An unplanned pregnancy is the last thing you ever expected to happen to you. You were just thinking about your dreams and goals for the future, and then all of sudden, your life has completely turned upside down.
Although the news may have sunk in, you’re probably still not sure how to react or how to deal with the stress of an unplanned pregnancy. It’s going to be jarring to pull yourself out of the future you envisioned and the present you now find yourself in.
What you decide to do next is completely up to you. You are the only one who can decide which unplanned pregnancy option is best for you. But before you can consider yourself ready to plan for your future, you need to come to terms with your new reality.
How to Cope with an Unplanned Pregnancy
Here are four tips for accepting an unplanned pregnancy and moving forward.
Step 1: Take Care of Yourself
Before you start worrying about handling an unexpected pregnancy, the first thing you should do is confirm with your doctor that you’re absolutely, 100% pregnant. After that, it’s time to start getting ready for the days ahead and making your unplanned pregnancy decision.
It’s a good idea to schedule your first prenatal visit, as well. Even if you eventually decide to terminate your pregnancy, taking care of your health is one of the best methods for coping with an unexpected pregnancy. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, regularly exercise, watch what you eat and take prenatal supplements.
Step 2: Accept Your Feelings
Many women ask, “How do women feel with an unexpected pregnancy? The truth is that every woman is different. There are women who experience severe depression about their unexpected pregnancy, and there are others who can find the joy in an unplanned pregnancy.
You’re not going to know what to think until you’re in that moment, looking down at a pregnancy test. But no matter how you’re feeling, there will be a big adjustment period before you make your decision for your unplanned pregnancy.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s OK to really feel the shock of an unexpected pregnancy. You might feel like you’re waking up after a long dream or like this is an out-of-body experience that isn’t really happening to you. So, let it all out, and give yourself a chance to truly feel afraid, disappointed, scared or angry.
You don’t have to force yourself to be OK with an unexpected pregnancy if you’re not. And you don’t have to look up ways on how to get excited about an unexpected pregnancy, if that’s the last thing you want to think about. Getting over an unexpected pregnancy is something that may not really happen, but over time, you will find easier ways to deal with unwanted pregnancy emotions.
Step 3: Ask for Help from Loved Ones
At some point, you may start to feel like you’re not coping with an unplanned pregnancy as well as you hoped. The best way to start emotionally dealing with an unwanted pregnancy is to seek support from those around you. Even if you feel like you’re alone, you can pull strength from your loved ones as you get ready for the days, weeks, and months ahead.
A great place to start is by reaching out to your family and close friends that you trust. They only want the best for you, and they can also be great people to lean on when things get tough. If you have a pretty good relationship with the baby’s father, you might decide to approach the subject with him. A supportive father will make a world of difference and is one of the best ways to cope with the shock of an unexpected pregnancy.
If you decide to tell your friends and family, you should be aware that some people will be unsupportive. You’ll have to get used to handling unwanted pregnancy advice as you look for support. Don’t be afraid to create some space if you’re feeling pressured into an unplanned pregnancy decision that you don’t want. This is going to be an extremely stressful time, and the only people you should be surrounding yourself with are those who you know will love and support you.
Dealing with the stigma of an unplanned pregnancy will be one of the hardest parts of your journey. If you’d rather not tell certain people, at least for a while, you really don’t have to. Who you decide to add to your support team is entirely up to you. Just know that, no matter what anyone else says, this is your decision to make. Their support would be nice, but it’s not necessary to make the decision you need to be happy.
Step 4: Reach Out to a Professional
Your friends and family will be a great help, but it never hurts to talk to a professional for unplanned pregnancy advice. This could be a health care provider, your doctor or an unplanned pregnancy counselor.
Many adoption agencies also offer 24/7 hotlines, so you’re not restricted to a certain time frame if you’re looking for unplanned pregnancy help. No matter what kind of situation you’re in, they’re more than capable of explaining how to emotionally deal with an unplanned pregnancy. You’ll also receive information about all your unplanned pregnancy options for free — and with no pressure to choose a specific one.
If you’re in need of a professional or an unplanned pregnancy hotline, or you’re looking for support from other women who have been in your shoes, take a look at a few resources below: