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The do’s and don’ts of an unplanned pregnancy

You just found out you’re pregnant, and it’s a big surprise. For some, this can mean great joy and happiness, and for others — not so much. An unplanned can definitely be scary for both men and women, but don’t let the nerves and anxiety take over. Take a minute and let it sink in. Here are some do’s and don’ts when you’re faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

For women

Although half of all pregnancies are unplanned, many women feel happy and excited at the news of life growing within. A child is a miracle and often brings new hope and joy to the parents. Unfortunately some women don’t look at an unplanned pregnancy as a gift. These women often are unmarried, financially unprepared and worry if they would be able to handle a baby while working or attending school. For some, a child can be a set back in a career they hope to achieve promotions in a certain time frame. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you through this.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t make a decision on impulse.
  • Don’t assume you will be alone.
  • Don’t assume your only option is abortion.
  • Don’t pretend you’re happy if you’re not.
  • Don’t hold back you’re feelings either way.
  • Don’t assume people will think bad of you.
  • Don’t assume you can’t continue school and/or work.

 

Do’s:

  • Do consider all choices. (i.e. Adoption, abortion, parenting)
  • Do know there is help for single mothers.
  • Do make an appointment with a health professional.
  • Do tell the father.
  • Do get a sonogram.
  • Do make arrangements to see a counselor.
  • Do put your health and the child’s health priority.

Make sure you fully understand the impact of the decision you make. Don’t do something you may regret at a later time. If you decide to keep the baby, remember you are not the only woman that has had an unplanned pregnancy. Look for support groups in your community or online. Having someone to talk to and discuss your options/situation can be very helpful.

For men

Your partner has just told you that she’s pregnant, and life as you know it has just changed. Surprised, scared, happy, upset? You may be dealing with a lot of emotions right now, so you should know that your feelings are perfectly normal. The first thing you have to do is stay calm. You always want to stay calm, controlled and supportive, because she is looking to you for help and guidance. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you through this.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t Bail on her. The more you run from this, the harder it becomes to think and act clearly.
  • Don’t pile the blame on her, or accuse her of getting pregnant on purpose. “I thought you were on the pill!”, “How could you let this happen”
  • Don’t assume- that she wants to be pregnant and carry to term ot that she wants to abort the pregnancy, or that she is not considering adoption.
  • Don’t assume abortion is the “easy way out.”
  • Don’t pretend you’re happy if you’re not.

 

Do’s:

  • Stay calm and listen. She needs your support now more than ever.  She may be carrying the baby, but you are both going to be parents, and regardless of your relationship in the future, that baby needs you too.
  • Have an open honest discussion if you’re both ready to be parents (i.e. Emotionally , financially , career wise , etc)
  • Do make her health your top priority – get her vitamins, folic acid and maternal milk. Take her someplace to see a health professional and encourage her to get a sonogram.
  • Do talk openly and honestly about all the options: parenting, abortion, and adoption.
  • Do help and stay involved if she does decide to go ahead with the pregnancy.
  • Do discuss what your plans are if you and your spouse decide to keep the baby.

You should be able to express your opinions but you should never force her into a decision. This child belongs to both of you and the decision should be discussed and decided on together. Forcing her into an unwanted choice is not the mature thing to do. Take responsibility for your part too. Don’t put all the stress on her shoulders.