The news of an unplanned pregnancy can bring with it feelings of shock, anxiety, and above all, confusion. You probably have more questions than you can keep track of right now – but you are not the first one to be in this position, and your questions have answers.
Here, you can find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about unplanned pregnancy.
Questions About Pregnancy
I think I might be pregnant – what do I do?
If you have not confirmed your pregnancy with a doctor, do so immediately. Your doctor will let you know how far your pregnancy has progressed and what you need to do next.
When should I begin prenatal care?
Prenatal care should begin as soon as you have confirmed you are pregnant. Medical attention is crucial to your baby’s health as well as your own, especially during the first trimester. Your doctor will let you know what measures you will need to take and when you need to make appointments.
What can I expect during pregnancy?
Pregnancy has a number of physical and emotional effects on a woman. During your pregnancy, you can expect some of the following symptoms:
- Headaches or backaches
- Swollen feet
- Dizziness or fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
What are the risks of pregnancy?
There are a variety of medical complications that can occur during a pregnancy. While many of these are treatable, it is important that you know the symptoms so that you can seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Who can help me make a decision about an unplanned pregnancy?
As you consider your options, you can contact a pregnancy helpline, a women’s health clinic, an adoption agency, or even your own counselor. Look for professionals in your area that can take you through your multiple options.
What are my unplanned pregnancy options?
When facing a pregnancy, you can parent your baby, place the baby for adoption, or terminate the pregnancy.
Questions About Abortion
How does abortion work?
An abortion can be obtained through either a pill or a surgical intervention. The type of abortion you have will depend on the stage of your pregnancy and your own preferences, and a healthcare provider can help you determine what is best for you. For more information, visit our types of abortion page.
What are the risks of abortion?
In general, abortion is a safe procedure and will not affect your ability to get pregnant in the future. The most common side effects of an abortion include:
- Spotting or light bleeding
- Nausea or vomiting
If you are experiencing severe effects such as heavy bleeding or extreme pain, contact your doctor immediately.
When is it too late to have an abortion?
If you are considering abortion, the latest you can have the procedure is 16 weeks into a pregnancy.
If I’m under 18, do I have to have my parents’ permission to make a decision?
In many states, you must have the consent of one or both parents before obtaining an abortion. From a legal standpoint, you do not need the consent of your parents to raise your baby or place him or her for adoption.
Questions About Parenting
How much does it cost to raise a child?
Recent studies have shown that it costs around $245,000 to raise a child from birth to 18 years. This includes costs such as housing, education, clothing, food, and more.
Am I in the right position to raise a child?
Successful families comes in many shapes and sizes – it depends on what you think is best for you. If you are a single or teen mother, you may face different challenges than a married couple who already has children. Only you can decide if you are ready and able to raise your baby.
How do I prepare for the baby to arrive?
Over the course of your pregnancy, you can take childbirth and parenting classes. Many of them are available at the hospitals where you may end up having your baby.
Questions About Adoption
How does adoption work?
If you decide on adoption, you will place your baby with adoptive parents, who will receive full parental rights.
Do I get to choose the adoptive family?
Yes – it is completely up to you to decide who will raise your baby. Additionally, all adoptive parents must complete a thorough screening process, ensuring that your baby will be in a safe and loving home.
How will my child feel if I choose adoption?
Because most of today’s adoptions are open or semi-open, your child will not grow up with the same questions adoptees in the past had. Most adopted children today know about their birth mothers from the very beginning, allowing them to fully understand their adoption story.
What kind of financial assistance is available to me?
You have a variety of options for financial assistance depending on your location and the professionals you are working with. For more information, see our financial resources page.
Other Common Questions About Unplanned Pregnancy
I can’t stay in my current home. Where can I go?
Maternity homes are safe places for pregnant women who do not have a stable place to live during their pregnancy. Usually, these homes will provide you with shelter, counseling, and other assistance at no cost to you.
How do I talk to my family?
Telling your family, especially your parents, is nerve-wracking to say the least. When you talk to your family about your unplanned pregnancy, let them know how much their support means to you. They may be shocked at the news, so give them time to react and process the information.
If you are worried that your family will react negatively or be unsupportive, you can find a counselor to help you give them the news.
Do I have to tell the baby’s father?
It is usually recommended to talk to the baby’s father, as it will make your next steps less complicated. If you are in a position where it is impossible or unsafe to tell the father, contact a pregnancy center and learn how to move forward without him.