How to move forward after an unplanned pregnancy

Unintended pregnancy. Picture: iStock

An unplanned pregnancy can come as a big shock to those that were not planning for it.

Not every woman smiles and is happy when they do a pregnancy test and discover that there is a bun in the oven. A positive pregnancy test leaves some women reeling, blindsided, shocked and frankly, not at all happy to find out that despite their best intentions and precautions, they’re having an unplanned pregnancy.

The stats

It’s estimated that just over half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned.  Of those, about 20% are flat out unwanted and the other 31% are just a matter of bad timing.  About 40% of these unwanted pregnancies (not including those that miscarry) end in abortion.  The other 60% ends in birth.  That’s a whole lot of unexpected children.

Also Read: South African women are well within their rights to terminate unwanted pregnancies

Unplanned pregnancy can happen to anyone

The Guttmacher Institute has interesting demographics related to unintended pregnancies.  They indicate that a large number of unplanned pregnancies happen to poor women, uneducated women, young women and women who lack medical insurance and healthcare access.

Unexpectedly expecting

Evaluate your options, ask for support and go with your gut. If you know without a doubt that this pregnancy is not one you can continue, well then, know that you’re not alone. Millions of women all over the world throughout history have stood where you’re standing. Do your research on termination and ask your doctor what options are available that are safe, respectful and affordable. If you decide you’re going to continue your pregnancy, know that you too are not alone.

Knowledge is key

Whatever you decide, it is a decision that cannot be undone. It is something that will affect you for the rest of your life as well as your family. Deciding what to do with an unwanted pregnancy should not be taken lightly or rushed. You need approach professionals and discuss all the options available. Go to your GP/local hospital and discuss what abortion is and what the procedure entails. Visit adoption agencies as well to hear what your options are. Once you have all the information you need, can make an informed decision.

Ask for help

If you begin feeling depressed, helpless, and hopeless and don’t seem to care anymore, then it is important to tell someone and not to withdraw. You are not alone, and there are many people out there who can help you.

Moving forward

You’ll absolutely face challenges you hadn’t anticipated but you’ll also identify personal resources you didn’t know you had. That’s the thing about mothers – they find a way, no matter what. No matter how you feel about your unplanned pregnancy at the very beginning, odds are you’ll adjust in time and before you know it, you’ll look forward to your upcoming surprise package.

Eventually, you’ll realise that your unplanned baby is a gift you never would have given yourself if your life had stuck with the plan. It’s going to be okay.

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