Realizing you’re pregnant can create a lot of anxiety for any young woman, especially if it’s unplanned. So, first, take a breath, and calm your spirit. Believe me, you will get through this and come out on the other side as a stronger person. And you won’t have to do it alone.
At Sira in Gainesville, we’ve helped hundreds of young women deal with unplanned pregnancies. Below is some advice that we find applies in almost every case. If you would like to talk with one of our counselors one-on-one to get some advice firsthand, we invite you to contact us.
Make Sure the Pregnancy is Viable
Thinking you’re pregnant isn’t the same as knowing you’re pregnant. So, confirming the pregnancy with a medical pregnancy test is the first step. Even if you’re 100% sure you’re pregnant, for your own health, you need to know if the pregnancy is viable. So, get an ultrasound as early as possible. In addition to confirming the pregnancy, an ultrasound examination can alert the healthcare provider to any signs of an ectopic pregnancy, which could require immediate medical attention.
Don’t React in the Moment, Act with Intention
When you’re scared, anxiety hormones flood your system, triggering a “fight or flight” reaction. This can lead you to act without fully thinking through all your options. You may feel compelled to make choices you’ll later regret. Many young women find breathing exercises, prayer or even writing out a list of pros and cons is useful to calm themselves and get in a more intentional state of mind. Once you’re in the right headspace, you can start thinking rationally about what steps to take next.
Talk to a Pregnancy Counselor
Whether you just need someone to talk to, or you’re looking for someone to help you explore your pregnancy options, a pregnancy counselor is an excellent resource. Pregnancy counselors are trained, compassionate listeners who understand what’s involved with abortion, adoption and choosing to be a parent. Then, once you select the option that’s best for you and your baby, your pregnancy counselor can even connect you with community resources to help you along the way. In Gainesville, Sira offers free, confidential unplanned pregnancy counseling for any woman, with no insurance required.
Open Up to Those You Love and Trust
In trying times, we can all use a support system. Perhaps it’s your family, your baby’s father or your friends. Some young women understandably worry about the effect an unplanned pregnancy may have on these relationships. It’s important to carefully select who you open up to at this time, as you’re likely feeling pretty vulnerable. In most instances, however, the love and support you receive by opening up to the right people can make this heavy burden suddenly seem manageable.
Care for Your Body, Mind and Spirit
You’re no longer on your own. Every move you make, your baby is there with you. Everything you do to your body impacts your baby as well. Healthy choices and proper prenatal care should start from the moment you realize you’re pregnant. While taking care of your body, remember to care for your mind and spirit as well. This may be the most emotionally challenging time of your life. Recognize that and seek out counseling, spiritual support or other means to find peace and comfort.
While it may not always feel like it in the moment, an unplanned pregnancy can indeed be a blessing. You just need the right support, advice and resources to embrace it.