So, you just found out you are pregnant, and you were not expecting it. More than likely, you are feeling scared, alone, and completely overwhelmed in this moment. These feelings are normal. However, it is important to know that you are not alone, and that there are plenty of reasons to feel hopeful. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Today, women have many choices, and there are some great resources in which you may turn to for guidance and support.
As you begin to process the news of your pregnancy, you may be thinking: Now what? What should I do next? This article is designed to help guide you through your next steps as you navigate this surprise pregnancy and explore your options.
- Go to the Doctor
Before you do anything, take a deep breath and make an appointment with your OB-GYN or primary care physician. If you do not have a doctor, consider going to a nearby health clinic like Planned Parenthood. At-home pregnancy tests are convenient, but only a professional healthcare worker will be able to confirm the pregnancy and tell you whether or not you are really pregnant. It is also important to check in with a physician to determine how far along you are, start taking prenatal vitamins, what medications or precautions you may need to take, and how your pregnancy will affect your body and overall health. Just as every woman is different, every pregnancy is different and may pose different challenges or prenatal care conditions.
Your doctor will also be able to provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding diet and exercise practices during pregnancy. From seafood no-no to whether or not you may continue to work your physically demanding job, your doctor will be able to answer all of your healthcare questions. Your doctor may also point you in the direction of professionals who can talk to you about your various pregnancy options.
- Seek Support & Find Trustworthy Professionals
Once you have received the proper clinical care, it is time to take care of your emotional health. There are numerous support groups in which you may turn. As we mentioned before, many women face this exact situation. You are not alone, nor should you feel it. You can easily find a group of women who have experienced – or are currently facing – unplanned pregnancy. These women may have chosen to place their baby for adoption, are considering single-parenting, or are grieving loss via termination. For any situation you feel you belong, you will be able to find women who have walked in your shoes. You can also find compassionate counselors experienced in unplanned pregnancy support.
Seeking out expert, trustworthy professionals who can help explain all of your options is essential when facing an unplanned pregnancy. You deserve to know about all of your options, and to make an informed decision for yourself and your baby. While only you can make this important decision, a professional can help you understand the pros and cons of each option: adoption, termination, or parenting. Often, you can find these professionals at a caring adoption agency.
Meeting with an adoption agency does not mean you have to choose adoption. If you would like to learn about your options, contact an adoption agency with experience, compassion, and credibility. Do not hesitate to reach out to Adoptions With Love. We are a private, domestic, non-profit agency helping expectant/birth mothers nationwide. We will respect any choice that you make. An adoption agency at this level can offer you professional counseling, at no charge to you. If you choose to move forward with adoption, you may also receive financial support and help finding the perfect family for your baby.
- Explore Your Options
The next step in facing an unplanned pregnancy is to consider all of your options. Expectant mothers have three basic choices:
All of these options have their benefits and drawbacks, and must be weighed carefully. Remember, this is YOUR choice. Only you know what is best for your child.
With adoption, you have the power to hand-select the parents who will raise your child. You may meet with them before you give birth, get to know their family, and even stay in touch after birth. You can also determine the level of openness and communication with the adoptive family for years to come. If it is more comfortable, you may also leave these choices up to an adoption professional. This is your choice. Many birth mothers find peace of mind with adoption, knowing their child is growing up in a safe, stable, and loving family.
Parenthood is a natural choice for some women, but is not the best decision for everyone. Parenting a child – particularly when you are not ready – brings special challenges, such as financial strain and emotional exhaustion. However, it can also bring joy for those who wish to raise their child.
Expectant mothers who feel they cannot continue on with the pregnancy – due to health or emotional reasons – may consider termination. If you know you are not ready to parent, you can weigh your options (abortion or adoption) here.
No matter your age or financial situation, it is important to remember that you are in charge of this pregnancy. You have a say. In fact, you are the only one who can make this very important decision. Once you have found a strong support system and professionals in which to trust, you may begin making your decisions with confidence. You can also take the steps needed to stay healthy – emotionally, physically, and mentally – with professional support by your side. If you would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to contact Adoptions With Love at 800-722-7731.
And for even more helpful information about facing an unexpected pregnancy – and tips on what to do next – please download our free guide here: