What To Do When You Find Out You Are Pregnant? (Planned or Unplanned)

Whether it’s a planned or unplanned pregnancy, and whether or not you plan to keep the baby, it’s always good to know what to do when you find out you are pregnant. Knowing early has many health benefits for you and your unborn child, plus, if you don’t plan to keep the child, you have many options to choose from early on in pregnancy, and a little time to think over your options and make the best choice for you.

There are many common symptoms in the first trimester of pregnancy, and a pregnancy test can be done very early on.  This test gives you a definite answer, so you aren’t sitting and waiting for a certain set of things to happen, that doesn’t happen with every pregnancy. If you have early signs of pregnancy but want to know now, rather than wait and see what happens, a pregnancy test cuts straight to the chase, and tells it how it is. It might sound scary, but you have to know eventually, either way, and as soon as possible is the best plan.

Health Benefits

Breaking Unhealthy Habits

One good reason to find out about your pregnancy early on, is that you can stop, or at least begin to wean back, any unhealthy habits. Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause pre-mature, low-weight babies that often require extra hospital care and treatment, such as breathing treatments for underdeveloped lungs, a common problem in preemies. The sooner you give up smoking and drinking as well as any other bad habits, such as any recreational “street” drugs, the better your chance of carrying the baby to full term, and the better chance of having a happy healthy baby.

Prescription Drugs and Your Pregnancy

If you take prescription drugs for a medical condition, check with your doctor to determine if your prescription medicine, and the prescribed dosage amount, is safe to take while you are pregnant. Your doctor can adjust the type of medication and/or dosage, if necessary, to ensure you and your baby are safe.

You should never abruptly stop the use of prescription medication without the advice of your doctor. Even if you find out you’re pregnant, don’t stop taking your medication suddenly, as this can cause serious health issues. Only your doctor knows if the medication you are taking is dangerous to the unborn baby. Some prescription medicines are fine, while others may be harmful to you (during pregnancy) and/or the fetus, but the decision to stop, or change, prescription medication is best made by the your doctor, who knows why you are taking the medication, how important it is to your health, and what prescription medications could be substituted for ones that have been found to cause problems during pregnancy.

This is another reason it’s good to find out early on if you might be pregnant. It gives you and your doctor time to adjust any prescription medications, if necessary.

Not Prepared To Be A Mother? Consider the Options

Even if you aren’t trying to have a baby, and are not sure that you want one, or if you are just too young, don’t have the money, or have a mental or physical condition that makes it impossible for you to care for and raise a baby, it’s still good to know the early signs of pregnancy. You’ll have more time to plan how to deal with the situation.

Teenager Accepts Unplanned Pregnancy and Decides to Keep the Baby

pregnant teenagerIf you are young and single, but want to keep your baby, you’ll need a plan, especially if you are still in school and have no income. The sooner you find out you’re pregnant, the more time you have to consider your options and have the solution in place before the baby arrives.  You’ll need to find someone who can help with caring for the baby so you can finish school or go to work, if necessary. For example, is there a relative (i.e., a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparents, older sibling) that would help with the care, and possibly the expenses, for a short time, so you could finish school and find a job?

In times of need, there’s usually a family member willing to help, if at all possible.  If you have a desired skill that doesn’t require a degree, you could go to work right away, if there’s no one in the position to help out financially. Discuss this option with a family member and let them know you plan to start working, so that you could provide the necessities for the baby, and would only need someone to help care for the baby. Of course, if someone can afford to help you with expenses, it’s a good idea to finish school before entering the working world. If you don’t have family, or no one in your family can care for the infant, consider other options.

Is there any chance of reconciliation with father? If not, remember he is the child’s father and should provide monthly monetary support, or his parents should if he is still in school.  Maybe his parents could help watch the child while you go to school or work. If not, what about family friends and neighbors you have known practically your whole life and you can trust? If you really want the baby, you’ll find a way make it work.  If you’re unable to find help from family or friends, seek advice from a counselor for pregnant teens, or find a local school or home for unwed pregnant teens.

