What to Do if You Have an Unplanned Pregnancy: Step-by-Step
When you see that pregnancy test turn positive, you may be thinking, “Alright, I’m pregnant. Now what?” Unplanned pregnancy can trigger a lot of different, sometimes conflicting emotions:
- Happiness and sadness
- Excitement and fear
- And countless other emotions, which are unique to each woman and her individual situation
Depending on your current circumstances, an unplanned pregnancy can be a little scary, but not a negative thing. For others, this unexpected development is devastating news. This leaves them wondering what to do if an unwanted pregnancy test is positive.
No matter how you feel about your unplanned pregnancy, these 6 steps will help you move confidently forward toward the future you envision:
Step 1: Get Answers to Your Unplanned Pregnancy Questions
You probably have a lot of questions about unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, including what to do when you have unplanned pregnancy concerns. The following are some basic questions that may help you get started:
1. “What is an unintended pregnancy?”
Any time a woman becomes pregnant without planning on it happening, it’s considered an unplanned, unintended, accidental or unexpected pregnancy.
Not every accidental pregnancy is an unwanted pregnancy. Some people may have been surprised by the unexpected pregnancy, but they find that they’re happy and excited about this news.
But for others, a surprise pregnancy is also an undesired pregnancy. These women facing unintended pregnancy may then want to know what to do if you have an unwanted pregnancy. We’ll talk more about options later on.
2. “How do I prevent unintended pregnancy?”
3. “What should I do for unwanted pregnancy?”
If you’re currently facing an unplanned pregnancy and need to know what to do for unwanted pregnancy, you’ll want to keep reading this guide to learn about your three options.
Step 2: Learn About Your Three Options for Unplanned or Undesired Pregnancy
Every pregnant woman always has three paths for her pregnancy:
There are three questions that may help you with decision-making about unwanted pregnancy:
1. “Am I physically, emotionally and financially ready and excited to raise this baby?”
Do you have the physical, emotional and financial resources needed to raise this child (and feel that you want to) at this point in time? If so, parenting may be the right path for you, even though it wasn’t originally in the plans. Learn more here.
2. “Do I feel physically, emotionally, or financially unable to carry this pregnancy to term?”
Does carrying this pregnancy to term not feel possible right now? Additionally, do you want to carry this pregnancy? Abortion may be the right choice for you, especially if you think that you are physically, emotionally, or financially unable or unwilling to carry a pregnancy at this point in time. Learn more here.
3. “Do I think this baby would have a better future with parents who are prepared and excited for this child?”
Do you feel unprepared, unwilling, or unable to provide for a baby at this specific point in your life? Do you feel able and willing to carry this pregnancy to term (with the financial and emotional help of an adoption professional)? Most of all, do you want your baby to have parents who are ready and excited at this point in time?
If this describes your current feelings, adoption may be the right fit for you. Learn more here.
For some, the choice of what to do with an unplanned pregnancy is easy. For others, especially women in complicated situations, the choice may not be so clear. The best way to decide which path is right for you and your pregnancy is to take some time to learn about each option before you rule anything out. You might learn something new, and it’ll help you decide which path is the right one for you.
Step 3: Make Your Choice
Next, it’s time to make some important unplanned pregnancy decisions. Countless women have asked, “I’m facing an unplanned pregnancy — what should I do?”
The answer probably isn’t what you want to hear: Nobody can make the choice for you. Only you can decide what to do with unexpected pregnancy.
There is no right or wrong choice. There is only one choice that is right for you. Now that you’ve taken some time to learn about each option, it’s time to move forward with creating a plan for your pregnancy based on your choice.
Step 4: Build a Support System
A good support system will help you and encourage you as you pursue the unplanned pregnancy path of your choice, no matter how you decide what to do with unplanned pregnancy. Your support system can include anyone who will be there for you without judgment as you consider how to decide what to do with an unplanned pregnancy. This could include:
- The father of the baby
- Trusted friends
- Family members
- A counselor or therapist
- Professionals who are helping you pursue your chosen unplanned pregnancy path
- And more
If you feel someone in your life will not be supportive of your unplanned pregnancy choice, then it’s always okay to not include them in your support team. You deserve to be loved and listened to, no matter what you decide to do about unintended and unwanted pregnancies.
Step 5: Find Resources to Help
The resources you need and use will depend on which path you take for your unplanned pregnancy, and what to do if unwanted pregnancy happens. Here are some resources that can help you parent this child, receive an abortion, or place your baby for adoption:
- Guides to preparing for parenthood
- Child Welfare Information Gateway parenting resources
- Financial help for pregnant women
- Low-cost pregnancy health resources
- Abortion provider locator
- Abortion providers by state
- Guides to abortion in the U.S.
- FAQ about adoption
- Families waiting to adopt in the U.S.
- Adoption agency locator by state
- Guides to adoption agencies
Reach out to these resource providers as soon as possible. Asking for help immediately ensures that you receive the physical, emotional and financial support you need.
If you’re considering parenting or adoption, you’ll want to take steps to ensure the health of your pregnancy immediately. Alternatively, if you’re considering abortion, you’ll want to meet with the appropriate healthcare providers before your pregnancy advances any further, as this could eliminate this option for you.
Step 6: Explore Our More In-Depth Guides to Unplanned Pregnancy
Still unsure about your unplanned pregnancy, don’t know what to do or where to start? While this article provides a general overview of what to do if you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may benefit from our more detailed guides on various aspects of unplanned pregnancy, what to do next and how to cope, including:
- Coming to terms with unplanned pregnancy
- Options and support for pregnant teenagers
- Counseling services for women experiencing unplanned pregnancy
- The potential pros and cons of unplanned pregnancy
- And more
No matter what you decide, in regards to how you feel about this unexpected pregnancy, what to do or who to contact, you deserve to have access to information that helps you and the support you need to move forward.