An unplanned pregnancy can be a stressful situation for the mother and those in her immediate social circles. However, there are ways that family, friends, and the broader community can help support a woman experiencing an unintended pregnancy. Below are just a few examples of ways provide pregnancy support:
One of the most important things friends can do is listen without judgment. It can be difficult for someone to come to terms with an unplanned pregnancy, and they may need someone to talk to about their fears and concerns, as well as serve as a sounding board for potential plans moving forward.
Offer Emotional Support
Friends can offer emotional support by being there for their friend during this time. This may include offering words of encouragement, reassuring them that they will get through this, and letting them know that they are not alone.
Help With Practical Tasks
Unplanned pregnancies can come with a lot of practical tasks that may feel overwhelming, such as finding healthcare providers, researching options, and preparing for the arrival of a baby. Friends can offer to help with these tasks or connect their friend with resources that can assist them. Another way to offer pregnancy support is offering to help with housework while your friend is experiencing morning sickness, prepare meals for their dependants, or run errands for them so they can rest.
Celebrate The Good Moments
An unplanned pregnancy can be overwhelming, but there will be good moments too. Friends can celebrate these moments, such as hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time, participating in gender reveals, and planning a baby shower so that your friend can receive needed items before the baby is born. Bringing new life into the world, even if unplanned, is a cause for celebration!
Connect Them With Resources
Your friend may be overwhelmed with the idea of an unplanned pregnancy, so it’s important to let them know that they are not alone and that there are resources available to them. Connect your friend with a local pregnancy help organization so that she can get referrals for ultrasounds, OBGYN care, and even material items like diapers and formula for the baby.
If you are the person experiencing the unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to reach out to people who have your best interests in mind and are willing to help. There are a few things that you can do to start the process of getting help:
Don’t Isolate Yourself
An unplanned pregnancy can often bring with it feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment – women often isolate themselves because they aren’t sure how to process what they are going through. Make sure to reach out to people who care about you, whether that’s close friends, the father of the baby, or other respected members of your community. It’s okay to talk about how you’re feeling about the pregnancy with people.
Connect With a Pregnancy Help Organization in Your Area
We often recommend women visit a pregnancy help organization as the first step in addressing an unplanned pregnancy. These organizations are able to provide women with necessary medical services like pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, but they may also be able to provide referrals to OBGYNs in your area, as well as help you identify other resources/aid that you may qualify for. They are great resources and generally are willing to help connect you with a specific resource if they are unable to provide that service themselves.
Be Honest With Yourself and Others About How You’re Feeling
In addition to not isolating yourself and reaching out to your community for support, it’s important that you are honest with yourself and with others about how you’re feeling. Pregnancy can bring about a lot of hormonal changes that affect mood – and an unplanned pregnancy in particular might come with strong emotions. Be honest about how you’re feeling so that other people might know how to best help you.