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How do I Cope with an Unplanned Pregnancy?

By Lori Smith
Updated May 17, 2024
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The first reaction to an unplanned pregnancy is usually shock and disbelief. The best coping strategy for your own personal situation may depend on your current set of circumstances. Teenage girls, for example, usually have different concerns than executives in their 30s or 40s. During this trying time in your life, it is best to surround yourself with people who will offer emotional support while you develop a plan for how you will proceed with your unplanned pregnancy. If your partner, family members or friends are not able to fill a supportive role in your life, many support groups cater to women going through the same situation.

A woman's age, marital status or other factors may influence the amount of time it takes to get used to the idea of pregnancy and motherhood. Married women with supportive husbands, for example, will usually have an easier time adjusting to an unplanned pregnancy than teenage girls who are frightened about telling their parents. For some people, one of the most worrisome aspects of an unplanned pregnancy may be the fear of letting their partners or family members know.

While it may be tempting to keep this news to yourself, it is usually best to inform the baby's father as soon as possible. That way, he will have time to adjust as well. It will also preclude him from learning about it from someone else.

Once the initial shock begins to wane, you will need to start thinking about your options. If motherhood is not a decision with which you are comfortable, you may consider adoption or abortion. Either way, you will need a solid support system to help you through the whirlwind of emotions an unplanned pregnancy creates.

Regardless of how you will ultimately proceed, it may seem like the news is turning your life upside-down. Each woman who learns of an unplanned pregnancy will react differently. At first, some may be shocked by the results of a positive pregnancy test, but later revel in the idea of motherhood. Others may experience depression, anxiety, or even fear. You should consider all of your options carefully before making any hasty decisions based on initial emotions.

Pregnancy counseling is a great way to sort through a host of mixed emotions. It is ideal for young girls who are unsure about how they want to proceed with an unplanned pregnancy or for women who have limited means of income and financial support. Information and guidance is provided at counseling centers on a confidential basis. It can be an excellent source of support and assistance when it is needed the most.

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