Not all unplanned pregnancies are unwanted, but when a woman discovers she is pregnant, her life most probably will never be the same again, no matter what choice she makes. Every woman will consider the options available to her and decide on the one that’s right for her. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the sooner a pregnancy is confirmed, the sooner you can receive proper care and have more options available to you.
Deciding about an unplanned pregnancy is a deeply personal experience – it’s perfectly normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed, or even confused. The most important thing is that you’re not alone – there are plenty of resources available to help you make a choice.
You can also look up a local crisis pregnancy center, read forums or join support groups to meet people in a situation similar to yours. Continue reading to find out more about unplanned pregnancy resources.
What to Do First
The first thing to do in a situation like this is to confirm the pregnancy. You might be in doubt about it or not sure how far along you are, but you can check it with a home pregnancy test. If it’s positive, the next step is to confirm that you are definitely pregnant – there’s always a chance that the test is wrong.
Getting an ultrasound, if possible, would be a great option. The cost of the procedure averages around $200-300, but it may vary, depending on where you get your ultrasound, the cost of an ultrasound machine itself, and your insurance coverage. You should also visit your health care provider for a blood test. You’ll need to tell them how long you haven’t had a period and whether you have been sexually active recently.
The health care provider will also take a urine sample, which will confirm whether you are pregnant. They will also take your blood pressure, measure your weight and height to calculate your body mass index (BMI), and run some tests to check if you have any other conditions that might have contributed to the pregnancy.
If you have been sexually active recently (up to 120 hours) but had sex without protection, you can ask your health care provider for emergency contraception.
Choosing What’s Right For You
If you feel ready to move on and deal with the pregnancy, you need to weigh your options and decide what you want to do. There are plenty of unplanned pregnancy resources available, including support groups and forums, where women share their experiences with an unplanned pregnancy.
Here are some ways in which you can deal with an unplanned pregnancy:
Parents will need to decide how they will raise their children, whether they will continue with their education, where they will live, how they will pay for bills, etc. Not everyone is prepared enough for this level of commitment in their lives, even if they dream of becoming parents someday. Hence, it’s crucial to think about your plans for the future and aspirations and consider if there’s a possibility of involving a baby in them.
Adoption is also one of the choices when dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. By choosing it, you give up your parental rights to the child, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to see it grow up. For example, adoption options in the US include licensed agencies, private individuals, or foster care agencies.
Keep in mind that if you choose this path, you need to search for an adoptive family immediately, as the longer you wait to make arrangements, the harder it will be for both parties involved.
Abortion is legal in the US with certain restrictions, varying from one state to another. You can have an abortion done at a clinic or a medical facility if the pregnancy is less than 20 weeks along. After 20 weeks, abortion procedures can only be provided at a hospital.
The costs of abortion vary from state to state and depend on the type of abortion you get (pill or an in-clinic procedure), your health insurance, how far along your pregnancy is, and some other factors. Women who have an abortion have to wait a certain number of hours before going back home after the procedure has been done.
Unplanned Pregnancy Counseling
Sometimes, in order to make the right decision for yourself, you need some help. Unplanned pregnancy counselors will listen to you with no judgment and help you sort out all the confusing thoughts that might run through your head at any moment. You can talk to them about your fears or doubts that might make it hard for you to decide what to do next.
Some pregnancy counselors also provide psychological counseling so you can talk to them about the changes taking place in your life, what you feel is best for you, and how you think your life would look like if you decide to keep the baby or not.
Pregnancy Resource Centers
Sites like PlannedParenthood and All-Options provide lots of information that might help you decide what’s right for you. If you need someone to talk to and don’t or simply can’t want to turn to your friends or family, they also offer a free hotline.
Planned Parenthood is probably the most famous of all pregnancy resource sites. They provide lots of information on how to get help with an unplanned pregnancy and list all the available clinics in your area. You can choose whether you want to get medical care or just acquire counseling services.
All-Options is another very helpful site that provides information, articles, and even forums with other people who are in the same boat as you. The site offers lots of valuable information on options available when dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, like adoption, abortion, or parenting the child. They also list all the clinics in your area and provide contact details.
Unplanned pregnancy resources can help you make the right decision about your future, but they are not there to tell you what you should do about it. The article above provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone.
Think about your feelings regarding parenthood, adoption, abortion, and everything else that comes with an unplanned pregnancy. If you need someone to talk to, there are plenty of options available to express your feelings and get support from people who have been in a situation similar to yours, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help.