Guest Contributor

What To Do About an Unplanned Pregnancy

By | Dawn Castell

Surprise pregnancies are actually quite common in America. In fact, nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.

Still, while surprise pregnancies occur frequently, they can be stressful experiences. This is especially true for mothers who may not have support from the father of the child.

Panicking, however, can make the situation worse. If you have an unplanned pregnancy, you should remain calm as you decide what to do next. You have three possible options. You can keep the baby, put the child up for adoption or have an abortion.

You do not have that much time to make a decision. If you choose adoption, you should find a suitable family ahead well before your due date so you are not left scrambling. Abortions, meanwhile, are safer if they take place early in the pregnancy.

How To Decide

The first step is researching these three options. You need to have as much knowledge as possible so that you can make an informed decision. Check out adoption agencies in your area. You should also find out what local resources are available for single mothers.  Make sure that you also know understand the abortion laws in your state.

Your doctor should have plenty of information for you. He or she should be familiar with the types of abortions and the regulations in your area. Your physician could also recommend pregnancy counselors or books to assist you with your decision.

Talking to a person you trust can also be helpful. If you have a close relationship with the baby’s father, you can start with him. Otherwise, try asking a friend or family member for advice. You may also want to converse with your rabbi or minister, especially if you are considering abortion.

How To Handle the Situation Psychologically

While other people can and should help you decide what to do about your pregnancy, the decision is ultimately yours. Understanding how to deal with the unplanned pregnancy psychologically should help you choose the best path forward.

There are several ways to do this. Start by being honest about your own gut feelings. Consider writing down your various emotions about the situation, particularly those that trigger a physical response. After a few days, go back and look at what you have written. It is possible that what you were feeling earlier in the week seems less important as time passes.

Visualization is another valuable tool. Picture yourself in your home or local cafe with a baby in your arms. How you feel during this visualization should help you make a decision.

Ultimately, you need to trust your gut. You also can’t be afraid to face the fears or self-doubts you have about  the pregnancy. If you still feel overwhelmed, a psychologist or counselor can help you work through your feelings.

How To Keep the Baby Healthy

As you decide what to do about your pregnancy, you cannot forget about the health of your baby. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, and don’t drink alcohol. Instead, make water your beverage of choice. It will help boost your energy throughout the day.

If you smoke or take drugs, you should quit immediately to protect your child. Be sure to maintain a healthy diet, as well. Avoid unpasteurized foods or raw meat, as they could harm the fetus. Mercury can be dangerous, as well, so stay away from swordfish or tuna.

Cat feces can also lead to a dangerous infection. You should thus limit how often you change your pet’s litter. 

Finally, consider taking prenatal vitamins early in your pregnancy. Folic acid, in particular, reduces the risk of the baby developing spine and brain defects.

An unplanned pregnancy is a stressful situation for everybody involved.  Ultimately, you should trust your instincts but also seek advice from trusted friends, relatives and mentors. In the meantime, make sure to take care of yourself so the baby remains healthy. 


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