Bailey Z. 06/28/2017
When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, the whirlwind of emotions and worries about you and your baby’s future can feel overwhelming. The reality of your situation sinks in when you have to tell those closest to you that you’re pregnant. These conversations are critical–for you and for your loved ones–to help you go forward in the next steps of your pregnancy journey. We want to help you have the best conversations possible about your pregnancy, so here are some ways to start discussions with your loved ones.
Before talking about your pregnancy be sure to confirm it with a test as soon as possible. You can use a home pregnancy test from your local drug store, get a free test from a local pregnancy resource center (like ABC Women’s Center), or from an OB/GYN or other doctor. Whom you bring with you to take this step is up to you. You may feel comfortable going with a parent, friend, the baby’s father, or alone. For further confirmation and an accurate gestational date (age of your baby) you can schedule an ultrasound at your OBGYN or a free one with ABC Women’s Center.
For the people closest to you, we suggest having the conversation about your pregnancy in person. While texting and calling can feel like the least intimidating ways to talk, your life is changing in a major way and face to face conversations could be a better way to express your feelings. The first people in your life that you might want to talk to are the father of the baby and your parents (depending on your age and relationship status).
Telling the Baby’s Father
I know what you’re thinking: it’s so unfair that you have to carry all of the consequences of this unplanned pregnancy and he doesn’t. And it’s true that unplanned pregnancy–and all pregnancy, for that matter–affects the woman on a larger scale than the man. But just consider this: if you were not expecting this pregnancy, chances are your guy wasn’t either. Just as this may have been a shock to you, it may be a shock to him, and his first reaction may be negative. He may be scared, upset, anxious–just like you might have felt. Or, he may have a positive reaction, and be supportive of you. He helped in creating the child growing inside of you and his feelings are important. The way you two proceed depends on a joint decision made by both of you for the sake of your child.
In some situations men can get scared at the prospect of having a child to support and nurture, and pressure the mother to abort. Abortion coercion, or forcing a woman by pressuring or other use of manipulation to terminate her pregnancy, is illegal. That’s right: if your boyfriend/partner tells you that he will leave you, kick you out of the house, or threatens you in any way if you don’t get an abortion, that is a crime. The same applies to your parents.
Telling Your Parents
Your parents may be taken aback when you tell them that you’re pregnant. Depending on your circumstances, you may be totally dependent on or independent from your parents. Just keep in mind that no matter what, just like with the baby’s father, you have certain rights as a mother the moment you become pregnant, and no one can force you to make any decisions regarding your pregnancy–even if you live under your parents’ roof.
When you tell your parents–and any important people in your life–that you’re pregnant, make sure to give them space to react. They may express feelings of shock, fear, anger, disappointment, being overwhelmed–or they might not know how to react. No matter how they respond to the conversation, give them their space to do so, and try to stay calm while they do.
Your parents may ask you a lot of questions, and you may or may not have the answers they want: who is the father? How far along are you? How will you finish school? How will you support yourself? What were you thinking?! Instead of simply responding with an ‘I don’t know’ when you truly don’t know the answers to these questions, try and come up with solutions to answer them, together.
All of this advice applies to your friends as well: your friends may have a range of reactions to your pregnancy.
Telling Your Friends
Your friends may be shocked, happy, sad, confused, or a variety of other emotions when they learn that you are pregnant. One thing that is essential to remember is that your friends–just like your boyfriend and parents–cannot decide what is best for you and your baby. This can be difficult when you have the kind of relationships with your friends where you share so much about yourself and your life with them. You may want their advice–or you may not want their advice. Remember that you are going through this experience, and they are not. You may want to express to them that in this difficult time, you need their support more than you need their advice.
You will need support during and after your pregnancy journey–whatever you end up choosing. At ABC Women’s Center, we believe that no woman should ever have to face a pregnancy decision alone. Schedule an appointment with ABC Women’s Center today to speak with a staff member regarding your pregnancy options.