You’re pregnant … now what? An unplanned pregnancy is a massive, scary jolt. It’s okay to feel scared out of your mind, actually, it is completely normal.

You are not alone, and no, unplanned pregnancies don’t just happen to teenagers! Having an unplanned pregnancy doesn’t make you “stupid” or “irresponsible.”  Maybe you used protection or maybe it was a heat-of-the-moment thing. Truth is, although contraception choices are better now than they’ve ever been, women still conceive even when they have not planned to.

Having a baby is a life-changer whether it’s your first or another one in the sibling pecking order. In an ideal world, a woman who is surprised by an unplanned pregnancy is in good health, ready, and financially able to care for a child. But unfortunately, sometimes it’s not the case. You might be worried that the father may not welcome the news, or be concerned that a baby will keep you from pursuing your career goals. Maybe you feel as if you might not be financially able to care for a baby?

Okay, so first things first.  It’s important to switch your mindset from panic, shock, and worry to the next step. Make a doctor’s appointment to confirm your pregnancy and start taking care of yourself right away. Stop alcohol, tobacco and drug use. Seek support in someone you trust and respect, or ask your healthcare provider to recommend a counsellor.

It is important to take time to make the best decision for you. Explore your emotions and feelings as this will most likely assist you in your decision making regarding your pregnancy. Remember, experiencing “reasonable doubt” is absolutely normal. That being said, the decision about your unintended pregnancy should calmly be made by you, free from coercion and pressure from others.

What are your options?

  1. Parenting: Giving birth and raising the child. As stressful as it is to find yourself pregnant, the good news is that you have a few months to prepare and to save. If you choose to keep your baby, make sure that you have a strong support network.
  2. Adoption: If you’re thinking about adoption, you can choose to place your child for adoption at any point in your pregnancy. You may even want to start the process after the birth of your baby. Your timeline for adoption is entirely your choice and depends on your needs.

Each one of these choices has its own consequences, which makes the job of thinking rationally extra hard. Accurate information and support is important, but only you will know what is best for you.

Make sure that your decision is right for you, and not to please or conform to an ideal world.

Good luck!

Source: womanshealth.gov, moneyweb.co.za, huggies.com.au, americanadoptions.com, babble.com, mom.com, plannedparenthood.com, livingandloving.co.za

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.