There is no doubt about it; an unexpected pregnancy is challenging. Navigating a relationship through it can add another layer of difficulty. But you are not alone. Nearly 50% of all pregnancies are unintended, so many other couples have also navigated an unexpected pregnancy together.
Here are four tips to navigate an unexpected pregnancy with your partner.
Keep your perspective.
An unexpected pregnancy is not the end of the world – although at first it may seem that way! You may discover that you are stronger and more resourceful than you ever imagined. It may strengthen your relationship, or it may reveal the weaknesses. Either way, it is a good thing.
Also, you did not become pregnant by yourself, so do not allow anyone to assign sole responsibility to you or heap shame onto you. An unexpected pregnancy takes two people.
Tell your partner you are pregnant.
Telling your partner you are pregnant makes it all feel real – and scary. Some women tell their partner when they suspect they might be unexpectedly pregnant, and some wait until after their pregnancy is confirmed. This is your personal decision and also depends on your relationship.
It is never a good idea to communicate life-changing news by phone or text. Talk with your partner face-to-face during a calm time when you have a chance to process the news together. Instead of saying, “I’m pregnant,” say, “We’re pregnant.” This verbiage is a reminder to your partner that he had an active role in your pregnancy.
Your safety is a top priority, so if you believe your partner will react angrily, tell him about the pregnancy in a public place or with a trusted friend.
Give one another space to process the news.
Your partner will probably express a combination of surprise and shock just as you may have felt when you discovered you were pregnant. Try not to take his initial reaction personally if it is not as supportive as you hoped. Give him space to think about what you have said. Then begin to discuss your options.
Research all your options with an experienced options counselor.
You may have an initial thought about how you want to proceed with your unexpected pregnancy. Still, it is crucial to thoroughly research your pregnancy options with an experienced options counselor before you make a decision.
- Parenting: Parenting is the choice to continue your pregnancy and raise your child. It is a decision that is separate from your relationship decision. There are many resources available to single parents.
- Adoption: If you are not ready to be a parent, but you are also not comfortable with abortion, adoption can be the right choice for you. As the birth parent, you choose if your adoption is open, closed, or a combination. You can also select the adoptive family to raise your child in a manner with which you are most comfortable.
- Abortion: Abortion ends the pregnancy. Medical and surgical abortions are options depending on your health and stage of pregnancy.
Ultimately, you are the one who will live with the outcome of the choice you make. Make your decision carefully, trust your gut, and resist anyone’s attempts to coerce you into one option over another.
Support is Available
Willow Womens Center provides confidential and compassionate pregnancy support. We have licensed medical professionals and experienced advocates to help you consider your options and assist you with some of the necessary resources you may need. Make an appointment today by calling 608-312-2025.