can either choose to:
- Carry on with the pregnancy and become a mother.
- Continue the pregnancy and place your child for adoption.
- Terminate the pregnancy by obtaining an abortion
It’s good to talk with your family and friends if you think they will support you. Take advice from people you trust. Sometimes you may feel more comfortable talking about this with a stranger. There is free and confidential counselling available to you at any point during and after the pregnancy.
Get Prenatal Care
Whether you choose to raise the child yourself or place him with another family, it is vital to start prenatal care as early as possible.
Women who give unplanned births are less likely to realize their pregnancy early on and thus generally don’t receive early prenatal care. Hence they are more likely to give birth to babies with poor health. So contact your medical practitioner immediately. It’s important to understand your body and pregnancy to ensure a healthy delivery. You will have to bring certain changes to your lifestyle and abstain from harmful substances including alcohol and drugs. Make sure you consume healthy foods and are receiving adequate nutrition.
Raising Your Child
You can decide to continue with the pregnancy and raise your child. By taking this option you are choosing to embark on a journey that is both enriching and life-affirming but is also a huge responsibility. Becoming a parent means that you are legally, financially and emotionally responsible for the well-being of the child.
Raising a child is a tremendous endeavor that requires a lot of patience, love and time. It may seem complicated at first, but it is something every parent goes through - especially if it’s their first time.
There is a lot of information and resources available online to help you at every step, so make the most of it. Also, having the support of your partner, family and friends can make a huge difference when raising a child.
Place the Child in a Loving Family
If you don’t think you’re ready to be a parent, you can choose adoption. It means you can place your child with another family after giving birth. All parental rights and responsibilities will be transferred to the adoptive parents with your consent.
Adoption is a legal and binding agreement. Depending on which type you choose, you can select the adoptive parents and build a relationship with them and the baby. You can make the decision to place your child for adoption at any time during the pregnancy and it will only be completed once you give birth.
Adoption is a time consuming process and finding the right adoption professional is critical in ensuring a smooth undertaking. You do not need to worry about any costs involved, as all expenses will be taken care of by the adoptive parents.
It is important to remember that you can change your mind any time during the pregnancy. Adoption should be your personal decision, and not result due to external pressure.
Terminate the Pregnancy
If you want to discontinue the pregnancy, you can obtain an abortion. The decision should be carefully considered but it’s important not to delay it. Most abortions are carried out during the first trimester. Even though you can have one later on, there are different laws depending on the state you live in that govern how late in the pregnancy can you obtain an abortion.
There are two types of abortions available. One that makes use of medicine to end the pregnancy in its early stages and another that involves a small surgical procedure that is performed later in the pregnancy.
The decision to have an abortion is a very difficult one and should not be taken lightly. Many women face stress and emotional challenges after getting an abortion. Talk to your counselor or health care provider and make sure to consider all other option equally before coming to any conclusion.