4 Tips for Navigating an Unexpected Pregnancy With Your Partner

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.


3 Tips for Improving Communication in Your Relationship

You asked your partner for a straightforward request: be on time, so you do not miss the beginning of the movie. But he is late, and you are going to miss the film’s plot layout. How do you respond? Do you yell? Do you keep your frustration to yourself and fume inside throughout the movie? Or do you assume there must be a good reason he is late and forget about it?

Relationships are rewarding, but good relationships don’t just happen. They need intentional nurturing to grow strong. Most of us know about the importance of communication in a relationship. But how does that practically look? Here are three tips for improving communication in your relationship:

1. Seek to Understand

When you seek to understand, you are actively listening. Active listening means you are trying to understand your partner’s point of view.

We all want to be understood. Have you heard the phrase, “There’s another side to every story?” It is an excellent reminder to enter every conversation to understand the other person’s perspective before getting our viewpoint across.

Using the movie scenario as an example, you would be justified in being disappointed. At that moment, you have two options. You can begin by trying to make your partner understand your disappointment, or you can start by seeking to understand your partner’s perspective.

If you jump right into trying to make him understand your disappointment, you are most likely assuming your partner was irresponsible or disrespectful by running late. If you begin by asking the right questions and seeking to understand, you might discover there was a legitimate reason for his delay. In that case, you have just built a bridge between the two of you.

Another way to improve communication is to cultivate mutual respect for one another.

2. Cultivate Mutual Respect

When there is mutual respect in a relationship, it means one person does not have power or control over another. Both partners can express themselves freely. Each partner can have their own opinion, and it is respected by the other even if they do not agree. Other signs of respect in a relationship also include:

  • Speaking about and to each other considerately
  • Supporting one another’s interests, education, hobbies, etc.
  • Interdependence vs. independence or codependence
  • Always honoring each other’s boundaries

Cultivating mutual respect in your relationship is a great way to strengthen your connection with your partner.

3. Pursue Connection

At the core of every relationship is connection. Connection is an emotional bond that holds you and your partner together. When there is a sense of healthy connection in a relationship, improved communication follows. You can look at connection as the glue that strengthens your relationship. There are simple ways to enhance connection with your partner:

  • Show appreciation every day.
  • Give your partner your full attention when you are talking.
  • Be the first one to apologize (without defending yourself) for your part in a disagreement.
  • Make physical connections daily by holding hands, hugging, etc.
  • Show compassion for your partner’s experiences.
  • Create fun time to laugh and play together.

It is not unusual for relationships to become more challenging when you are facing an unexpected pregnancy. Keep reminding yourself of who you are and what you really expect out of your relationship and what each of you can do to make it work.

We Are Here for You

If you think you may be pregnant and would like to visit us for a pregnancy test and ultrasound at no cost to you, please make an appointment at Willow Womens Center by calling 608-312-2025. You can also schedule your appointment directly on our website.


How Do I Tell My Family About an Unplanned Pregnancy?

Discovering an unplanned or unexpected pregnancy can be overwhelming. It can be even more difficult and stressful when it comes time to tell your family. Before it’s time to tell them, there are a few things you should know to prepare for the task and the potential questions that may arise. 

Be Informed 

An at-home pregnancy test isn’t always accurate. There are a few reasons the test may be wrong such as it being expired, read after too long, or misread evaporation lines. If you’ve taken a pregnancy test and aren’t sure if the results are positive, it’s time for a second opinion. An ultrasound is the only way to accurately confirm a viable pregnancy. Viability in pregnancy means the fetus likely has the ability to survive outside the uterus. There are several different types of non-viable pregnancies that would require intervention of some sort (e.g. an ectopic pregnancy). Another reason an ultrasound is vital is the dating it provides. An ultrasound provides a gestational age of the pregnancy, which allows you to accurately determine all your abortion and pregnancy options. 

It’s also recommended you have one more test performed before you have an abortive procedure. A limited STI screening is very important because if you have an abortion with an unidentified and untreated STI it may lead to further complications. During an abortive procedure, the uterus is opened up, which allows infected cells to travel. This can cause the development of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which leads to a lifelong struggle with reproductive health and possible infertility. 

Be You

One of the most important things to remember when telling your family about an unplanned pregnancy is to remain true to yourself. Don’t try to make the decision someone else wants you to make or one that someone is suggesting you make. Continuing or terminating a pregnancy is your choice and only you can make the decision. We will never try to alter your choice because we truly believe your decision will impact you and it should be one you are confident to make. We don’t take our role lightly and will take as much time as you need to explain all the choices you have to ensure you understand and feel comfortable with your decision. 

Be Empowered 

All this information can be gathered at your no-cost appointment at Willow Womens Center. We provide a safe, comforting, and empowering environment for women from all walks of life facing this situation. Willow Womens Center is conveniently located in Beloit, Wisconsin and offers medical-grade services including a pregnancy test, ultrasound, and STI tests for the two most common STIs, gonorrhea and chlamydia. We want to ensure you are thoroughly informed to make the best decision for you and empowered to tell your family about your unplanned pregnancy and your plan of action. 

Telling family about an unplanned pregnancy can be daunting, and we want to make sure you don’t walk this road alone. Make your no-cost appointment today to learn more about the care and services you’ll receive from us.


Navigating Pregnancy While Single

Navigating pregnancy while single might seem impossible, but the truth is that while it isn’t going to be the easiest thing you’ve done, and it will challenge you at times, it doesn’t have to be a scary experience.

First, know that you are not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of women who have taken the same path you are on and everyone seems to have advice on the best way to handle it. There are certain things, though, that just about everyone agrees on.

Get Support

Support takes on different roles at different times during your pregnancy. Right now, you may not know who to turn to, or where to go for this. At Willow Womens Center, you will find a safe, caring, non-judgmental environment where your health and well-being come first.

Come in to see us and let our patient care team help you, answer your questions, and give you the support and resources you need for a successful journey through pregnancy.

As time goes on you will need support in different ways. Emotional support can come from those who love you—your family, friends, and maybe even a classmate or neighbor. This is not the time to go it alone. Maybe you need to move in with family or a friend in order to make it financially. Perhaps you could use a friend to go along to doctor’s appointments.

Plus, friends are great for getting you to laugh, at helping you to look on the positive side, and helping you with the practicalities of pregnancy.

Financial Support

Financial support may be your biggest concern as you ask yourself, “How can I afford this?” There are a few things to keep in mind.

Your partner will have a financial responsibility to help you.

There are some practical arrangements you could consider. One of them might be sharing housing with others in the same position you are, where housekeeping, cooking and even babysitting duties are shared, and you might be able to share rides to and from work and daycare.

At Willow Womens Center, we can point you toward community resources that will help you as well.

If your partner does not help, you may need to budget your own income.

Believe in Yourself

Doubting yourself can sabotage your future. Instead, know that believing in yourself together with hard work will take you anywhere you want to go.

Will there be times you need help and no one offers? Yes. Will you be lonely at times and feel a bit sorry for yourself? Sure. But don’t dwell on it. Don’t make it your focus. You have so many good things to be grateful for and when you focus on the positives, the rest slides into the background.

At Willow Womens Center, we see this every day. Women who find their feet, look at the positives, who work hard, and reap the rewards. We believe in you and know you can do the same.

Come to See Us

Make an appointment at Willow Womens Center and let us give you the support you need, the answers to the questions you are asking, and provide you with resources to help you navigate your pregnancy while single.

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