An unplanned pregnancy can be life-changing in more ways than one. Those who have them typically don’t have the resources or the physical or mental capacity to safely raise a child. Far too many young women fall victim to this, finding themselves abandoned or ostracized when they discover they have one.
It’s time society as a whole learns to practice compassion for such situations. It can start by showing women with unplanned pregnancies that progressively worse levels of trauma are not their only option.
This article is one of many resources taking a step in that direction. Regardless of your circumstances, here’s what you need to know about coping with an unplanned pregnancy.
5 ways to cope with an unplanned pregnancy
» Confirm the pregnancy
The situation implies you’ve been working on avoiding a pregnancy. You may experience panic when your period stalls or your body starts changing.
Many mothers have been through this. But you can only be sure you’re pregnant by visiting a health facility and getting tested for pregnancy. This step is vital since an expectant mother is required to abstain from certain things for their health and that of the fetus. For example, after confirming you’re pregnant, your doctor might ask you to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
Though many women turn to home pregnancy test kits to confirm if they’re expectant, getting one done at a women’s clinic offers clearer results. You’ll also get to discuss the way forward, including your options.
» Determine if the pregnancy is healthy
Your doctor will prescribe an ultrasound to check the fetus’s status and if it’s growing properly in the uterus. Such tests are necessary since some women experience risky pregnancies like ectopic ones. It occurs when a fertilized egg implants and develops outside the uterus. In most cases, it has to be removed as the child may not survive regardless. Also, it poses a major risk of internal bleeding for the mother.
Aside from that, the doctor will also recommend that you take steps to keep yourself healthy. Remember to follow their instructions as best as you can, including curbing habits like drinking alcohol.
» Ask questions
Feel free to get as much information as possible at the doctor’s clinic. Doctors are there to help and are always willing to listen to patients. Suppose there are things you don’t understand about pregnancy, especially if it’s your first time carrying a baby. In that case, you can have them walk you through expected changes and possible challenges.
You should also disclose if you’re on any medication and ask if you should stop or continue taking them.
If you aren’t willing to continue with your pregnancy, ask about your options and ensure you understand them well.
» Know which paths to take
Some women may have misgivings about raising a child because of their circumstances. It’s why you should take the time to discuss available options with your doctor and loved ones.
For those who plan to carry a child to term, there are two feasible paths you can take:
Parenting: Parenting is where the mother brings up their baby with the help of the father, loved ones, or both. While parenting might be best for the mother and baby, it’s challenging and requires great sacrifices.
Adoption: Adoption refers to giving another person the right to your child. This procedure is legal, and the mother might be limited in how much time she gets to spend with the baby after the process is finalized.
Weighing these options together with a counselor or another professional can go a long way in ensuring you make informed decisions.
» Get Support
While many consider pregnancies blessings, an unplanned pregnancy is naturally a cause of concern for the woman and her loved ones. After all, anyone who’s been a mother can tell how much you sacrifice to ensure the pregnancy is safe. After birth, the long work of raising a child well begins officially.
The thought of everything awaiting you might be draining, especially if you don’t have the much-needed help. That said, seeking support from family and the person responsible for the pregnancy is vital. If that’s challenging, you can always reach out to crisis pregnancy centers and support groups for unplanned pregnancies. With their encouragement, referrals to other helpful resources, and companionship, you’ll be amazed at how easy the journey could be.
You always have options
Babies are bundles of joy. However, they require attention and sacrifices to ensure they’re safe and grow healthy and happy. For this reason, many people use family planning methods to be more conscientious about when and how they raise a child.
Still, if you have an unplanned pregnancy, don’t despair. You can take steps to receive the support you need to navigate the situation. Never hesitate to contact professionals and learn about all your options.
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