You are a sexually active woman. Both you and your partner have been using some form of birth control. Then you miss your period. You don’t take it seriously because you have been so careful about contraception. Initially, you tell yourself that these things happen. May be it’s the stress or just a routine glitch in your menstrual cycle. After all, women rarely menstruate like clockwork. But just to make sure you take a home pregnancy test. The test is positive. You are pregnant! But you are not turning cartwheels with joy.
For the average woman, finding out that she is pregnant means that it is time to break out the champagne (non-alcoholic!). However, the average woman is probably also married, healthy, financially stable, and the pregnancy has been planned and is the result of consensual sex. Take the case of a woman who has become pregnant after she has been raped. Or consider a woman for whom pregnancy is dangerous. What if the woman is not physically, mentally or financially capable of looking after a child? What about teenage pregnancy?
Pregnancy is not a welcome occurrence for women who do not want to become pregnant for whatever reason. Having a child is something that requires planning and should be a voluntary well thought-out decision. It is the woman who has to carry the baby in her womb for the next nine months and both parents have to bear the tremendous responsibility that rearing a child entails. While making a baby is fun and games, bringing up the child is not a joke. Conception is only the first step on the long journey of parenthood.
Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, a woman has three choices. She could have the baby and face the consequences; she could carry the baby to term and then give it up for adoption; or she could terminate the pregnancy.
Women who cannot bring themselves to abort the baby should remember that having the baby is not always the smartest decision. If the mother is unmarried, both the child and the mother will bear the stigma of illegitimacy. It is not easy bringing up a child alone. Sometimes children from single parent households are not as well-adjusted as other children.
In the case of women who opt to carry the baby to term with the intention of giving it up for adoption, they often discount the bond that develops between mother and baby after nine months in the womb. Women often do not anticipate what a wrench it is to give up the baby to strangers after nurturing her in the womb for nine months. They should remember that adoption is not a reversible decision.
Most women balk at the thought of having an abortion. This is only natural. Terminating a pregnancy is a major decision and one that women should not take lightly. Women should not view abortion in a casual manner as another means of contraception. You don’t get rid of a baby merely because you have been careless or because it is inconvenient to have one. But if you have not planned to have a baby and if you cannot give it a good life after it is born, then you should seriously think about having a child. It is not enough to give a child the gift of life. You must be able to ensure a certain quality of life. The point is that women should have the right to choose.
There are two camps on the controversial issue of abortion: pro-life and pro-choice. The pro-life camp is anti-abortion. In their opinion, a foetus is human from the moment of conception. Therefore, having an abortion is equivalent to murdering a baby. The pro-choice camp is for abortion, believing that the decision to have the child should rest with the mother. Debates have been raging around the world on the issue. Governments have vacillated, wondering whether to legalize abortions. In countries where abortions are illegal, women who do not have the financial resources to secure the cooperation of a doctor have been forced to go to quacks who often do not know what an abortion entails. They perform invasive procedures in the most unsanitary conditions that have resulted in complications like damage to the woman’s reproductive organs, infertility and even death.
Where does that leave us? While most women have an opinion on this issue, either pro-choice or pro-life, they are often surprised when it comes to making a personal decision. Theory often flies out of the window when you have to put it into practice. There is no ‘right’ decision. What is ‘right’ will depend on the circumstances of every pregnancy.
HOW TO DEAL WITH IT
Unplanned pregnancy is not the issue which is faced by unmarried couples only. Lots of married couples also come across the issue of unplanned pregnancy. Women or couples coping with unplanned pregnancies have to deal with lot of stress, depression and tension. Read on to find some help for dealing with unplanned pregnancies.
Unplanned pregnancies are not only associated with unmarried couples, but even married couples get worried if they do not have plans to bear the child at present. However, it is a matter of deep concern when you are unmarried and you miss a period as also your urine test turns positive. You get confused, worried and feel like killing yourself. This is natural, but not the solution.
Do not go in for any hasty decision or come to any kind of conclusion. Pregnancy is otherwise a time to celebrate but if you have unplanned pregnancy, you need time to overcome the stress and tension. There are lots of feelings that come and go and the two that persist are anger and guilt. Things look bigger than you can handle at this tender age. Here are few tips that can help you handle the situation properly.
TIPS TO TACKLE WITH UNPLANNED PREGNANCY
Here are some tips for dealing with unwanted pregnancy.
DO NOT PANIC
Although the situation is serious and you feel like crying because of the anger and guilt prevailing within you, it is not time to panic. You might be going through shame, fear and ignorance too. Do not feel cheated due to circumstances or hate yourself or your relationship. Remember, it is not the first life threatening emergency that you are facing.
ACCEPT YOURSELF AND THE SITUATION
It is very important that you first of all forgive yourself for what happened. Just keep in mind that there is no harm going to happen to your spiritual help even if you have gone through certain sexual ignorance.
DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF
Try to resolve this issue with the help of your mind and not your heart. It is easier said than done. But this is the only way in which you can handle the situation properly. Remember, the feelings of shame, guilt, hatred and anger will not go away easily. But you will have to stop dwelling and let go the guilt. Move on and take decision only when you are open to some change in your life.
TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY
Once you are able to overcome the feeling of guilt, you need to take the responsibility of what is the situation right now. Stop thinking about the past and anything related to it. Take a deep breath and decide with self confidence to take any big step.
LEARN FROM THE SITUATION
Think about the problem as a learning step for you. This will save you from getting trapped into any such situation in future.
TAKE REFUGE TO MEDITATION
Meditate deep before you take any decision. Do not take any overwhelming decision of which you might have to regret afterwards. Weigh up the pros and cons of your decision and share with only trusted person.
TAKE THE DECISION ON YOUR OWN
It is important that you take the decision about what you wish to do with this pregnancy on your own. However, you can take advice of an expert, counselor or doctor. You may also discuss this issue with your partner. You can consider financial issues, social issues, physical issues and psychological issues while taking final decision. This will help you to prepare yourself to face the situation.
With the help of these tips you will be able to handle the situation properly and take decision sensibly. Even if it is unplanned pregnancy, this does not mean that this is the end of your life. There are many situations in life when we have to face emergencies and this is one of them. You have to handle it prudently and take decision that is good and right for you and your life.
UNPLANNED PREGNANCY AND STRESS
Unplanned pregnancy and stress go hand in hand. The stress levels in unplanned pregnancy are very high and it depends on the cause and timing of the unplanned pregnancy. Stressful condition is detrimental for the health and one is not able to think rationally under stress. Being stress free is the mantra for reaching a decision. Here are some ways by which you can deal with the stress during unplanned pregnancy.
Pregnancy is naturally accompanied by a whole lot of worries regarding factors that are directly or indirectly related to the present and future of the unborn child. When you plan a pregnancy, the issues are somewhat sorted out and if it is an unplanned one, the stress escalates to unprecedented levels.
It is natural to get freaked out when you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy when you are not prepared or not in a position to bring up a child. But since this is a situation that cannot be undone, it is in the best interest for the mother as well as the child, that is if you have decided to complete the term, that you are stress free. This will help you to make the correct decision and deal with the situation with a clear mind.
STRESS DUE TO UNPLANNED PREGNANCY
Unplanned pregnancy and the ensuing stress can occur due to several reasons.
UNPLANNED PREGNANCY IN ADOLESCENT GIRL
If it is an adolescent girl, then the girl may or may not be a minor. Even if she is physiologically equipped but mentally, she may not be prepared to deal with pregnancy and the impact of it in her later life. Only when she discovers the fact that she gets stressed out and feels that she has dropped into a dark hole.
UNPLANNED PREGNANCY DUE TO RAPE
If the unplanned pregnancy is a result of rape, the woman has to take a call on the future of the unborn child. It is a deeply traumatic situation for the woman as she is yet to overcome the emotional scar of the crime and now she has to bear the consequence of the wrongdoing of some act where she was not a willing partner. The stress factor is doubled up several times in her case.
UNPLANNED PREGNANCY BEFORE MARRIAGE
The unplanned pregnancy can happen to a woman before marriage and in this case, she is stressed out due to the fact that she might be isolated and ostracized for becoming an unwed mother. The pregnancy can result from a casual sexual encounter or an indulgence where she overlooked the need of contraceptives.
UNPLANNED PREGNANCY AFTER MARRIAGE
Unplanned pregnancy in married women can cause stress when the couple is not prepared to start a family due to a variety of reasons. It becomes a cause of stress when they are at a dilemma on whether to go ahead with the pregnancy or terminate it.
The mother needs to be in a balanced state. The fact cannot be denied that it is the woman who is going to be most impacted by whether she terminates the pregnancy or goes ahead with it. Feeling scared or isolated due to an unplanned pregnancy is obvious, but it is equally important to make an informed decision. For this, you need to look for ways that will help you cope up with the stress. The first step is to accept the fact and then seek unbiased and non-judgmental support. This can come from a professional counselor, a close family member or a friend. Whatever the choice she makes, it is necessary that she is totally committed to it otherwise, she might have to deal with an eternal lament or bitterness.
HOW TO DEAL WITH STRESS DUE TO UNPLANNED PREGNANCY
Here is how you can deal with stress due to unplanned pregnancy.
You Need a Mentor to Help you Deal with the Stress – Discuss your situation and in the process your thoughts will clear out. You will find yourself in a less stressful condition when you are able to share your feelings with someone who cares to listen to and offer advice that is in your best interest.
Get into Research – You need to learn on how your body reacts to a pregnancy. Educate yourself with the details so that you do not get further worked up when you notice the changes in your body and system.
Whether you have decided to let the baby be adopted after it is born or foster care, make sure that you know the laws related to either of these propositions. Once you know how to proceed, your stress will reduce automatically.
Finally, Never Lose Trust in Yourself – Whatever you decide regarding the unplanned pregnancy, it should be your decision and you need to feel contended with it. Believe the fact that you have every right to lead life on your own terms; only that you should ensure that you are not harming anyone in the process and that includes you.