Learning that you’re unexpectedly pregnant brings a wave of emotions, including denial and worry. It’s a moment that can also leave you feeling alone and scared. If you just found out you’re pregnant and you’re scared, remember that you aren’t alone. Here’s what you need to know as you consider your options:
Pregnant and scared to have an abortion
Abortion is often the unspoken option for women facing unplanned pregnancies. For some women, it may be their best option. Make sure you do your research and get accurate information. Considering terminating your pregnancy is not the same as actually doing it. Don’t judge yourself or let others judge you as you research this option. Here are some important details to consider:
- Determine if it’s legal: Find out if abortion is legal in your state.
- Assessing the Cost: An abortion can cost several hundred dollars or several thousand. This price range is based on many factors including stage of pregnancy, where you live, type of procedure and medical equipment or anesthesia used.
- Considering Safety: If you choose abortion, investigate the qualifications of any potential abortion providers. Ask about potential complications and how those complications would be handled. Knowing the risks of abortion upfront will help you prepare for potential complications and can help you decide if this is the right option for you.
- Dealing with Emotions: Having an abortion brings many emotions and those emotions can recur for years. If you experience depression or other strong emotions after an abortion, remember that counseling, therapy and other resources are available.
Pregnant and scared and thinking about parenting
Even though you’re pregnant and scared about what the future holds, choosing to parent your baby may be your best option. Here are several factors to consider if you’re thinking of raising the child:
- Handling the Cost: Are you financially prepared to have a baby? What changes can you make to become more financially prepared? Find out what resources are available in your state for women and children.
- Finding Support: Do you have a supportive partner or family that will help you raise the child? Will the baby’s father help raise the child? If not, seek out other resources in your community such as support groups for single mothers. Having a support network in place before bringing baby home can make all the difference.
- Accepting the Change: Plan for success as a parent by understanding up front that raising a child requires a lot of work, time and money. Your life will never be the same after bringing baby home and, while parenthood brings many rewards, those rewards are coupled with many challenges.
Getting help from family
Many single women assume that the baby’s father won’t want to help raise the child. While this may be true in many instances, there’s always a chance that the baby’s father or his family will want to help raise your baby. If this is an option that appeals to you, have an honest conversation with the father about whether he and his family can help raise the baby.
Temporary foster care
Foster care may sound like a scary prospect, and it’s not the right option for everyone. However, it’s definitely the one option that most women don’t consider or even realize is out there. It’s one option to consider when you are pregnant and scared and not sure what to do.
Pregnant and scared and considering adoption
If you’re unexpectedly pregnant and scared about what your future holds, adoption is another option to consider. Here are some things to ask yourself as you consider this option:
- Type of Adoption: From a closed adoption where you would have no contact with the child to an open adoption where you would regularly see the child, there are many types of adoption to consider.
- Facing your Emotions: Adoption is a life-changing decision and feeling a sense of loss or grief after signing the final adoption papers is perfectly normal. Handle these emotions and come to terms with the adoption by regularly meeting with a counselor or by finding a support group in your community.
- Changing Your Mind: While you may have settled on an adoption and made all of the arrangements with the adoptive parents during pregnancy, you may have second thoughts after having the baby. This is perfectly normal and it’s OK to change your mind. Take your time before signing the adoption papers and be sure that this is the best option for you and the baby.
When facing an unplanned pregnancy, only you can decide which option is the best for your situation. Whichever option you choose, remember that you aren’t alone. I have been there (read my story) and I can help.