Unplanned pregnancies are common. About half the pregnancies in developed countries are unplanned, although exact figures are not available. It is not surprising that any woman will feel overwhelmed by the news. Some women take it as a blessing and welcome it, although they have not planned it. Getting pregnant and having a baby is a life-changing experience. But some women may not welcome it, as they are physically and emotionally not prepared for it.
If you are really surprised with an unplanned pregnancy, you may be confused and may not know what to do next. You may go through a whole range of following feelings and emotions:
- Feel angry as to why this happened to you.
- Feel ashamed if your pregnancy is a result of a rape.
- Feel confused and panicky about whether you are ready for this.
- Feel guilty because you are not really sure if you want this.
- Feel sad that you are going to miss your finishing school or career.
- Worry if you can afford this pregnancy and raising a baby.
- Worry whether your partner wants this baby.
Options For Women With Unplanned Pregnancy
Your worries and emotional feelings are normal. But you have to come to terms with your pregnancy and get prepared for the arrival of your baby.
The following steps will help you move forward:
- Make a doctor's appointment to confirm your pregnancy. Discuss your health and other issues that could affect your pregnancy. Find out what you can do to take care of yourself and your unborn baby.
- Request your doctor to recommend a counselor who you can talk to about your situation.
- Start taking care of yourself right away. Take 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) folic acid every day.
- Stop alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. Ask your doctor for help to quit these habits if you are unable to quit on your own.
- Seek support from family, friends, partner, or someone you trust and respect.