Finding out you are pregnant can bring a huge range of emotions and questions. Women who have been trying for a baby will be overjoyed and ready to move to the next stage of their pregnancy — but that’s not always the case for everyone. If you’re reading this article, you may wonder what to do if you accidentally get pregnant.
So, what are the first steps when finding out that you’re pregnant unexpectedly?
If you are pregnant and not sure what to do, the very first step is always to take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Whether you are excited, unsure or even upset about your unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to have a clear head before you move forward with a decision that will affect the rest of your life.
Every woman’s situation is different, and what is best for you will always be your choice alone. However, find a few suggestions of what to do if you’re pregnant below.
Confirm Your Pregnancy.
One of the first steps to take after finding out you’re pregnant is to ensure that your pregnancy results are correct. Most likely, you will have discovered your unplanned pregnancy through a home pregnancy test, which can have varying degrees of accuracy based on how advanced your pregnancy is. Most professionals will advise that you wait a week after a missed period to use an at-home pregnancy test, as that is the time when the results will be the most accurate.
If your pregnancy results still come back positive a week after you miss your period, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit with a physician for an official confirmation of your pregnancy. A physician will be able to detect whether you are truly pregnant or are receiving a false positive from a chemical imbalance or an early miscarriage.
You might wonder where to go when you find out you’re pregnant. Consider your local OBGYN or a medical professional at Planned Parenthood for a lower-cost, medical pregnancy test.
Understand Your Options.
Once you have confidently confirmed your unplanned pregnancy, what to do next can be overwhelming. How do you choose the path that’s best for you?
First, know that there are three unplanned pregnancy options available to you. You can choose to terminate your pregnancy, place your child for adoption or raise your child yourself. Which option you choose will be completely up to you; only you can make the decision that’s best for your personal situation.
If you are thinking, “I’m pregnant — what to do?” start your decision-making process by seeking out unplanned pregnancy help, resources and advice.
Decide What’s Right for You.
What to do if you accidentally get pregnant is not always an easy choice to make — and that’s okay. There are a lot of factors that go into this life-changing decision.
Accurate, objective information is important in choosing an unplanned pregnancy path. You should consider what your personal goals are at this point in your life, what you can financially afford and what your true feelings are today. In addition to seeking out professional unplanned pregnancy advice, consider speaking to trusted friends and family members about your thoughts and situation. Perhaps even seek out an unplanned pregnancy support group.
Take all the time you need to decide on an unplanned pregnancy option. Ultimately, this choice is one that only you can make.
If You Decide to Parent…
Parenting is a big responsibility, but it’s also a joyful, rewarding journey. If you decide to raise your child, you should start making preparations for your new role.
First, find a local obstetrician to provide prenatal care during your pregnancy. This care is instrumental in ensuring that you and your baby remain healthy through the rest of your pregnancy. Once you have found a doctor, you can start gathering a support team to help you through this journey — your baby’s father, your friends and family, and more. Enlist their help in creating a to-do list before the baby comes, including gathering baby supplies, locating any assistance programs you may need and setting up childcare for when you return to work.
If You Decide to Have an Abortion…
Terminating a pregnancy is a time-sensitive unplanned pregnancy option. If you choose this path for your pregnancy, the next steps will need to move quickly.
Once you have determined that it is legal for you to obtain an abortion in your state, find a trusted, objective abortion clinic. Some pro-life advocates may disguise their services to persuade you away from your decision, so find a trusted friend or family member who can accompany you on any appointments and support you through this emotional journey.
Planned Parenthood is always a good resource to start with, whether you want to learn more about abortion or are ready to schedule your appointment.
If You Decide to Pursue Adoption…
If you wish to place your child for adoption, know that you can choose this path at any time during your pregnancy. Adoption professionals and counselors will welcome you no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy.
There are a few important steps after finding out you’re pregnant and choosing adoption — the most critical being contacting an adoption professional. This professional will be able to explain the adoption process awaiting you, help you find an adoptive family for your baby and provide financial assistance for your pregnancy expenses.
Even if you are unsure of what to do with your unplanned pregnancy, consider reaching out to an options counselor at an adoption agency or clinic for objective, confidential advice on the next steps to take after finding out you’re pregnant.