Finding out that you have an unplanned pregnancy can be a bit of a shock. It may take a while for the reality to sink in, but don’t panic. You may want to have answers right away about what to do, but that is not always easy to figure out. Just remember that you do have options.
Depending upon your situation, two options you should consider are raising your child with the help of your family, or placing the baby in an adoptive home of your choosing. If you live in North Idaho you can get help, support, and information about these options from Open Arms Real Choices Clinic.
Remember, you are not alone. Start by reaching out to someone who can help. If you don’t have a trusted friend or family member, we are here for you. At Real Choices, we offer confidential appointments during which we can explain your options and help you take the next steps.
It may surprise you, but many mothers and fathers learn to cope very well with an unplanned baby once they make the commitment to move in that direction. This adjustment can be made even easier if you have support from family and friends. If this is something you would like to explore, talk to a friend or family member that you think might be sympathetic to your situation. Tell them you are considering keeping the baby to raise, and find out whether they would be willing to help, and how.
If you feel unsure of your own abilities, Real Choices Clinic offers life skills courses that can help prepare you. Among the topics these courses teach are how to communicate effectively with your partner, how to share responsibilities and work together to raise your child, and how to resolve conflicts effectively. You will also have the opportunity to learn about the challenges of parenthood, and the sorts of issues you may face. Our goal is to give you the tools necessary to take care of your baby and of yourself so that your family can thrive.
Sometimes, raising the baby in the family is not possible. In these cases, adoption may be your best choice. This could be the case if you’re still very young, or you don’t have the financial or emotional means to cope with a child. While you wait for your baby to arrive, you can think about the circumstances under which you are willing to consider adoption.
Many young women do not realize this, but the birth mother has a lot of control over the terms of the adoption. Some parents only feel comfortable placing their baby if they can pick the parents, and also retain the ability to be involved in the child’s life. Others would like a confidential adoption, which allows the mother to remain anonymous. There are lots of other details that can be worked out so that the situation is one that you are comfortable with. We can help you research the possibilities, and then you and your partner can decide together.
Taking Care of Your Unborn Child
After thinking about your options, take the necessary steps to protect both your health and your unborn child’s health. If you drink alcohol, smoke, or take any type of recreational drugs, stop right away. Not only are these habits unhealthful for you, but they can be harmful to the baby. Speak to your doctor about any medications you take that can affect your child. You should also start taking prenatal vitamins, which contain sufficient amounts of folic acid, an essential nutrient that is important for your child’s development.
If you feel unusually stressed or depressed during your pregnancy, seek professional help. Not only is your life undergoing changes, but many of your body’s hormonal changes can affect your mood. Don’t let money stop you from seeking help; there are resources available for low-income families. When it comes to caring at Real Choices, our pregnancy-related services are no-cost and we can help you work out what services you can access.
Finding out that you’re pregnant can cause a lot of emotions, especially if you were not planning on having a baby or you feel you are not ready. The best way forward is to get as much information as you can about all your choices, talk to caring lay counselors, and think carefully about your options. Contact us at Open Arms Real Choices Clinic to make an appointment to find out more about parenting, adoption, and building strong family relationships.