So what's next?
Facing an unplanned pregnancy can make you feel anxious, overwhelmed and a little excited. An important thing to remember is that no matter what, you are not alone. Countless women deal with unplanned pregnancies in positive ways that show respect for themselves and reflect their inner strength every day.
Some important questions you may be asking yourself may include: Am I too young? Will my father or mother be supportive? How can I finish school? How can I keep my job I just started? To begin finding the answers to some of these questions, make sure you take your time and think through some of the options presented in the My Options section.
Just remember that you are in charge of your life. There are many resources available to help you find the support you need. You might also be amazed by the support of your parents and friends.
See a Professional
A medical professional should be seen immediately if the pregnancy test is positive. If you do not have a family doctor or obstetrician/gynecologist, then consult a Pregnancy Center. These centers often provide pregnancy tests and pelvic exams free or for a minimal charge. To find the pregnancy center nearest you, call Option Line at 1-800-712-4357.
This first visit to the doctor is the place to talk about your concerns and the development of the baby. A prenatal visit to a doctor is confidential. The doctor will usually take your family medical history, give you a pelvic examination, and take a pap smear, blood tests and urine samples. You may want to ask your doctor for more information on:
Emotional turmoil – It is normal to feel very emotional during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about relaxing techniques that might help you.
Use of medications – Ask your doctor about taking everything from aspirin to laxatives. It is important to your health and your baby’s development that your doctor know if you are using prescription and/or recreational drugs.
Alcohol and Drug Use – Continual use of alcohol or drugs during your pregnancy can be harmful to you and your baby. Drinking alcohol can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – a leading cause of mental retardation in infants and it can cause behavioral disorders in young children.
Smoking – First and second hand smoking can be harmful to you and your baby’s health. Smoking can prevent the baby’s normal growth rate or cause a miscarriage. Ask your doctor about finding help quitting or cutting back smoking during your pregnancy.
Exercise - Your health is more important than ever, discuss with your doctor what types of exercise are suitable for you to do during your pregnancy.
Sharing the news of your pregnancy
Fearing how others will react to the news of your pregnancy can be paralyzing, but there are some things that can help make breaking the news easier.
- Talking to a friend who is supportive is a great place to start.
- Review the material the “What to Expect Section” so that you are informed about what is happening inside your body. Knowing these facts will help make it easier to discuss with those who may not be supportive.
- Having someone present who isn't emotionally involved in the situation could help everyone remain calm.
- Approach your most sympathetic parent first, and then let them tell your other parent, or ask them to help you tell your other parent.
- Most parents are disappointed at first, but are supportive if they see you are accepting responsibility for yourself and your baby.
- Parents and friends want to help. Talk to them! But be patient with them.
- If you are uncomfortable talking to your parents, write them a letter. You might want to hand the letter to them in person, unless you think they might be abusive.
- If you fear your boyfriend will be abusive, tell him in the presence of other people, over the phone or in a letter.
- If you are working and need help on breaking the news to your boss this site will help you.