Pregnancy is a major change to anyone’s life, but especially if it was unexpected.
Learning about an unplanned pregnancy can send anyone into a state of fear, stress, anxiety – or joy. Depending on your current situation, bringing a child into your world can seem like a pleasant surprise or completely impossible. Both feelings are valid and are not mutually exclusive.
No matter how you’re feeling, you might be wondering about ways to help you properly deal with this sudden change.
Here are a few tips to help you on this journey.
1. Confirm your pregnancy with a doctor
First things first, to truly settle any questions you should check with a doctor. They will be able to tell you for certain and help you come to terms with the news.
2. Accept the shock and your feelings
This sudden change will undoubtedly leave you feeling quite shocked. Coming to terms with the surprise will help you to start understanding your emotions. Being paralysed by shock is natural for a few days, but do your best to accept and face it. Sadness, fear, and uncertainty can control you, so be honest with yourself. Experience the rollercoaster of emotions and take time to yourself to address the ups and downs.
3. Find your support network
A strong support system is the ultimate aid in any distressing change. Reach out to your trusted friends or family members or find a doctor or counsellor you trust to speak about your feelings and how the news has impacted you. They will be an ear to listen to while offering some compassion and comfort.
4. Learn about your options
No choice is right or wrong. Every woman’s experience with pregnancy is individual and what you choose to do is completely up to you. Speak to a professional who can advise you of your options and then take time to consider what is right for you.
Keep in mind that societal and cultural constructs impact your view of pregnancy and that there is truly no ‘traditional’ family anymore. Get the accurate information you need to come to the decision on your own, uninfluenced by others.
5. Picture what your life will look like
Take a notebook and try to jot down what your life will be like with this new child in it, or close your eyes and visualise it. Envision your future and add a baby to the mix. How does that make you feel? What does your life look like? Be sincere with yourself and use a practical lens.
6. Listen to your gut
Once you have listed your options and faced the realities of them, sit with yourself and your gut feeling. Your immediate intuition isn’t always 100% right, but it’s important you acknowledge it as it can help you find some clarity.
7. Speak to a counsellor
If you want some professional guidance, a counsellor can be a great person to speak to about your experience, without the fear of personal judgement or bias.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy is a major moment in anyone’s life. The countless questions and concerns you have are all normal but ultimately, the most important thing is to listen to yourself. No choice is wrong and you’ll come to the right one for you. Always remember you are not alone and there is support out there, whatever you decide.