It can be difficult to know how to cope with an unplanned pregnancy, especially if it’s your first time being pregnant. You might be feeling scared and overwhelmed. You might be experiencing a great deal of confusion. No matter how you feel, remember that you are not alone. Unplanned pregnancy impacts thousands of women in the United States each year and there are resources available to help answer any questions that you might have. As challenging as your situation might seem, understand that you are strong enough to handle this. As you work toward determining the best next steps, use this guide as a resource to help you cope with your unplanned pregnancy.
Confirm the Pregnancy
Before you panic or slip into psychological distress, you should find out for certain that you are actually pregnant. To confirm the pregnancy, your first step is to take a pregnancy test, preferably at a medical clinic such as First Care Clinic. You should wait until after you have missed your period to take the pregnancy test because this will give you the most accurate results. Taking the test too early can produce a false negative since there is likely not enough pregnancy hormone present to register a positive reading.
Even after seeing a positive result from the pregnancy test you should still verify the pregnancy by scheduling an ultrasound. This painless procedure can inform you how far along your pregnancy has progressed and determine if it is viable to carry to term. If the ultrasound reveals that your pregnancy is viable, then you have a decision to make.
If you do not know where to get an ultrasound, that is okay. You can receive a confidential and no-cost ultrasound after a positive pregnancy at our clinic.
Tell Someone You Trust
Making yourself vulnerable by telling someone about your pregnancy can be scary. You are probably worried about how they will react and if they will judge you or make you feel bad. Those are common concerns, and it is perfectly okay for you to have them.
It is important for you to choose someone close to you whom you trust. This could be a parent, the father of the baby, another family member, or a good friend. Keep in mind that you are delivering big news, so there might be an initial surprise in their reaction – that is okay. Do not be rattled. Do your best to remain calm and remember that this person cares about you and wants what is best for you.
Depending on your relationship with the father of the baby, you may want to invite him to attend your appointment. Our clinic has trained staff that can talk with father to discuss his role in supporting you through this process.
If the father is abusive, on drugs, or makes you feel unsafe in any way, we strongly encourage you to seek help. Come and see us so we can provide resources for you.
Learn More About Your Options
When facing an unplanned pregnancy, you might have difficulty thinking clearly as you try to make decisions. You have many options to consider before ultimately making your decision, so it is best to take your time to weigh each one. Our clinic has a researched-based decision-making tool that will help you evaluate all of your options and assess how they might impact your unique situation.
We’ll help you research all your options, including:
This involves carrying the child to term and giving birth. Consider if you have the necessary support in place. Are you in a position to financially support this child? Who can help you? Are you mentally ready?
This involves giving birth and then placing your child into the care of another family permanently. There are multiple adoption options. To decide which is best for you, think about if you would like to contact your child after the adoption or prefer to hold onto a sense of anonymity.
This involves taking medication or undergoing a medical procedure that will end your pregnancy. This option comes with its share of risks, so you will want to ensure that you are fully informed before making your final decision.
Remember that You Are Not Alone
As stressful and overwhelming as this situation can feel at times, keep in mind that you do not have to go through it alone. It is perfectly okay and even recommended that you seek and receive help as you go on this journey. Establishing and leaning on a solid support system is essential for maintaining your physical and emotional well-being.
In addition to talking to friends and family, you can also lean on the staff at First Care Clinic to answer questions and discuss your concerns. Learning from others and receiving their support is an essential part of your journey. We are here for you. Contact us and we will do whatever we can to provide you with the best possible help.