Becoming Pregnant: What Options Do You Have? in Body
If your pregnancy was unplanned or you don’t feel ‘ready’ for a baby, then it can be even more stressful. It’s important to know all your options. The Healthy Respect Team share their guide on what to do next.
Deciding what to do
If you’ve had a positive test result, you need to talk to someone to find out how many weeks pregnant you are. It can be useful to talk through all the options as early as possible, talk to someone you trust, who will take your feelings into account. It can be difficult to make a decision about what to do, especially if you and other people close to you don’t feel the same about the pregnancy.
If the pregnancy was unplanned, you may feel some of the following:
- happiness that you were able to get pregnant
- shock that you are actually pregnancy
- worry that you aren't ready, or can't afford to have a baby
- anger that you are pregnant and didn't choose to be
- anxiety about what other people will think
- excitement about such a big change in your life
- concern that you might make the wrong decision
- fear about the process of pregnancy and childbirth.
Don’t rush into anything until you feel sure (or as sure as you can be) that you’ve weighed up all the options. You may not want to share this information with too many people until you have thought it through a little bit more.
If you are pregnant, you have three options:
These options are:
- Continue the pregnancy and keep the baby
- End the pregnancy (called abortion or termination - these mean the same thing)
- Continue the pregnancy and place the baby for adoption
1. Continue the pregnancy and keep the baby
You may be very happy to be pregnant. There are different ways of being looked after during pregnancy and you will have an active say in how both you and your baby are cared for.
Looking after your health is very important during pregnancy, and you’ll be offered lots of advice and information about this. See www.readysteadybaby.org.uk for more information.
If you are still at school and want to continue the pregnancy, there are services that can provide the information to help you make the right choice for you, and support you to continue your education.
2. End the pregnancy
If you want to end the pregnancy, make an appointment with local sexual health clinics, or your doctor. They’ll talk things through with you, tell you what to expect and arrange a referral.
You can watch the video below that explains
- What will happen at the clinic if I ask to be referred for an abortion?
- Methods of abortion
- How to get counselling after an abortion
You can also find out more about abortion on the Healthy Respect website.
3. Place the baby for adoption
If discovering you're pregnant is not what you expected, you could decide to carry on with the pregnancy and have the baby adopted once it is born.
If you decide that adoption is right for you and your baby, a social worker will spend some time with you to help you with your decision. The preparations for the adoption can begin before your child is born, but nothing will be definitely arranged until after the birth so you will be completely free to change your mind. You might feel differently once the child is born and want to become a parent.
For more information you should discuss this with your midwife or doctor who will put you in touch with a social worker. Or visit the British Association for Adoption and Fostering at http://www.baaf.org.uk/info/pregnant.
Adoption Information Line: 0800 22 44 88