For some, becoming pregnant is something they’ve wished for over the course of months or even years. But for many people who weren’t planning on becoming pregnant at this point in their lives, watching a pregnancy test turn positive is a stomach-dropping moment that leaves them wondering, “What’s next?”
If you’ve found yourself unexpectedly pregnant and you’re not sure how to feel or what to do, you may benefit from unplanned pregnancy counseling.
What Is Pregnancy Options Counseling?
Most forms of unplanned pregnancy counseling offer support and guidance as you adjust to this new and unintended reality. But upon request, they will also give you information about your three pregnancy options:
- Raising the baby
- Aborting your pregnancy
- Placing your baby for adoption
Pregnancy options counseling is available if you’re interested in learning more about one (or all) of these options, or if you need support as you consider which path may be right for you.
Who Might Use Pregnancy Option Counseling?
Anyone who has found out that they’re unexpectedly pregnant may choose to seek unwanted pregnancy help and pregnancy options counseling. Women who:
- Are not sure if they are ready or able to raise this baby at this current point in time.
- Are not sure about their relationship with the father of the baby.
- Want to learn more about some (or all) of their options, including parenting, abortion or adoption.
- Just want emotional support in coping with this major and unexpected change.
Anyone can utilize and benefit from counseling. Unwanted pregnancy can feel isolating, but unintended pregnancy counseling reminds you that you’re not alone.
How Can Counseling for Unwanted Pregnancy Help?
There are several ways in which unplanned pregnancy counseling may help you. Seeking counseling may:
- Provide much-needed emotional support during a scary and overwhelming time.
- Offer you information about pregnancy, including health tips and resources to help you care for your physical and emotional wellbeing.
- Provide information about your three unplanned pregnancy options, including parenting, abortion and adoption.
- Connect you to whatever resources you feel that you need — whether that’s resources to help you parent this baby, a referral to a safe abortion provider, or a referral to a licensed adoption agency.
Where Can You Find Unwanted Pregnancy Counseling?
Here are some of the best resources for unplanned pregnancy information and support:
- Pregnancy crisis centers. Keep an eye out for fake pregnancy centers that offer limited or biased information or that pressure you into any type of decision that you’re not ready for. There are, however, some pregnancy centers that do offer helpful pregnancy support options and information.
- General counselors and therapists. You may not be able to find a therapist for free unless it’s covered by your insurance, but a good therapist or counselor can provide you with unbiased personal support during this moment of crisis and beyond. You can start searching for a local or online therapist here.
- Adoption agencies. A good adoption agency should provide you with information about all of your choices, not just adoption, and they should never pressure you into making a decision that you’re not comfortable with or ready for. Counseling through agencies is available for free; it’s also confidential and often available 24/7.
- Religious institutions. Check with local religious organizations and churches to see if they provide information and support for women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Typically, they will only provide help or hotlines for those considering parenting or placing their child for adoption, so this may be a good option if you’re leaning toward one of those two paths.
- Abortion clinics. In addition to educating you about abortion, most abortion clinics have someone who can talk to you about finding resources to parent this child as well as information about adoption if you’re interested in learning about all three options. You’re actually often legally required to receive counseling before you can choose abortion in many states.
If you aren’t sure which of these resources for unplanned pregnancy you should reach out to, you might feel more comfortable talking to peers through an online support forum or calling an unplanned pregnancy hotline. We have more information about both of these options below.
How Can You Be Sure You’re Receiving Unbiased Counseling for Pregnancy Options?
Here comes the tricky part. Many unplanned pregnancy services are faith-based or funded by a group that may not offer you accurate and complete information about all three of your pregnancy options.
Although many women are interested in finding unplanned pregnancy resources from an organization that shares their spiritual beliefs, others prefer to receive unintended pregnancy options counseling from a source that is not faith-based.
We recommend doing some research before calling any unplanned pregnancy support line. If the professional on the other end of the unplanned pregnancy help hotline doesn’t offer you information about all three of your options when you ask for it, try a different pregnancy options helpline.
You deserve accurate and unbiased information about any pregnancy option you’d like to know about, so you may want to call more than one hotline for unplanned pregnancy in order to get a well-rounded collection of information.
No matter what you ultimate choose, having all of the information and support you need to make a careful and fully-informed choice is the first step.
What Are Some Other Forms of Unplanned Pregnancy Help?
Maybe you want to start out with talking to someone online or through a pregnancy options hotline. Here are few resources for you to explore:
Unplanned Pregnancy Message Boards, Forums and Online Support
Some women seek a sense of community from people who personally understand what they’re going through. So, you might be looking for online support like an unplanned pregnancy forum or unplanned pregnancy support groups on social media.
A quick word of caution about unplanned pregnancy support forums and joining an unplanned pregnancy support group:
The average unwanted pregnancy support group or forum on social media will only offer the personal experiences and opinions of other women, but should never be a substitute for professional advice. For medical, legal and pregnancy options information, you should always turn to the experts. Otherwise, you risk receiving inaccurate information and negative feedback from people online.
With that in mind, here are a few online support groups for unplanned pregnancy that you might find comforting:
- AfterAbortion.com: Offers unwanted pregnancy forums and person-to-person discussion.
- Adoption.com: Features forums and threads on all three unplanned pregnancy options, not just adoption.
- JustMommies.com: Has an “unplanned pregnancy” forum specifically for this topic.
Unplanned Pregnancy Helplines
Prefer to talk to a person over the phone? Call a confidential unplanned pregnancy hotline like these for more information:
- All-Options: 1-888-493-0092
- American Adoptions: 1–800-236-7846
- American Pregnancy Hotline: 1-866-942-6466
- OptionLine: 1-800-712-4357 or text “HELPLINE” to 313131
- Pregnancy Decision Line: 877-791-5475
Again, if a helpline gives you limited information or you don’t feel comfortable talking with that source, we recommend calling another so you can collect as much information as you feel is necessary to make a confident choice.
3 Pieces of Unplanned Pregnancy Advice
Here is some of our best advice for unplanned pregnancy, and a few words of encouragement for unplanned pregnancy:
- Take care of yourself. Some of the best unplanned pregnancy advice we can offer is to make sure that you’re meeting your immediate physical and emotional needs.
Get to the doctor as soon as possible to confirm your pregnancy and make sure that you’re physically healthy. There, you’ll be able to ask questions about your options, and you can talk to your doctor about any anxiety or depression you’re experiencing as a result of your current situation.
In the meantime, make physically and emotionally healthy choices for yourself (and for your pregnancy), which includes avoiding exposure to drugs, alcohol, smoke or vaping
2. Find support. Nobody should have to go through an unplanned pregnancy on their own. So one of our unplanned pregnancy tips is to establish a trusted support system.
Talk to a friend, your family, the father of the baby, a religious leader, or an unplanned pregnancy counselor. Talk to anyone who can offer you encouragement for unplanned pregnancy situations and non-judgmental love.
3. Don’t wait. Take this last piece of advice about unplanned pregnancy: Choosing between your three unintended pregnancy options is incredibly difficult, but it’s a choice that you’ll need to make soon before your options become limited.
Take some time to learn about your options and to reflect on what you think is right for you. Then, take your next steps. Remember that there is counseling help for unplanned pregnancy if you need more information or support as you make your choice.
Help for women with unwanted pregnancies is always available. Reach out for unplanned pregnancy support services now to get started.