Pregnancy can be a wonderful thing, whether you plan for it to happen or not. However, no matter your feelings about an unplanned pregnancy, you’ll be less prepared to deal with it than you would be otherwise.
Here are some things you can do if you experience an unplanned pregnancy.
1. If you want to keep the baby
If this is the case, you’ll likely need access to the same resources as any expecting parent. However, you may need to find them on a tighter timeline than someone who may have been planning on getting pregnant for some time. You should go see your doctor as soon as possible, look for available classes on birthing, breastfeeding and parenting and start gathering resources you’ll need to give birth and parent. These can range from letting your friends and family know, buying baby care items, such as diapers and bottles or seeking financial support.
Additionally, if you want to keep your baby but are concerned about your health and well-being and that of your baby, you should seek resources appropriate to your situation. If you’re in danger at home, stay with a trusted friend or relative or go to the nearest women’s shelter. If you’re suffering from addiction, disclose that to your doctor and discuss options to keep yourself and the baby safe. If you’re concerned about your finances, you can find resources online or at your local community center regarding financial management, budgeting and savings.
2. If you don’t want to keep the baby
Unplanned pregnancy resources differ from those an expecting parent would typically access in one key area. You’ll likely be looking for options to choose from if you don’t want to keep the baby. Generally, there are two options available if you don’t want to keep the baby. You can get an abortion or give birth and then give the baby up for adoption. You should go over the pros and cons of these options with a pregnancy healthcare specialist to determine which is the best course of action for you. This kind of decision is an incredibly personal one.
Some people may be able to decide quickly while others may need some time to think things through. There are counseling and informational resources available at hospitals and private clinics. Planned Parenthood can be a good option as well.
3. If you’re undecided
If you feel overwhelmed and like you can’t make a decision, you can still access advice, information and counseling from a pregnancy healthcare professional at a hospital, clinic or Planned Parenthood center. Talking with a doctor and with trusted family and friends can help you put things into perspective and make more well-informed decisions. In particular, a healthcare professional with experience helping people dealing with unplanned pregnancies will know what needs to be addressed. He or she can help you make decisions about whether to keep the baby, whether and how to tell the father and what steps would be involved with each option available to you.
Remember, whatever you decide to do about an unplanned pregnancy, there are resources available to assist you. You can always talk to your doctor about your options and the resources at your disposal.