Sometimes pregnancies are unplanned and unexpected, and if you don’t feel ‘ready’ for a baby it can be stressful. It’s important to know that you do have options and to know what they are. The Healthy Respect Team share their guidance on what to do next and what your options are.
Deciding What to Do
If you’ve taken a pregnancy test and got a positive result you will need to talk to someone to find out how many weeks pregnant you are. It is a good idea to start talking through your options as soon as you can with someone you trust and who can take your feelings into consideration. Deciding what to do about pregnancy is a difficult yet necessary step. It can be made more difficult if people close to you don’t feel the same about the pregnancy as you do.
If the pregnancy was unplanned you will probably be feeling a lot of different emotions. You may feel some of the following:
- Happiness that you were able to get pregnant
- Shock that you are actually pregnancy
- Worry that you aren't ready, or can't afford to have a baby
- Anger that you are pregnant and didn't choose to be
- Anxiety about what other people will think
- Excitement about such a big change in your life
- Concern that you might make the wrong decision
- Fear about the process of pregnancy and childbirth
While it’s important to make a decision about what to do as soon as you can, don’t rush into anything until you feel sure that you’ve looked into all of the options. You may not want to share this information with too many people until you have thought it through a little bit more.
If you find out you’re pregnant you have three options:
- Continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby.
- End the pregnancy. This is called an abortion or termination.
- Continue with the pregnancy and place the baby for adoption.
Continue With the Pregnancy and Keep the Baby
You may be very happy to be pregnant, and therefore want to continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby. There are different ways of being looked after during pregnancy and you will have an active say in how both you and your baby are cared for.
Looking after your health is very important during pregnancy, and you’ll be offered lots of advice and information about this. Visit Ready Steady Baby for more information about this.
If you are still at school and want to continue the pregnancy, there are services that can provide information to help you make the right choice for you and support you to continue your education.
End the Pregnancy
If you want to end the pregnancy you will need to make an appointment with your local sexual health clinic or your doctor. They’ll talk things through with you, tell you what to expect and arrange a referral. You can watch the video below that explains what will happen at the clinic, the methods of abortion, and how to get counselling after an abortion.
You can also find out more about abortion on the Healthy Respect website.
Continue With the Pregnancy and Place the Baby For Adoption
If discovering you're pregnant is not what you expected, you could decide to carry on with the pregnancy and place the baby for adoption once they are born.
If you decide that adoption is right for you and your baby, a social worker will spend some time with you to help you with your decision. The preparations for the adoption can begin before your child is born but nothing will be definitely arranged until after the birth so you will be completely free to change your mind. You might feel differently once the child is born and you might be ready to become a parent.
For more information you should discuss this with your midwife or doctor who will put you in touch with a social worker. Visit the British Association for Adoption and Fostering for more information.
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