Terminate or Keep the Pregnancy? How Do I Make a Good Decision?

How Do I Make a Good Decision?

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12 Tips for Deciding Well When Encountering an Unintended Pregnancy

  • The decision for or against one's baby is one of the most difficult decisions anyone can make. Many wrestle with the decision out of the desire to choose well. They feel torn between their worries and their deep desires.
  • It is the prerogative of every pregnant woman to make a free decision, taking all her thoughts and feelings into account and reserving the time she needs. She must not be pressured or coerced into an abortion!
  • We have compiled 12 steps you can take while seeking to make a decision without regrets amid this challenging situation. Even if some of the steps don’t relate to your situation — hopefully, some of them will be helpful on your decision-making journey.

Practical tools for reaching a decision:

1. Take the Time You Need While Bearing the Tension

In making a decision as impactful as this one, it is essential that you take all the time you need. Doing so allows your turbulent mind and emotions to calm down, giving you the chance to digest them and slowly discern which path you want to follow. Only then can you make a choice rather than a reaction.

Your life is too valuable for a quick decision resulting from unresolved fears and concerns. Choose to seek a clear vantage point so you can discern which path is right for you.

Imagine the water of a lake stirred up by stormy weather. It takes time for the murkiness to settle, allowing you to see the bottom again. Maybe you can relate to that right now: You still feel very troubled at the moment and can't foresee a way forward. Additionally, your view of your strengths, possibilities, and desires may have been muddied.

Taking this time and becoming still is easier said than done, but it is well worth it! By persevering, you are much more likely to reach a decision that you will feel good about in the long run.

2. Do Something Rejuvenating and Restful:

Sometimes, we work incredibly hard at finding a solution while wrestling with a huge decision. This incessant brooding can be exhausting to the point of despair. You may even start feeling powerless — allowing your situation and concerns to rule you.

Whatever your source of strength may be, this is the time to fall back on it. Can you think of something that will let the many voices in your head quiet down, allowing you to think more clearly and discern your intuitions? It might take something simple to soothe your soul, such as a hot bubble bath, going outdoors, or listening to your favorite music... This might help you feel more calm and collected. Incrementally, your fears will lose their power, putting you back in the driver's seat.

Additionally, it is helpful to take a break from the issue. It is okay to ignore the decision for a day or two, allowing your thoughts to mature. Consciously stop tracing the same thought pattern over and over, like a broken record. Abandon this strained brooding for a little while, and you will find it easier to focus, leading to a more constructive outcome.

3. Talk It Through — But Not Necessarily with Everyone

Having the support of family or friends is worth its weight in gold. Apart from making life easier and more enjoyable, they can also support you in your decision-making process! However, keep in mind that involving too many people can lead to more confusion.

Select the right person by asking yourself: Who knows me really well? Who do I trust? Who has the best in mind for me? Who has advised me well in the past without having their own agenda?

There might also be someone who does not belong to your immediate circle of friends who is trustworthy and likable. An attentive outsider may be able to see the situation more clearly from their vantage point.

4. Get Away — Create Distance and Seek Solitude

Deliberately seek out places and times of solace to counter the emotional upheaval and the tumult you may be experiencing around you.
Some women are able to incorporate this into their day-to-day lives. Others have found it easier to distance themselves from the situation by getting away for a few days.

Especially when everything is quiet around us, we can think more clearly and become aware of what our heart is telling us. We are then more likely to discern our inner compass and know what we are meant to do.

  • Wondering how to perceive your gut instinct? Go to tip #8.

5. Unmask Your Fears

"Fear is a bad counselor" — there is much truth to this saying. Fear always thinks us weaker and less capable than we really are.

Have the courage to examine which opinions arise from fear and which are truly yours. While fear begins in the mind — courage does, too.

  • If you sense that fear and anxiety are getting the best of you and are interfering with your decision-making process, go to Pregnant and Anxious.

