Coping with an Unplanned Pregnancy

Unplanned Pregnancies: Strategies for Success

An unplanned pregnancy can be the source of considerable stress and worry for women who feel unprepared for both the financial and personal responsibilities of caring for a baby. This is especially true for women who may not be in a stable relationship or may have other children to consider in making a decision. Assigning blame is usually not helpful in coping with an unplanned pregnancy; the important thing is to consider the situation realistically and decide on the best course of action in a calm and rational way.

Options For Unplanned Pregnancies

For some couples, an unplanned pregnancy is a time of celebration and unexpected joy. This is especially true for married couples who may not have planned for another child, but are well-prepared and financially able to care for the new arrival. Other couples may not have the same level of security to offer a child; in these cases, other alternatives may be considered. Terminating the pregnancy is one option, especially in cases where the mother is very young or has serious medical issues that could make pregnancy dangerous or difficult. Other women may choose adoption, carrying the child to term and then giving it to another family to be loved and nurtured. Many women elect to keep the child even when it may present difficulties financially and personally; this can be especially difficult for women who are facing the prospect of pregnancy, delivery and child-rearing on their own.

Friends And Family

A supportive and loving network of family and friends can help make unplanned pregnancy less stressful for women. Simply having a friendly hand to hold or a designated helper during labor and delivery can make a significant difference in the overall psychological health of the expectant mother. Pregnancy is a time of mood swings and major physical changes even under the most favorable circumstances. For women without a committed partner, these physical and emotional changes can be overwhelming and discouraging.

Plan For Success

By educating themselves and making a plan for prenatal care, natural childbirth classes, delivery, and the baby’s arrival at home, many women can exert a measure of control over the process that can increase their comfort level throughout the pregnancy. Even if certain elements don’t go as originally planned, the structure provided by an overall plan for the pregnancy can provide reassurance and a sense of security for many women.

Help Is Available

Many local organizations offer help for expectant mothers. Free natural childbirth courses are often available through local hospitals, community colleges or universities. Additionally, many churches and charitable organizations provide help for expectant mothers in various forms including food, clothing, and layette items for the baby. Low-income women can often qualify for reduced cost housing during the pregnancy and after the baby is born; most states also provide food vouchers that can provide many of the basic needs of the new family.

An unplanned pregnancy can be frightening, but there are options available to women to help take some of the stress out of the situation. By considering all the factors carefully, women can make the decision that is right for them both now and in the long run.

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