Of all the challenges that you face in your lifetime, an unplanned pregnancy often comes high on the list. The ordeal of an unintended pregnancy does not stop at just nine months. You will most likely give birth to that child and raise him/ her. Planning for pregnancy and having a child is a major life decision and is done with a lot of forethought. In cases where this decision is taken out of your hand, dealing with an unplanned pregnancy is a struggle, needing delicate and careful handling.
Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy might be problematic for both you and your partner, considering it will change the dynamics of your relationship as well. If you are not in a stable relationship with your partner, this will probably hamper individual freedom and lifestyle. The financial and logistical changes that accommodating a baby in your household brings may also be a cause for concern. Whether you stay with your partner or become a single mother, there are some common factors to an accidental pregnancy that you will experience.
Reasons for the unintended pregnancy
Before going forward with all the aspects of what happens after you get to know of your accidental pregnancy, take a look at why it happened in the first place. You may feel that all precautions were taken to prevent pregnancy, so here is a list of possible reasons for your unplanned pregnancy.
- You may have missed the birth control pill.
- Condoms can sometimes break and therefore, do not have a 100% guarantee of preventing pregnancy.
- If you had been using the natural methods of pregnancy prevention, there might be chances that you missed out the window for safe sex and instead utilized the fertile period.
- It might be a teenage pregnancy when you are not fully aware of the safe sex practices and all the contraceptive methods available to you.
- There are chances that you or your partner’s family planning methods (vasectomy or tubectomy) have not been done correctly, leading to this unexpected pregnancy.
- If you had not made sure that your contraception had not expired before that date, rendering it less effective.
Expect and accept many emotions
Big and unexpected news like an unplanned pregnancy can often shock couples and you can expect the feeling to be even more intense for you as compared to your partner. Accept this feeling of shock and anticipate the many emotions you will feel when this shock subsides. Your range of feelings can be very diverse, including disbelief, denial, regret, frustration, resignation to joy, thrill and even hope. These and many other such feelings will define at least the first trimester of your pregnancy.
What you need to be concerned about is how these emotions will trigger actual physiological reactions in your body. Pregnancy is a time for hormones and change, thus dealing with this mixed bag of emotions also affects your health on a deeper level. Once it is confirmed via a home pregnancy test and in your doctor’s appointments, make sure that you follow through with regular check-ups to have a healthy pregnancy.
Make informed choices
One of the first plans of action, when you are wondering about unplanned pregnancy options, is to educate yourself. While the news may come as a big shock, you should let the information sink in and then get information. Do not make any decisions in haste; having a level head is necessary in times like these. Therefore, take time to understand your situation, talk with your partner and think through all the options before taking any steps forward.
Your sources of information can be books, the internet, your doctor and the people around you. Allow family and friends to help you out when needed, along with seeking guidance from more experienced people. If you know someone else who has had an accidental pregnancy, get to know their experience as well. Looking for unplanned pregnancy options should also involve professional counselling that can help you currently and in the longer run.
Adjust your vision of life
Everyone has a specific idea or image for how their life might look like in the future; you make goals and work towards them and try to get as close to that vision as is possible. However, dealing with an unplanned pregnancy throws a twist in these ideals, one that changes your world view quite suddenly. In this time of change, you must reassess and sort out your priorities to deal with this as healthily as possible.
As a woman, pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood are big things to think about and even more meaningful in your journey of womanhood. Since the gravity of the situation is such, facing your fear of the unintended pregnancy takes the foreground. It is not a perfect situation, but it is something you can deal with once you gather your courage. One great way to do so is visualizing this different life that you will now lead. Try to picture yourself in a home or life with this coming new baby and see how you feel about it, how your routine will change, how you will take care of them and all the other things your life will look like with a baby inside it.
Despite all the unexpected and sometimes unwanted turns that your life will take because of this pregnancy, you are not alone in this. In fact, you will be surprised to find that almost 50% of pregnancies in India are unplanned. It is possible that you were an unplanned baby too! Ask your own mother for guidance, along with all the other help that you seek out. What you need right now is more caution and responsible decisions so that this experience can be a pleasant going forward. Whatever you choose to do with the unplanned pregnancy options in front of you, what matters is that you take it in the right stride and with continued well being!
FAQs about dealing with an Unplanned Pregnancy
Q1. When does an accidental pregnancy become a concern?
Ans. There are many cases where an unplanned pregnancy is a cause for worry and can be problematic, some of them are mentioned below:
- If you are underage or not above the age of 18 years.
- When your partner is not willing to take responsibility, or you are single.
- In the case of financial problems that make you unable to take on this responsibility.
- When you are emotionally not ready for a baby in your life.
- It is also a problem when you get to know about it very late and are unable to get an abortion if you wanted.
- Having any chronic health issues that will cause pregnancy complications, congenital disabilities, be inherited by your child or risk your life.
Q2. Where can I get help about unplanned pregnancy options?
Ans. Once you get over the shock of this news, there are specific people you should consult and certain steps that are suggested for you. Here are these recommendations:
- Get in touch with a gynaecologist and get started with the first trimester tests, along with the prenatal care that you require.
- Lean on your partner and family members for strength in this challenging time.
- Take care of your mental health and seek out counsellors to adjust with this change more quickly.
- If you are planning to abort or want to give up your child for adoption after delivering, discuss this with your partner, doctor and any legal counsel required.