6. List Your Pros & Cons

Sometimes when our thoughts are jumbled, it is not easy to make heads or tails of them all. It may help to put the whole mess into writing. Sometimes, this simple step makes the situation a lot less confusing.

7. Weigh Your Options: What Is Most Significant?

Not all arguments are equally important. Picture a double-pan balance: If you put several coins on one side and a large paper bill on the other, the scale will tip towards the coins, even though their actual value is much less.

This is also the case when weighing up arguments: It is not just the number of arguments that count, but also their strength, which may vary significantly.

Ask yourself: When comparing all the arguments, which ones are most meaningful to me? In what direction are they guiding me?

8. Pay Attention to Your Heart

The list of pros and cons appeals mainly to the mind. But you also have a gut instinct or heart's cry. How do you recognize it?
Depending on whom you ask, you will likely get a wide variety of answers on this. But most would agree that it is a hunch marking the path for you to follow that is in tune with your values, desires, and conscience. This makes it a valuable and unique compass.

To better discern your intuition in the current situation, ask yourself, "What is my greatest longing? What do I deeply desire? Which path feels right once I set aside my worries? Which decision do I feel at peace about?"

Heeding your heart and innermost convictions mobilizes an immense force within you. Because it will illuminate what is worth fighting for.

9. Think Outside the Box and Ask Yourself Questions

You know yourself best. Asking yourself good questions may broaden your horizon, helping you discover entirely new ways of seeing things:

  • Imagine yourself as an 80-year-old. Looking back at your younger self in this present situation, what advice would you give yourself?
  • Which choice would you be proud of, even in your old age?
  • Imagine if a friend or relative of yours were in your shoes. How would you advise her?

10. Take a Look at the Bigger Picture

When facing complex situations, it can sometimes be helpful to take a bird's eye view. Looking at the maze of life from above gives you the opportunity to ponder the meaning of it all. Here are three observations to consider:

  • You cannot change the past, but you can change your future:
    That may be precisely what you are wishing for: to make everything undone. Desiring to hit the reset button is understandable — but not possible. Instead, you have the power to decide who you want to be right now — and how to continue. What would the best version of yourself look like, and how do you get there? What choice would make you proud?
  • Surprises in life are often the revealers of opportunities:
    There is a saying, "Things always happen for a reason." Life sometimes presents us with challenging questions and tasks. Could there perhaps be a greater meaning to this pregnancy? Could perhaps something good come from it?
  • Overcoming crisis situations can release incredible strengths within us:
    Think back on a difficult situation that you faced courageously. How has that affected you and your life's direction?

11. Take Your Options for a Test Drive

Live with your choice for a week, then spend another week as if you had chosen the opposite.

In order to consider both possibilities closely, you may want to take them for a test drive: First, spend a week (or a few days) as if you had made up your mind to have an abortion; then spend the following week with the mindset that you want to keep the baby.

Make the most of both intervals, observing yourself closely, without taking any irreversible steps — after all, it is only a test drive.

Afterward, take the time to reflect on each step of this experience: How did this choice affect my everyday life? How did it make me feel — during the first few days, but also in the long run? Which of these two choices do I feel better about?

Now, you have a basis upon which to make a decision you can fully identify with.

12. Receive Counsel — We Are Here for You!

This may be the first major decision of your life... or perhaps you have experienced something similar before, and yet this is entirely different. Seeking out an experienced counselor may be beneficial to you at this point, helping you to decide well.

You are invited to participate in our weeklong Decision Coaching sessions. For 7 days, you would receive a daily email with food for thought and stories of other pregnant women.

👩‍💻Click here for more information and sign-up prompts!

Additionally, we have compiled other judgment-free resources to walk you through your decision-making process. Use them to find your unique path:

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Authors & Sources


Maria Nagele,
Social Worker

Kerstin Dörbecker,
MA English

Reviewed by:

Team of Psychologists


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