Learning that you’re unexpectedly pregnant brings a wave of emotions. For instance, you may feel in denial and worried. An unexpected pregnancy can also leave you feeling alone and scared. Nonetheless, if you just found out you’re pregnant and you’re scared, you aren’t alone.  Here’s what pregnant women need to know as they consider options:

Pregnant and scared to have an abortion

Abortion is often the unspoken option for pregnant women facing unplanned pregnancies. However, it may be their best option.  Make sure you do your research and get accurate information.  Remember, 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. Above all, ask about potential complications and how those complications would be handled. Knowing the risks of abortion upfront will help you prepare for potential complications.  Medical advice can also help you decide if abortion is the right option for you.
  • Dealing with Emotions: Finally, having an abortion brings many emotions that can recur for years. If you experience depression or other strong emotions after an abortion, counseling, therapy and other resources are available.  Your mental health is of the utmost importance. Be on the lookout for symptoms and get help with you need it.

Pregnant and scared and thinking about parenting

pregnant and scared and considering adoption

Even though you’re pregnant and scared, parenting your baby may be your best option.  Here are several factors to consider if you’re thinking of raising the child:

Handling the Cost: Firstly, 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: Secondly, 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.  Consider telling friends and family about your pregnancy. They may have ideas and resources for support as well.

Accepting the Change: Thirdly, 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. Parenthood is very rewarding but it is also very challenging.

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 will want to help raise your baby.  If this is an option that appeals to you, have an honest conversation with your family.  Moreover, have an honest conversation with baby’s father.  It’s possible friends and family or can help raise the baby.

Pregnant and scared and considering adoption

If you’re 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: There are closed adoptions where you would have no contact with the child. On the other hand, you could have an open adoption where you would regularly see the child. In other words, there are many types of adoption for pregnant women to consider.

Facing your Emotions: Adoption is a life-changing decision.  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 finding support.  Regularly meet with a counselor or find a support group in your community. Taking care of your mental health after adoption is really important.

Changing Your Mind: While you may have settled on an adoption, you may have second thoughts after having the baby. This is perfectly normal.  It’s OK to change your mind. Take your time before signing the adoption papers.  Above all, don’t sign until you’re sure that adoption 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 and I can help.