Teenager is not ready for a Baby

On the other hand, if you are sure you don’t want to keep your unplanned baby for whatever the reason(s), which there are many, don’t let someone force you into keeping the child, because it’s your child, it’s your decision, and almost always, your ‘gut’, or first, decision is right. Having a baby will change your whole life, and if you feel you are not emotionally ready or can’t provide proper care for a child, you are probably right.  As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, there are several options to consider, and one of them is a time-sensitive option.

Abortions – Laws, Restrictions, Time Frames

Abortion laws vary in each country and many places only perform abortions on request during the first trimester (weeks 1 – 12), although some places will perform an abortion in the 2nd trimester.  Some countries allow abortions in the 2nd trimester in certain circumstances, such as the women’s life is at risk, or ultrasounds and other testing shows the baby is severely mentally retarded or has serious deformities that could be life threatening.

So, if you are thinking seriously of having an abortion, you need to find out as quickly as possible if you are pregnant, and if you are unsure of the date of conception, find out from the doctor exactly how many weeks along you are.  You’ll need to research the abortion laws in your location, to find out what the restrictions there are on abortions in the 1st trimester, and if 2nd trimester abortions are ever legal. In some countries, abortions are completely illegal.

In those countries, there are often places where people will perform illegal abortions, which is very dangerous, and often deadly. People performing these surgeries are often ‘quacks’ who have lost their medical license. Skip the illegal abortion; it’s a surgery that should only be performed by qualified, certified professionals. In countries where abortions are legal, the doctor has done the surgery thousands of times and most often, it goes smoothly, but any type of surgery can have complications.

Remember, once you find out you are pregnant, if you are considering an abortion, research the laws, find an abortion doctor and schedule an appointment as quickly as possible. If you procrastinate, this option might not be available to you. If you decide not to keep the baby, you certainly don’t have to get an abortion, and definitely shouldn’t if you have strong feelings about the procedure. If you feel that abortion is ‘murder’, or “playing God”, even in the first trimester, then you need to go with a different option. Otherwise, you’ll spend your whole life regretting your decision, and this can lead to chronic depression.

Adoption to a Friend or Relative

One option is to have someone you know adopt your child, such as a close friend or family member who can’t have children of their own, or someone who just has one child and would like to have another.  Also, in some cases, where the pregnant girl is still in school, and not emotionally or financially ready to care for a baby, her mother or an older sibling adopts the child and raises it as their own, and the pregnant teen, along with the parent or sibling that adopts the baby, agree and decide together whether or not to ever reveal the true mother’s identity to the child, which if told, is normally told in their early teens.

In order for this plan to work, it’s important to stick to what was agreed upon, whether or not to tell.  Letting a close friend or family member adopt your child can work, as long as you have no feelings of jealousy and can abide by the terms agreed upon. You can watch your child grow up, and see that you gave them a great life, and whether or not you decide to ever tell them is irrelevant, because either way, you would know you gave them up as an unconditional, selfless act of love.

Adoption to Someone other than a Friend or Family Member

If you are extremely sensitive or have any jealousy issues towards your friends or family members, you would probably never be happy seeing your child every day, and hearing them call some else “momma”. This would just hurt you more, cause jealousy and bad feelings, which could possibly cause the end of a friendship or a rift in the family.  It makes no sense to offer your best friend or a family member the opportunity to raise your child, and then secretly be mad and jealous of the whole situation.

If it would hurt you to watch someone else raise your child as their own, it might be best to give up the baby as soon as it’s born, to someone you never knew before, that desperately wants to adopt. You may be thinking that it would be terrifying to give up your baby to someone you know nothing about, but people who have been approved to adopt have been through background checks and various screening processes to make the list.  Your baby would go to a good home and be well cared for and loved.

The option of giving the baby up in the hospital is also a wise choice for babies of rape and abuse victims. This way, the baby can lead at a happy, normal childhood, never knowing that they were conceived out of rage, or hate.  Babies given to friends or family members may later find out from someone how they were conceived, which can lead to low self-esteem issues, lack of ambition, depression and even more serious mental problems. Giving your baby up to someone in another community will protect your baby from these emotional scars.

References

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