Understanding The Emotional Stages of An Unintended Pregnancy

Many would wonder why anyone who is facing a pregnancy decision waits so long to seek help. The truth is, along with an unintended pregnancy comes a great deal of denial. Being faced with a decision like that takes a lot of layers of truth to peel off. Getting your mind around facing the truth can be harder than it seems when you are in shock over a sudden life change of any kind. 

Women who are facing an unintended pregnancy by definition are not expecting to be pregnant. Biology aside, pregnancy is the last thing these women were hoping came about. Even when someone drives drunk, they are not expecting to be pulled over by the police or to get into an accident. It is something that happens whether they wanted it to or not. You could call it the consequences of an action, but it is just the outcome of a set of circumstances. 

The cause of action is not a punishment, especially in the case of unintended pregnancy. It is simply the result of a decision. But getting one’s mind around that reality when the result of a decision is a positive pregnancy test is another thing altogether. 

The Denial Stages Of An Unintended Pregnancy Look A Lot Like Grief

The first stage of grief is disbelief. Panic sets in when a woman realizes there may be a pregnancy to deal with. The mind is sent reeling over the possibility. Scenarios start building in the mind. She starts second-guessing everything, obsessing over details that could have contributed to this possibility. This can’t be happening. 


The second stage comes anger. How could this have happened? Why did this happen to me? Blame is assigned to the situation readily. To the woman facing an unintended pregnancy, it is easier to get angry, rather than wallow in self-defeat. The mere fact that life has come to this situation is maddening and distracting. 


The third stage, which usually comes quickly, and sometimes along with the denial stage, is bargaining. As they say, there are no atheists in foxholes. There are seldom atheists in this situation also. Prayers for this unintended pregnancy to be just a scare go up readily. Maybe she won’t have to deal with this reality at all. Perhaps, even if she is pregnant, something will happen. Do women facing an unintended pregnancy sometimes pray or hope for miscarriage? Of course, they do. 


The fourth stage and the most evident of all of them is depression. Getting one’s mind around the reality of unintended pregnancy, once you’ve been spent on the denial and anger, comes depression. This is the worst of all and the most dangerous. The depression comes with knowing you have to make a decision. Once one understands the choices, it can be hard to rally. It is at this stage that fear-based decisions are often made. People who are suffering from depression are desperate for relief. It is in this vein that abortion becomes so attractive. What most women in this stage of dealing with an unintended pregnancy don’t realize is compounded depression comes with abortion. It isn’t the cure for unintended pregnancy-related depression, it is a catalyst. 

Accepting An Unintended Pregnancy Is Where Help Begins 

With acceptance comes action. Once a woman with an unintended pregnancy comes to the final stage, she is ready to own the situation and take action. 

Accepting an unintended pregnancy is where the rubber meets the road. Acceptance requires admitting the facts and owning one’s role in the situation. When a woman accepts her pregnancy, she can more clearly make decisions. 

It is the goal of a pregnancy resource center to help a woman facing an unintended pregnancy through the final stage of acceptance. There isn’t much to be done until a woman in this situation is at this stage of unintended pregnancy. That is why pregnancy counseling and ultrasounds are so vital to helping women choose life for their unborn children. Counseling and ultrasounds help women with an unintended pregnancy come to terms with their situation and help with sound decision-making on how to handle it. 

Many women choose life for their unborn children when they understand that there are support and resources to help them make this life-changing decision. Pregnancy counselors are there to assist women in realizing that help is there

For many women facing an unintended pregnancy, it looks like life is over. Their dreams feel shattered. Pregnancy counselors help these women see the possibilities for their goals and their dreams, still. 

Helping Women Find Hope In Life-changing Decisions

What if hope in an unintended pregnancy was just a phone call away? Perhaps the one person you need to talk to is waiting for your call at your local pregnancy center. Being faced with an unintended pregnancy can feel soul-crushing. It does not have to be. If you want to talk to someone about your unintended pregnancy, contact us today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your options.