You weren’t expecting this; the pregnancy test is positive. You’re feeling so many emotions all at once. Where should you go from here?

Did you know, half of all pregnancies are unexpected, so it is natural for many women to wonder how to cope with an unplanned pregnancy. Like any big decision, it’s important to take time to process, accept, and decide what to do next.

Here are six steps that can help you cope with an unplanned pregnancy:

1. Acknowledge that you are in shock, and that’s okay

Unplanned pregnancy is shocking. It is not something you expected, planned for, or likely even thought about. It might take a few days for you to accept it, and that is okay. Give yourself time to process and take it in.

2. Allow yourself to be emotional

Let yourself feel the emotions as they come: anger, excitement, frustration, confusion, and all the others. Write down the emotions you experience, so that in a few days when the intensity has subsided, you can review them and figure out what you still feel about the pregnancy.

3. Face your doubts

Most women, whether their pregnancies are planned or unplanned, experience doubts about themselves and their ability to make a healthy pregnancy decision. It can be easy to let fears and doubts overwhelm you, but it is important to realize that those initial feelings are not enough to base your decision on. Acknowledge those feelings, but don’t let fear make your choice for you. Remember, you do not have to make a decision right away. 

4. Visualize the different options

Take a step beyond fear and visualize each of the options you have. Imagine yourself at home with your baby. Picture grocery shopping and the routine parts of each day.

If you choose abortion, what emotions do you think you’ll feel a week after the abortion, a month after, when you hold your first child? If you’re considering adoption, can you picture yourself going through the process? How would that make you feel? Each of these decisions are difficult in their own way. Reaching out to a trained options counselor may help you navigate through this process.

5. Don’t let finances be your top concern

Finances are important, but they shouldn’t be the only factor you base your pregnancy decision on. There is a lot of help available to you. Hopeline offers resources and referrals to help women and men facing pregnancy decisions.

6. Find non-judgmental support

People have many thoughts and feelings about an unplanned pregnancy. It’s important that you find people who will offer encouragement and help if you need it. If you aren’t sure where to start, Hopeline can help you with free and confidential support throughout your pregnancy.

Hopeline has been serving pregnant women with no-cost and confidential care for over 30 years. Our staff is experienced in helping each woman who walks through our doors to cope with an unplanned pregnancy. Schedule an appointment at Hopeline and let us help you through your next steps.