When you first see that pregnancy test turn positive, it feels like you’re living someone else’s life. How can this be? It isn’t at all what you expected or even wanted out of life, at least not yet. Now is not the time to panic. Instead, follow these steps to help you decide what to do next with your unplanned pregnancy.
Speak to a Trusted Adult
Some girls have a great relationship with their parents and can tell them anything, but many others don’t. That’s okay, just find an adult you trust to give you great advice and help you break the news to your parent or guardian. This can be someone in your family like an aunt or grandparent, a friend’s mother, or even a teacher or guidance counselor at school. Whoever you decide to talk to, remember that you are in charge of what happens to your baby and that it’s okay to get more than one opinion on such an important matter.
Weigh Your Options
Your first instinct may be to seek out abortion as a way to seemingly erase the whole situation. Unfortunately, some women find that instead of relief, they feel regret after it’s over. Sometimes, it’s in the recovery room right after the procedure or years later when they’re finally ready to start a family. Instead, weigh all of your options such as placing your child for adoption or raising your baby yourself if your circumstances allow.
Take Your Time
Many people try to tell you that you have to make a decision right away. Unless it is emergency contraception, a medication that prevents the new life from implanting and carries serious side effects, you have time to think about it. Talk to your doctor to get all of the facts and find out the risks of any medical procedures you may be considering.
Seek Out Help
If you know you want to keep your baby, don’t let money worries get in the way. There are plenty of resources available to young mothers and their babies, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Government programs, churches, and even individuals in your community help mothers just like you with college tuition, free supplies like diapers and formula, or even just giving great advice on raising a newborn.
Plan for Your Future
Part of deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy is picturing what your future will be like. If you’ve decided to keep your baby, you may be told that becoming a mother means never going to college or getting a good job. The truth is that women just like you do it all the time. It isn’t always easy, but you can make your dreams happen while caring for your baby. Similarly, choosing open adoption where you and the adoptive parents agree to remain in contact means that you’ll be able to live your own life while still watching your child grow in a loving, supportive family.
You are in charge of what happens next for you and your baby. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s a path that aligns with your values and what you want for your child.