The Accidental Mother: How to Deal With an Unplanned Pregnancy
A positive pregnancy test can be cause for joyous celebration. But when a pregnancy is unintended, a wide range of emotions, other than total bliss, can come into play. Disbelief, regret, fear, anger, resentment, embarrassment and even panic are not uncommon emotions in an unplanned pregnancy. And while experiencing any number of these emotions is normal when the news first hits, the challenge is to not let them go unchecked.
Many women faced with a surprise pregnancy feel that they are alone in their anxieties. But the reality is that nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States each year are unintended. This means that millions of accidental mothers have already gone through the process of coming to terms with going full-term.
If a positive pregnancy test has left you, a friend, or a family member feeling overwhelmed, confused, and uncertain of what the future might hold, take heart and read on. You’ll find that there are a number of things you can do to help make your pregnancy a positive and fulfilling experience. You’ll also probably be relieved to know that there are abortion alternatives
that will leave you perfectly capable of carrying forward with a happy, and productive life at the end of your pregnancy. Please consider the following tips.
Don’t linger in denial
When a life-changing event like unexpected pregnancy occurs, many people, especially those facing the hard reality of becoming teen parents, lapse into a state of denial. It’s a natural reaction. But lingering in denial is unproductive. The fact is that you are pregnant, and the sooner you accept that reality the better off you and your baby will be. That’s because a pregnancy comes with immediate needs that should be addressed quickly and not put off.
The best thing you can do after a positive home pregnancy test is to visit a healthcare provider. Getting a confirmation that you are pregnant from a physician or other qualified practitioner will help you to move quickly from denial to acceptance. Plus, a physician can offer sound advice on what you need to do now to make sure that you and your baby stay healthy during your pregnancy. If you smoke or drink alcohol you should discontinue those habits immediately if possible. And if you are currently taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications, you’ll need to consult with a doctor or pharmacist to make sure that it’s safe to continue taking them during your pregnancy.
Choosing a caregiver to assist you during your pregnancy and delivery, such as a physician, Obstetrician, or a midwife is another important decision that should not be put off. The key is to find a caregiver that you trust and are comfortable with, as this will make it easier for you to follow their advice regarding the health of both you and your baby. A good caregiver will help you to leave feelings of denial far behind and help you to recognize that you are responsible and must be proactive to insure that you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
Deal with how you feel
Once you fully accept that you are in fact going to have a baby, you need to deal with any and all of the emotions you may be feeling. This means being open and honest about your feelings with yourself and those you trust, such as your partner, a close friend, and family members. Depending on your circumstances, a counselor could also be of benefit. Dealing with how you feel means reminding yourself that the emotions you are going through are all a part of a natural process and that you are providing yourself the well-deserved opportunity to work through them. If you are experiencing feelings of guilt it is especially critical to remind yourself that chronic guilt has no place in a healthy pregnancy.
While you are being forthcoming about how you are feeling at the early stage of your pregnancy, you should write those feelings down in a pregnancy journal or diary. Along with providing a therapeutic outlet, a journal will also help you to chronicle your pregnancy—a major and miraculous journey into motherhood.
Do a “perspective makeover”
Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy is a life-changing event. And a life-changing event calls for a change in perspective. Face it. Every aspect of life requires concessions. If you were pursuing a career or an education before you got pregnant, those pursuits called for compromises in other areas of your life. Now that you are pregnant, new concessions need to be made. Aspects of your life that were at the forefront before that little plastic “pee stick” came up positive may need to be reevaluated or even put on the back burner for awhile.
If you are in school you may be able to change your study schedule from full to part-time, or even take courses online. If you are working full-time your employer should be willing to make some concessions such as balancing your workload better or even allowing you to work from home as your due date approaches.
Being accepting of changes and recognizing that being a pregnant isn’t the end of hopes and dreams—but the beginning of a new life for your baby and a new chapter in your life—will help to make your pregnancy a positive experience.
Develop a solid support system
An unintended pregnancy can make a woman feel vulnerable to the judgments and criticisms of others. Unfortunately, the fear of embarrassment and possible humiliation could lead to a retreat from those who could offer love and support.
What you are going for here is a source of strength, advice, and unconditional love. And you know best who the loving and understanding people that believe in you are. It’s critical to seek them out and make them part of a solid support system that will be there for you during your pregnancy and beyond.
Don’t be surprised if the support you seek doesn’t come overnight. Remember that your unplanned pregnancy was a shock to you. So don’t be surprised if those closest to you go through some of the same emotions you did when you break the big news. Have patience and they will come around. Especially when they see how you have taken ownership of your situation and the consequences that may follow.
A close friend or your mom will usually come around quickly and offer love and support. But if that is not the case you will need to look elsewhere to find someone that you trust and feel comfortable with. Local community centers, clinics, hospitals and universities all offer programs that can provide you with needed support. When offers of assistance come you need to openly accept them and not shut others out from being a part of what will be a challenging but ultimately wonderful time in your life.
Perhaps your situation just isn’t conducive to becoming a mother for life. If this is the case you need to realize that within you is a wonderful gift—a gift that can make an infertile couple’s dreams of having a child and being a family become a joyous reality. According to U.S. estimates, for every baby put up for adoption there are 36 couples waiting in line. That means that millions of couples who long to raise a child anxiously wait each day for that wonderful opportunity to come their way—an opportunity that you, as a birth mother, could grant.
If you worry that giving a child up for adoption is just a way for you to defer your own anguish onto your child sometime down the road, there are many reassurances you can take to heart. You may not be aware, but newborn and infant adoption statistics provided in a recent survey by the U.S. Department of Health show that 99 percent of children ages 5 and older know that they were adopted. Better still, 90 percent of those children were reported to have positive feelings about their adoption. Even more reassuring for potential birth mothers is the fact that today 100 percent of all birth mothers have the right to choose which parent candidates their child will go to. They also have the right to choose the amount of openness there will be in the adoptive relationship.
Giving your child up for adoption isn’t the end. It’s the beginning of a wonderful lifelong relationship between you, as the birth mother, your child, and loving and caring adoptive parents. To learn more about whether or not your unplanned pregnancy might make you want to consider adoption, please contact us at our toll-free number, 877-74-ANGEL