Often women confide in a close friend first when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Even if you know your friend is sexually active, it can be shocking to hear she is pregnant. There is no one right way to react, but we have gathered some tips on how to best support a friend when she tells you she is unexpectedly pregnant.
She is likely already panicking and you don’t need to add to that. It is okay to show emotion and to be surprised, but try your best to maintain a stable tone and demeanor. By doing this, you can help her slow down and start to think more clearly.
Avoid Asking too Many Questions
She is already overwhelmed. At the beginning of your talk, try and avoid asking a lot of questions. You can easily fall into a situation that sounds more like an interrogation than a supportive conversation. You can ask questions, but allow her to guide the flow of the conversation. She will tell you what she is comfortable with and will dictate the pace of the conversation.
Use Active Listening
Active listening is a method of demonstrating attention and helping someone organize their thoughts. First, you should show her that she has your full attention. Make eye contact and face her directly. Allow her to talk without interruption. When appropriate, affirm her feelings, paraphrase what she has said back to her, and ask clarifying questions to help her sort through her thoughts.
Ask Her About Next Steps Before Offering Advice
After giving her the space to vent and confide in you, you might want to start giving her advice on what to do next. Resist the urge to start trying to find a solution for her. Ask her if she has thought about what she wants to do. This is a big decision, and it should be entirely her choice. You should not pressure her to do what you think is best because the decision is completely hers to make.
Encourage Her to Speak with a Professional
While you can be there to support her, she will need to speak with a professional. At First Care Clinic, it is our mission to serve women facing unplanned pregnancies. We offer free and confidential pregnancy services, such as pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. Our trained staff is ready to discuss all of the options for her pregnancy and can help her create a plan. If she is hesitant, you can offer to accompany her to the appointment to make her more comfortable.
We understand that an unplanned pregnancy affects all those involved. If you or a friend is facing an unplanned pregnancy, we are here to help. Make an appointment to meet with our staff today!