Despite the availability of various contraceptive options, in some Western countries most pregnancies are unplanned.
There can be a time when a woman is caught off guard about the growth of a life within her. When the reality can leave her in a confused state of mind. Besides an unplanned pregnancy can cause a number of feelings such as anxiety and stress.
The impending pregnancy can be overwhelming, but there are some ways to help you cope.
- The first step on your to-do list after discovering you are pregnant is to visit a doctor. He/she will be in a better position to inform you all about what are the issues involved with a pregnancy. Use this change as an opportunity to improve your health. Habits such as alcohol, smoking, and drugs will affect your baby’s growth and should all be stopped. Any medication, prescription or not, should be cleared by your doctor before being taken.
- Share the news with someone once you find out you’re pregnant. This can be the father-to-be, your family and friends or a medical professional. There are also counseling services you can visit. You don’t need to go through all these emotions by yourself. Remember that it’s OK to be angry, sad or confused. It’s better to release these emotions than to keep them inside. Abstract from the book “Profile of Mood States and Parental Attitudes in Motherhood: Comparing Women with Planned and Unplanned Pregnancies” clearly show that, Women with unplanned pregnancies demonstrated a significantly more disturbed mood, both in pregnancy and in the first year after the birth. However, at approximately 2 years after childbirth there was no difference between the two groups of women in their rejection of the maternal role, and repressive and punitive maternal attitudes. Consider recording your thoughts and feelings in a journal to help you define this miraculous (and despite all else, the process of bearing a child is nothing short of that) chapter in your life. Try to deal with issues as they arise to gain a sense of control over this experience—it may not have been planned, but everything you do to deal with it from this point forward can be.
- Decide what you plan to do with this unplanned pregnancy. There are three options: you choose to be a parent, you terminate the pregnancy or you plan to have the baby adopted. Ultimately it’s your decision, but it’s vital that you’re informed about each option.
- Execute your decision. Whatever you decide, it needs to be what you want, not what someone else wants you to do. Whatever option you’ve chosen, know that you should feel a different array of emotions and expect a variety of comments from those around you. This is perfectly normal. Women who go through planned pregnancy have more or less similar issues to handle, so don’t panic.
- Plan things Accordingly: Being an expectant mom will change most aspects of your lifestyle. Planning now for the long-term is essential, and changing your perspective to accommodate positive results is vital. Take the time to consider what changes you can make to be a mother while still aiming for other life goals. For example, you may be able to change your work schedule from full-time to part-time, or your employer may be open to your telecommuting once your baby is born. A parent, partner, or friend may be able to help with childcare and lend a hand when you need to rest or take a break after baby is born.
- Educate Yourself: Take out time to make a list of everything you are unsure of or would like to learn more about. There are websites ranging from providing simple information to in-depth online classes. Being as informed as possible will give you the confidence to enjoy your pregnancy and to look forward to the challenge of being a parent.
Pregnancy is not the end of your life; it’s the miraculous beginning of another’s.