It happened, you’re pregnant. Although unexpected, it may not be unwanted, yet the surprise of it all has left you unprepared for everything that comes with being pregnant. How does a woman prepare herself for a pregnancy that was not intended? When an unexpected pregnancy arises the emotional adjustment can be just as difficult as the physical.
As with any major adjustment in life, you will need time to emotionally and mentally accept the changes that are about to happen. It is most important at this stage to be patient and allow yourself time to come to terms with your new reality. If you find yourself unexpectedly expecting, following the tips below will help ease you into your new reality as an expectant mother.
15 Don’t Panic
While sitting on the toilet peeing on a stick is rarely the best moment of a woman’s life, the three minutes that follow could quite possibly be some of the worst. Of course your natural reaction to an unplanned pregnancy will be shock, but it is important that you remain calm. No matter your situation in life, financial or otherwise, you always have options. Don’t panic!
14 Verify Your Results
Chances are that you took a pregnancy test because you missed your period, which can happen for a number of reasons. Some pregnancy tests are not sensitive enough to diagnose pregnancy in women with a recently missed period.
Although uncommon, pregnancy tests can be misleading. Make an appointment with your doctor to verify your pregnancy before you go any further.
13 Take A Time-Out
Finding out that you are unintentionally pregnant is probably the biggest shock that you will ever encounter. Countless emotions will run through your head in a single moment. You may want to simultaneously laugh and cry. It is important to take a time-out to gather yourself at this point.
A couple of minutes of deep breathing can do wonders to center yourself before attempting to figure out how you want to deal with your newfound surprise.
12 Feel Your Emotions
Looking at a positive reading on a pregnancy test is a scary experience, especially if you weren’t trying to become pregnant. You may be happy, sad, angry or confused.
Experiencing any combination of emotions is totally normal and you need to allow yourself to feel everything. Don’t be afraid of negative emotions you may be having, as it is common with unintended pregnancies.
11 Choose Positivity
Once you have had some time to marinate in the myriad of emotions you are feeling, you should choose to move forward with a positive attitude. You are pregnant and since you can’t go back in time and become un-pregnant, you might as well deal with your new reality in a positive manner.
Thinking negatively is neither beneficial for you nor your future baby. Regardless of what becoming pregnant will mean for your future, it is important to choose an outlook that harnesses positive energy.
10 Get Support
Once you have verified that you are pregnant and have had some time to cry, happy dance or sit in silence absorbing the news, you should reach out for support. Since telling your significant other can be a daunting task, consider reaching out to a friend or family member first.
Make sure you carefully choose the person you want to tell first, since their reaction could have a significant impact on your vulnerable state of mind. Pick someone who you know will have a positive and supportive reaction. When you do decide to tell your partner, knowing that you have support from someone else will be a huge help.
9 Tell Your Partner
The prospect of telling your partner can vary greatly depending on the situation you are in when you become pregnant. Telling a long-term boyfriend that you are pregnant will differ greatly from telling a one-night stand.
However, both situations will result in shock and the potential for a poor response. You need to prepare yourself for any reaction they may have, in order to protect your emotional and mental well-being.
8 Weigh Your Options
Just because your pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to become a parent; you have options. You can choose to terminate the pregnancy, put the baby up for adoption or raise the baby yourself. Your doctor will likely inform you of the available options during your appointment to verify your pregnancy.
Each of these choices is a huge decision, possibly the biggest you will make in your life. Although you want to ensure that your decision is what you want, you should include your partner or someone you love in this process, for support.
7 Consider Counseling
If you are having trouble making a decision or you and your partner disagree on how you want to handle your pregnancy, you may want to seek professional help. It can be really helpful to have an unbiased counselor involved in the conversation between you and your partner.
Having a third party involved can allow you and your partner to understand each other’s point of view and communicate your feelings in a more effective manner. If you are coping with your unplanned pregnancy on your own, it can be even more beneficial to talk to a professional for support and guidance.
6 Review Your Finances
Inadequate finances are a major concern for unexpectedly pregnant women or couples. Although it is necessary to review your finances prior to having a baby, don’t allow it to overtake your mind. You have your entire pregnancy to figure out ways that you can make or save money.
It isn’t necessary to figure everything out at once. The most important thing is making a decision about your pregnancy and taking care of yourself. Your financials are obviously important, but can be dealt with once you have overcome the initial shock of your pregnancy and dealt with your emotions.
5 Call A Mom
No one knows more about being pregnant and becoming a mom than a mom. Call your mom (or a mom you know) and ask about her pregnancy and first few years as a mother. You may be surprised how open and honest she will be, the less sugar coating the better.
The saying “mother knows best” exists for a reason; she has walked in your shoes and knows firsthand what you will be going through. Soak up her knowledge and consider her advice one of your greatest assets during your pregnancy.
4 Decide What To Do
Once you have weighed your options you will need to make a decision about your pregnancy. You will want to consider a number of factors when deciding if having a baby is realistic for your current situation. It is important to think about your relationship status, living situation and financial health at this juncture.
Not only do you need to ensure that you have practical, everyday factors in place, but you should ensure you have emotional support as well. Make a list of the people that you know you can rely on throughout your pregnancy and create a support system around that.
3 Prenatal Care
Prenatal care is very important once you have determined that you will either have the baby or put it up for adoption. You will need to stop drinking alcohol and avoid certain foods. Prenatal vitamins are also essential for optimal health.
Proper prenatal care can significantly lower your risks of developing pregnancy complications such as preterm birth, anemia, preeclampsia, etc. Talk to your doctor to create a prenatal plan and become educated about things to avoid during pregnancy.
2 Take Time For Reflection
Once you have told your partner, your parents and your friends, make sure that you take time for yourself. With all of the excitement from telling others, you will be running on a lot of adrenaline. Make sure that you take time to yourself to reflect on everything that has happened and to verify that the decision you have made has been true to your desires.
At the end of the day, it is your body and your life. Your pregnancy and new baby will affect your life more than anyone else’s. Despite how excited your parents or friends may be for a new baby, you are the one that needs to be happy about it. Take a quiet night for reflection early on in your pregnancy to ensure that everything that has happened and is about to happen is what you truly want in your heart.
1 Be Kind To Yourself
Regardless of the situation you are in when you become pregnant, don’t beat yourself up for your mishap. Unplanned pregnancies account for up to fifty percent of pregnancies in America. You aren’t the first woman to unintentionally become pregnant and you won’t be the last. Rather than berating yourself, embrace this new chapter in your life.
As with all challenges in life, you will learn a lot about yourself and what you are capable of overcoming. Be kind to yourself and embrace your new journey, it could turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to you!