We understand that this is a complicated time in your life. You’re probably experiencing a lot of different emotions, some of which are probably even conflicting with one another. Know that it’s perfectly normal to feel both happy and sad, scared and excited, or unsure and confident all at the same time! Finding out that you’re pregnant, no matter how you feel about it right now, is a major moment, and there are no “wrong” reactions.
The following lists of potential advantages and disadvantages of unplanned pregnancy are by no means going to apply to every situation. Nor are they meant to make you feel like you should “look on the bright side.” Facing the potential problems of unwanted pregnancy is always scary, but understanding your other feelings about finding yourself unexpectedly pregnant can help.
Taking some time to reflect on the potential pros and cons of unplanned pregnancy may help you sort through some of those complex and conflicting feelings.
Unplanned Pregnancy Disadvantages and Advantages
Every woman is going to have her own lists of advantages and disadvantages of unwanted pregnancy, because everyone’s situation is unique. So don’t forget to take into account your own personal pros and cons as you’re reflecting on some of these general advantages and disadvantages to your pregnancy.
Some of the pros of unplanned pregnancy that you may not have considered yet include:
- You might find that you feel ready for this step, even if you weren’t planning on it.
- You might find that this pregnancy brings you and your partner closer together, and helps you learn more about each other.
- You might have a newfound clarity or sense of perspective in your life.
- You might feel like you have a better understanding of your priorities at this point.
- You might learn that your relationship is not one that you want to be in anymore, which is difficult but valuable knowledge.
- You might feel inspired to improve yourself physically, emotionally or financially.
Some cons of unplanned pregnancy could include:
- You might struggle with the physical tolls of pregnancy.
- You might feel stressed and overwhelmed at the idea of having to make a decision regarding your pregnancy (i.e. choosing between parenting, abortion or adoption).
- You might find that you feel unprepared for this pregnancy.
- You might have to put your goals, interests and aspirations on hold.
- You might struggle with the stress of telling your significant other, as well as friends and family, about being pregnant.
- You might feel like you’re not physically, emotionally or financially in the place you wanted to be if and when you became pregnant by choice.
- You might not want to be pregnant at all, right now or ever.
We know you have a lot to process and consider right now. But when you’re ready, you’ll need to make a choice. For some, that choice is easy. For others, it may not be clear.
Every woman who is faced with an unplanned pregnancy has three options: Parenting, abortion or adoption. If you’re unsure of which of those three paths is right for you, you may benefit from considering some of the potential pros and cons of unwanted pregnancy options.
Pros and Cons of Your Three Unplanned Pregnancy Options
Every individual person will have their own set of advantages and disadvantages of unplanned pregnancy. Additionally, everyone will feel differently about different options: What may be seen as a “pro” for one woman is another woman’s “con.”
With that in mind, here are some of the general pros and cons that you may have not yet considered about each of the three options for an unplanned pregnancy:
1. Parenting Pros and Cons
One of your options is to raise this baby yourself. Some potential pros to parenting can include:
- The ability to raise a child into adulthood, even if this wasn’t what you originally planned.
- If you have older children, they may enjoy a younger sibling.
- Experiencing the joys of being a parent.
Some cons to parenting might be:
- Parenting is the most costly of your three unplanned pregnancy options, and you may not be financially prepared.
- You may not feel emotionally, physically, or financially ready to raise this baby at this point.
- You may not wish to be a parent, now or ever, which could lead to resentment toward your child.
2. Abortion Pros and Cons
Another one of the three options: Abortion. Some of the possible pros for choosing this option could include:
- You wouldn’t have to carry this pregnancy to term, or give birth.
- An abortion procedure is less costly than parenting.
- You would be able to continue pursuing goals and interests that would have to be put on hold if you decided to parent.
Some of the cons of abortion you may want to consider could include:
- You wouldn’t have the ability to raise this child, or get to know him or her.
- There is often a social stigma associated with abortion.
- Although 99% of women do not regret their abortion, you may still have some feelings of guilt or loss to work through.
3. Adoption Pros and Cons
The third option is placing your baby for adoption. A few pros for adoption may include:
- It is the only option for your unplanned pregnancy that is free.
- You would have the opportunity to help complete someone else’s family.
- You would have the option to remain in touch with your child and his or her family as much or as little as you want.
Some of the cons for adoption that are worth considering include:
- You would have to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth.
- While most women do not regret their adoption decision, you may have feelings of loss to work through.
- You would not have the experience of raising this child yourself.
No matter what path you choose to take in response to your unintended pregnancy, there will always be pros and cons to each of the three options, as well as benefits and problems associated with unwanted pregnancy in general. At the end of the day, only you can decide which option holds the most “pros” in your individual situation. Remember that you always have options, and there’s going to be an option that feels right.
It’s easy, however, for an outside party to talk about the positives and negatives of unwanted pregnancy when they’re not the ones experiencing the flood of emotions. More than anything, it’s important that you take care of your mental and physical health in this complicated moment. Take some time to process this unplanned pregnancy, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you need it.