Unplanned Pregnancy by Age
What to Do About an Unplanned Pregnancy in Your 30s
An unplanned pregnancy in your 30s can be overwhelming — but there are steps you can take. Learn more about your unplanned pregnancy options and find questions to ask yourself about those options here.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy in your 30s is no joke. You’ve got a lot on your mind right now, and knowing what to do next can seem impossible.
We understand exactly what you’re feeling, which is why this guide is here to help. Below, read more about all of your options for an unplanned pregnancy in your 30s and the resources available to you right now.
Remember: Whatever you decide to do with your unplanned pregnancy, the decision is yours and yours alone. We hope this information can empower you to make the best choice for your circumstances, whatever that may be.
Your Options for an Unplanned Pregnancy in Your 30s
In general, there are three options for unplanned pregnancy. However, you’ll need to evaluate your personal circumstances to see which path is best for you.
This is a serious decision; take your time and speak to experts before you make this life-changing choice.
When most women discover an unplanned pregnancy at 30 or later, they first consider parenting their child. After all, this decade is the age in which most women grow their families. You might have the financial stability and emotional maturity to accept this new stage in your life.
If parenting seems right for you, contact your OBGYN as soon as possible to protect your and your baby’s health.
When you place a child for adoption, you are in charge of every decision. You get to choose the family that your child lives with, as well as the amount of contact you wish to have with them before and after placement. An adoption professional will guide you through every step, and you will always have the right to change your mind up until signing your adoption consent.
If you think adoption is a solution for your unplanned pregnancy in your 30s, reach out to one of these agencies:
Not all women who face an unplanned pregnancy in their 30s want to carry that pregnancy to term. Perhaps you’ve already had children and are done being pregnant, or you’re worried about the risks that an unplanned pregnancy in your late 30s will bring to your health. Maybe you simply don’t want to be pregnant at all.
These are all valid reasons to consider terminating your pregnancy. Speak with an abortion provider as soon as possible to confirm your eligibility and prepare for this medical procedure.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy in 30s
Every woman’s situation is different, but most people facing an unplanned pregnancy in their 30s will have a few key circumstances to consider. Before deciding what to do with your surprise pregnancy, ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I financially stable enough to raise a child?
Parenting is expensive. Recent studies estimate that parents will spend at least $230,000 over 18 years of raising their child. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate your financial situation before deciding to parent. Can you support yourself and your child not only now but also in the years to come?
If you can’t, you might consider abortion or adoption. While abortion saves you from the costs of pregnancy and parenting, the procedure can still cost hundreds of dollars, especially if it’s not covered by your insurance. Adoption, on the other hand, is the only completely free unplanned pregnancy option. When you place a child with another family, all of your pregnancy- and adoption-related expenses will be covered, and you can even receive financial assistance for living expenses.
2. Do I have a good support system?
Single parenting is possible, but it can be extremely difficult. If you’re considering parenting, think about the family and friends in your life. Can you depend on them to provide childcare and other assistance when you need it? What about the baby’s father; will he be involved?
And, if you decide to choose adoption or abortion, will your loved ones be there by your side throughout?
Whatever unplanned pregnancy option you choose, make sure you only include loved ones who will support your personal decision.
3. Am I raising other children already?
If you’re like many women facing an unplanned pregnancy in their 30s, you are already a parent to at least one child. Many American women who have children for the first time do so in their late 20s.
If you’re in this situation, you know what it takes to raise a child successfully — dedication, sacrifice and, of course, financial stability. Are you ready to add another child to your family and all those responsibilities to your plate?
If you’re not sure, you might consider adoption or abortion. Rest assured that you’re not alone; the majority of women who choose to place their children for adoption are already caring for older children.
4. Do I want to parent — or even carry a pregnancy to term — at this time?
Just because you are facing an unplanned pregnancy in your early or late 30s doesn’t mean you have to become a parent. Yes, many American women use this decade of life to build and finish their families — but you should never raise a child because you feel pressured to or feel like you’re “supposed” to.
Be honest with yourself. Do you want to become a parent or have another child? Do you even want to go through nine months of pregnancy and all the associated challenges? If not, respect your personal desires and explore your other unplanned pregnancy options.
Unplanned Pregnancy in 30s: A Year-by-Year Guide
We can’t tell you what to do with your unplanned pregnancy in your 30s. We can, however, provide some information and topics to think about as you make this decision. If you haven’t already, consider speaking with an unplanned pregnancy counselor or trusted loved one for advice.
In the meantime, here are a few things to consider about your unplanned pregnancy in your 30s, year by year:
Unplanned Pregnancy at 30 Years Old
Many women plan to get pregnant at some point in their 30s — but just as many women find themselves ringing in their new decade of life with an unplanned pregnancy at 30.
