Unplanned Pregnancy — Now What?

Unplanned Pregnancy — Now What?

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Your Options and Five Practical Steps to Take

Surprise pregnancy: When a woman finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, it can feel as if her world has been turned upside down. Her mind starts racing and everything revolves around this one question, “Now what?”

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Surprise Pregnancy — Emotional Turmoil!

Maybe the pregnancy came as a total surprise to you and was completely unexpected. You may have been pregnant unknowingly for a while and have only just found out.

An unintended pregnancy can make you feel as if your whole world is falling apart. You are on an emotional roller-coaster. Even when a pregnancy was planned, many women share about their emotional ups and downs.

This unexpected news often leads to a gamut of thoughts and emotions. Some may even be contradictory: anxiety, concern, self-doubt, or perhaps even a quiet sense of joy... Thoughts can range from, ”I don't want to be pregnant" to “Actually, it might be nice…" Thoughts and feelings can alternate by the hour - or even by the minute!

Some women describe these deliberations as a battle between their heart and mind. This inner struggle can last for hours, days — or even the duration of the first trimester (until the 12th week of pregnancy). After that, the hormonal balance usually returns to normal and the emotional confusion subsides.

Pregnant: A Natural "State of Emergency”

If this is how you feel right now, to the point that you don’t even recognize yourself, here is a small consolation: You are not alone. Many, many women feel the same way at the start of an unplanned, or even a planned, pregnancy. And that is completely acceptable, because, physically speaking, this situation can be described as a true "state of emergency”!

The reason is quite simple: At the beginning of a pregnancy, your entire system adjusts to this new task. Undergoing the necessary hormonal changes (physical state of emergency) often affects one’s emotions (emotional state of emergency).

It may be unsettling, especially when experiencing it for the first time, but this emotional upheaval is natural and normal.

I Don't Want the Baby… I Want to Get Rid of the Pregnancy

During this exceptional time, thoughts come up, which you may have never imagined possible. In those moments, when anxiety and despair dominate, sometimes the thought emerges, "I want to get rid of the baby..." or “I wish nature would take care of this for me." Many women are ashamed of these thoughts and hardly dare to express them, but they are an honest reflection of what they are feeling at this point!

Usually, this thought is driven by the desire to avoid having to make that decision for oneself, and thereby escaping a potentially complicated situation. Many women wonder, "Isn't this decision far too big for me?”

Finding out about the pregnancy was big news in and of itself! It is completely normal to need time to digest everything and to put it into perspective. This is not a time to judge yourself — but rather, for cutting yourself some slack.

None of us have influence over our spontaneous thoughts and feelings; they simply show up. But how we deal with them is in our power. “Which thought will I allow to dominate? How will I decide?” These things lie in each of our hands.

Unintended Pregnancy: These Are the Options

This brings us back to the original questions: How should I decide? Where do I go from here?

Thoughts and solutions may pop up in your head. Perhaps other people have already given you well-meaning advice on what they think "is in the best interest for all parties.”

According to natural and judicial law, the following options are available concerning pregnancies. You may impulsively lean more toward one than another, but it may be helpful to give attention to each option...

  1. Have the baby and
    ... keep it.
    ... after the usual period of consideration, present it for adoption or foster care.
    ... immediately after an anonymous/confidential birth, choose to place it in a loving family.
  2. Terminate the pregnancy.
  3. Wait and see. Maybe you won’t have to make a decision; maybe nature will make it for you. Within the first three months, about one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage.

Pregnant - Now What? Five Practical Steps

Since we don’t want you to be left without solid ground on which to stand, we put together a plan on how to move forward. This is like a "first-aid pack," by which you can take the necessary steps toward making a healthy decision.

1. 🕰 Give yourself time!

It is prudent not to rush anything right now. Decisions, as important and far-reaching as this one, should not be made hastily. You are worth more than a quick-fix! Your choice does not need to be made overnight — instead, take one small step at a time, setting your own pace! Most lawmakers have provided you with a generous time span to make a decision, giving you the opportunity to think things through. For cut-off dates in your area, go to “Until When Can I Get an Abortion?

Take the time you are given, and don't allow anyone or anything to put you under pressure! — You are worth it!

2. 🛋 Take care of yourself!

This is a stressful time! Feel free to pamper yourself a little! Many concerns tend to shrink significantly when you give yourself time to rest: sufficient sleep, fresh air, conversations with loved ones, etc. All this helps you stay healthy, so that your decision is not made while overwhelmed and exhausted, but rather while calm and rejuvenated.

3. ❤️ Let your heart speak!

If you have just found out that you are pregnant, your thoughts will probably pipe up very quickly, as well as your initial gut reaction. That is the way it is supposed to be. Both have their place and can help you make a good decision.

The heart, however, usually needs a little more time. When you calm down and are completely in tune with yourself, you might get a first glimpse of what you really want, rather than what your circumstances seem to dictate. And your heart is an excellent compass; it always points us in the direction that corresponds with our inner convictions and values...

4. 💪🏻 Remember your own strengths...

Especially during challenging times, it’s easy to forget all your accomplishments. This current situation may be one of the most challenging events of your life — and yet each of us has very unique strengths within ourselves which help us turn a crisis into an opportunity. What are your particular strengths? How have you mastered a difficult situation in the past?

💪 Wondering how to identify your strengths? Take the Strengths Finder Test!

5. 👥 Seek support!

Many women with unintended pregnancies yearn to talk about their concerns and worries. Perhaps you are also experiencing this mayhem of thoughts in your mind, making you feel no closer to a solution. In this situation, it can be helpful to share your concerns with someone.

Maybe you know someone who would be there for you, whom you trust, and who wants what is best for you. Go for it! That kind of a conversation will broaden your perspective and give you new ideas.

Have you experienced a reaction from someone that wasn’t helpful and has left you feeling confused? Are you still hesitant to confide in someone?

You are not alone! Our judgement free materials were tailor made for your situation, getting you on track to find the path that is just right for you. Give them a try:

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