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Facing An Unplanned Pregnancy

If you are facing an unexpected second or third pregnancy, you will also have to think about your other children. Should you tell them about your pregnancy? What will you say?

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How Do I Talk to My Other Children About My Unplanned Pregnancy?

Anyone experiencing an unplanned pregnancy will have many thoughts and questions about how to make the right choice for them — but if you are facing an unexpected second or third pregnancy, you will also have to think about your other children. Should you tell them about your pregnancy? What will you say?

Your children can benefit greatly from open and honest conversation about your situation, whether it’s an unwanted second pregnancy, unplanned third pregnancy or even an unplanned fourth pregnancy. Remember, your choice will affect their lives, as well.

This page will provide you with advice for talking about your unplanned pregnancy and options when you already have kids — and to determine how to move forward from here.

Talking Over Time

The news of your pregnancy will affect your children, but exactly how will depend on their age, maturity level and your own feelings about the pregnancy. Children are more perceptive than we give them credit for; your own excitement (or lack of) about your unwanted second pregnancy or third pregnancy will shape their own feelings about this situation.

The conversation about your pregnancy is not a one-and-done. Your children will have questions about pregnancy that may take time to arise. You may find your initial announcement is accepted readily, only to be approached by your children weeks after wanting more details.

As you begin talking to your children about an unplanned second or third pregnancy that you are facing, consider the following:

How your conversation with your children will proceed will also depend on what option you are planning to pursue.

If You Are Considering Abortion

It is up to you to decide if you should talk to your children about abortion as the path for your unexpected second or third pregnancy. How you address this issue will depend on your personal values, your child’s age, and how much you feel comfortable sharing.

If you do decide to talk to your children about an abortion, make sure you first take the time to cope with any feelings of grief you may have. When you give the news to your children, you want to be ready and available to help them with whatever feelings they have. Answer their questions openly and honestly, but don’t give them more information than they can handle.

More and more women are talking with their children about abortion starting at a young age, which can help to decrease the stigma surrounding it. Additionally, beginning the conversation at a young age can help children understand the complex issues of family-building and family-planning.

If You Are Considering Adoption

I’m pregnant with my second child, and I don’t want it.

I’m pregnant with a second child and I’m not excited.

These are very normal thoughts for any mother facing an unplanned (or even planned) pregnancy to have. If these phrases have crossed your mind, you may consider placing your new baby for adoption.

When thinking about adoption, it’s easy to imagine the stereotype of the teenage mother — but the truth is that many birth mothers are older and have other children. Here are some of the things you might want to consider when talking about adoption:

If you choose adoption as a path for your unexpected second or third pregnancy, understand what kind of open adoption communication you are comfortable with. Many times, giving your children the chance to say goodbye to their sibling or get to know their sibling as they grow up can make the separation and grief of the process easier.

If You Are Considering Parenting

An unplanned second pregnancy (or third or fourth pregnancy) doesn’t always mean it is an unwanted second pregnancy. You may decide that, despite the inconvenience of the timing, you want to raise this child, too.

Once you find out that your children are going to have a brother or sister, it is time to start preparing for the new addition to the family. Here are some of the ways you can help your kids adjust, and know what to expect yourself:

As you prepare for the new baby to arrive, it is equally important that you help your children prepare for the changes to come from this unexpected second, third or fourth pregnancy.

Resources for Children

There are many books and other materials for younger children who are learning about pregnancy. Below, you will find some suggestions for resources to share with your children:

If you are still unsure about talking to your children about an unplanned pregnancy or which path to take moving forward, consider reaching out to trusted family members and friends or an unplanned pregnancy counselor for support.