Unplanned Pregnancy

Even if you are using oral birth control pills, barrier methods of birth control, or an intra-uterine device, you may still experience an unplanned pregnancy if you are not abstaining from intercourse. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a huge number of factors to consider.

  • Are you in a stable relationship, both financially and emotionally, that is capable of supporting a pregnancy and a child? Do you have health insurance with a sufficient maternity rider? If not, do you have a way to obtain insurance with maternity benefits? The immense costs of prenatal care, including monthly (and later weekly) visit; tests for hypertension, preeclampsia, iron deficiency, gestational diabetes, and fetal defects; and the costs of delivery and a hospital stay can make even the most financially secure person’s stomach turn. Even a typical, uncomplicated birth can cost thousands in hospital bills, particularly if you opt for anesthesia. In any case, maternity insurance is virtually essential.
  • When you learned about your unplanned pregnancy, did you immediately think of continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the infant, or did your mind rush to adoption or even termination? Do you have certain moral or ethical scruples regarding any of these options? Having family, friends, and/or mentors to talk about these issues can be pivotal to helping you relax and make a mature, informed decision.
  • Assuming you know for certain who fathered the child, have you discussed this unplanned pregnancy with him? Do you both have the same outlook on the pregnancy and the care for or adoption of the child? If you plan to raise the child yourself, do you have a financial plan and a stable home? Estimates are upwards of $200,000 for raising a child, and although that cost is not linear, there are many essential items that are necessary for a newborn. Diapers, wipes, formula (if you will not be breastfeeding), clothing, toys, and a crib are just the bare necessities, and you may feel you are constantly purchasing things for the new baby. If you do not feel financially ready for a baby, do you feel like you can save during the nine months of gestation to attain better financial stability? If not, are there other support persons in your family that can lend a hand?

Although an unplanned pregnancy can be shocking, it can be much different from an unwanted pregnancy. Once born, the child will probably bring you more joy than you ever thought possible. Keep in mind that you have months to plan, and try to see the positive in the situation.

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