It’s a simple fact of life that not all pregnancies are planned. For some, seeing the positive test is not necessarily a time for celebration. In fact, some women may find this moment devastating. You may consider yourself too young to have a baby, or perhaps you feel your family is already complete. It could be relationship problems or financial insecurity causing you to worry about the timing of the pregnancy.
Once you have decided to progress with the pregnancy, it doesn’t mean you will feel any less shocked, or that you will all of a sudden feel 100 percent happy about the pregnancy. Even women who have tried for years to fall pregnant can experience feelings of regret during the pregnancy.
Unplanned doesn’t mean unloved
Some women experiencing unplanned pregnancies report feelings of guilt and shame around their pregnancy. It is crucial to remember that unplanned doesn’t mean unloved. Your pregnancy may have been unplanned, but that doesn’t mean you will be any less able to love your baby.
Talk about your feelings
During pregnancy, the hormonal changes, fatigue and worry over what is to come, can feel overwhelming. It’s important to talk about how you are feeling – your worries, concerns and even regrets. It is important you find a trusted person to talk to, whether that be your partner, best friend, or a support service. Do not feel ashamed of your feelings, it is completely natural to have mixed feelings about an unplanned pregnancy, and talking about it may help you to deal with these emotions.
All new parents require a strong support system, whether the pregnancy was planned or not. Having a baby is a big life change, and you will need help, especially in the early days. This support could be in the form of help with the baby or around the home, or it could be a friendly ear on tough days. Make sure you have a support system in place, and let them know in advance that you might call on them for help when the baby arrives.
One of the main worries for women carrying unplanned pregnancies, is the financial aspect of parenting. If you weren’t planning to have a baby just yet, chances are you haven’t got lots of money to go and blow in a baby store. As soon as possible, you should sit down and work out your finances. Speak to your employer, student services or a family planning clinic, to find out about your access to financial help. Will you qualify for maternity leave, or receive some other benefits once the baby arrives?
Planning for the future
If you’re young, and worried that having a baby will prevent you from doing certain things in life, write a to do list. Fill it with all the things you’d like to do, and all the places you want to visit in your life. Once you’ve got your list, you can start working towards things. Having a baby doesn’t mean your life is over. It may take you a little longer to achieve things now, but it doesn’t mean you have to cross them off your list for good.
Most importantly, let go of the guilt. Do not feel guilty for having an unplanned pregnancy You will still be a great mother.
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.