An unexpected pregnancy can come as a big shock, especially if you are still very young. Here’s more about some of your options.
You’ve recently done a home pregnancy test and it has come back positive.
It may have come as a shock, especially if you do not know the father of your baby very well, or are not in any sort of relationship that you think is good for the long haul, or even if you and your family are not in a financial position to care for your baby. It might just not be the right time for a baby, because of your situation.
Sometimes women who have been raped can also fall pregnant, which can make decisions about the pregnancy very difficult.
You basically have the following options in the early stages of your pregnancy:
- You can decide to keep the baby, and raise it with the help of your family or a partner
You can decide to end the pregnancy by having an abortion
You can give the baby up for adoption to be raised by another family
There is also the choice of taking the morning-after pill, which makes your period start, but it needs to be taken as soon as possible (within 3 – 5 days) of having had unprotected sex, otherwise it will not work.
The choice you make depends on your personal and financial situation, and possibly also your religious views, and there is no right decision for all women who find themselves in this position.
It is a big decision, and not one you can take without carefully weighing up your situation, as it will have an impact not only on your life, but also on that of the people around you. There are, of course, pros and cons to each of the above options. It might be a good idea to make a list of these, and look at them again in a day or two. You might feel differently then, or you may want to add some things to the list.
But even before you make a list, there are questions below you need to ask yourself.
- Am I in any position to care for a baby and provide for it both financially and emotionally?
How will my decision affect the future I have planned for myself?
How will it affect my family or my other children if I have a baby now?
What sort of relationship do I have with the father of my baby? Can I rely on him to help in any way?
Do I have strong religious or personal views about abortion?
Will any of the choices mentioned above change my life in a way that I don’t want it to?
Am I being pressurised by those around me to make one of the above choices?
Will the people around me support the choice I make, or will it cause problems in the future?
Share your thinking with a trusted friend. It is a good idea to speak to a counsellor or someone besides your friends and family as well. Ask at your local clinic about counselling services in your area. This might help make your choices clearer to you. Remember, ultimately it is your life and body, and it is your decision to make.
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If you are pregnant, you can find more information and support here.