Life is often filled with unexpected surprises, some wonderful and others questionable. Whether your unexpected pregnancy is wonderful news or has you feeling unsure, understand that support is available.
- TIP: If you choose to terminate the pregnancy early, make sure that only a health care professional performs the abortion.
- Step 1: Know that you are not alone -- thousands of women have been where you are now. You have several options, and one will be the right one for you.
- FACT: Pre-marital births in the United States have risen 25 percent between 2002 and 2007, when more than 40 percent of babies born in 2007 were to unwed mothers.
- Step 2: Understand pregnancy termination, or abortion. Abortion is permanent, so it's best to talk to a doctor or a trusted confidant before making this decision.
- Step 3: Understand that choosing adoption means you are permanently giving up your legal right to raise your child. For more information, get in touch with an adoption agency, lawyer, or counselor.
- Step 4: Decide how you would like to handle the pregnancy. In most cases you have three alternatives to choose from: keeping the baby and raising it yourself, adoption, or abortion.
- TIP: Talk to the child's father, a parent, a trusted friend, a doctor, clergy, or a counselor to help you make this life-changing decision. Do not feel pressured -- the decision is yours.
- Step 5: Understand what it means to keep and raise a child. Obtain information about child-rearing from your doctor -- raising a child is a wonderful experience, but it takes dedication, time, and financial stability.
- Step 6: Make sure you are pregnant. Take a pregnancy test at home using a store-bought urine test available from any pharmacy; then see your doctor to confirm the test and to see how far along you are.