If you’re in this situation, know that you’re not alone. It may not be how you imagined this year of your life, but you can decide just how much this pregnancy will affect your decade to come. If you want to parent, congrats! If you don’t, adoption and abortion allow you to move forward with your 30s focusing on the goals you have for yourself.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 31 Years Old
For as many people that have children in their early 30s, you may still see 31 years old as a young age to start your family. And you’re justified in thinking that! At 31, you may still have personal goals — career advancement, marriage, travel and more — that are a bigger focus than having children.
There is no singular age by which you “have” to start a family or have a child. You’re the one who has to live your life — so abide by your own timetable.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 32 Years Old
It can be hard to face an unplanned pregnancy at 32. Odds are many of your peers are starting their families after years of preparation, and it can feel strange to be the one left out. You may view your unplanned pregnancy in two separate ways — as a motivator to finally start your family or as another setback on your way to your personal goals.
Don’t let your peers and loved ones dictate what you do with your life. Think hard about all of your unplanned pregnancy options before deciding what’s right for you.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 33 Years Old
In the U.S., the average age of marriage is 28 for women. So, if you’re 33, you may already be married or in a serious relationship. An unplanned pregnancy can certainly throw a wrench in that relationship.
If you have a spouse or partner, it’s important to include them in conversations about your unplanned pregnancy. Presenting a united front can make you feel more secure in your decision. If you decide to parent together, it will be a new life adventure! On the other hand, if you choose adoption or abortion, your spouse can be there to support you emotionally and practically.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 34 Years Old
A surprise pregnancy at 34 can be a good or bad thing, depending on your situation — and on your desires to have children.
As you get ready to close out your early 30s, you may decide that now is the time to take that leap into parenthood you’ve been dreaming of. But, if you’re not ready yet, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Both adoption and abortion are valid unplanned pregnancy options, but only you can decide which one is best for you.
Don’t forget that an unplanned pregnancy or adoption counselor can always help.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 35 Years Old
An unexpected pregnancy at 35 will certainly make you reevaluate your position in life. Perhaps you already have children and didn’t plan on another. Maybe you had always dreamed of starting a family but aren’t quite there yet. The middle of this decade can seem like the perfect chance to make a life-changing decision — but what will it be?
Think hard about how you’ll proceed with this unwanted pregnancy at 35. You are the only one who can make this decision, so ask yourself the questions listed above and take your time.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 36 Years Old
When you have an unplanned pregnancy over 35, you probably have a lot of worries. One of the main ones? Your age.
While every woman’s situation is unique, pregnancy does become riskier the older a woman is. When you have an unexpected pregnancy at 36, you’re firmly in what’s called the “advanced maternal pregnancy” stage (as defined by doctors). There are plenty of women who safely give birth after an unexpected pregnancy in their late 30s, but it’s important that you be in constant contact with your doctor to keep yourself and your baby as healthy as possible.
Unexpected Pregnancy at 37 Years Old
If you’re 37 and an unplanned pregnancy has upended your life, you’re not alone. Perhaps you completed your family earlier, or you assumed that your later age would make conceiving less likely. But, now that you’re in the situation of a surprise pregnancy at 37, you’ll need to decide what to do next.
Ask yourself: Do I want to have another child? Do I even want to be pregnant? Could adoption be right for me? Think hard about all of your options for an unplanned pregnancy at 37 before moving forward.
Unplanned Pregnancy for 38 Years Old
“I’m 38, pregnant and scared. What do I do?”
If you’re asking this question, take a deep breath. Remember that there is always help available to you.
Your first call should be to your doctor, who can evaluate your health and determine whether continuing with an unplanned pregnancy at 38 years old is a viable path. From there, depending on your preferences, you might speak with an abortion provider like Planned Parenthood, an adoption agency or even your friends and family for support. Help is out there, as long as you look and ask for it.
Unplanned Pregnancy at 39 Years Old
Any unplanned pregnancy in your late 30s is a surprise — but a surprise pregnancy at 39 can be more shocking than any other. Common knowledge tells us that conceiving that late in life is rare. But, you’re proof that it does happen, and you’re not alone.
Whether this is an unplanned first pregnancy at 39 or a pregnancy after already having children, you’ll need to evaluate your life and your goals at this point. Becoming a parent in your 40s is certainly not going to be easy, but it can be done. Likewise, you can always place a child for adoption or choose to terminate your pregnancy.
There is no “right” or “wrong” answer when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy in your 30s — just what’s right for you. Take your time to find the solution that’s best for your personal circumstances. With a little bit of research and preparation, you can turn this unexpected situation into a positive outcome.