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Coping with a Crisis Pregnancy
What is a crisis pregnancy?
For some young people pregnancy is good news, for many others it can be a shock.†It you were not planning a baby and it's upsetting and worrying you, this would be called a crisis pregnancy.†† You will get through this, but you might need some help. Don't be afraid to ask for it when you need it. Take time to think about how you feel about being pregnant and what you want to do.
If you have just found out you are pregnant or that your girlfriend is pregnant, your first instinct might be to keep it to yourself. It is ok to spend a little time just taking it in, but it really is good to tell someone soon so that you can get help and support. Who you tell first will really depend on who you feel closest to right now. This might be
- your boyfriend (if you're a girl reading this)
- your mum or dad
- your best friend
- your sister or brother
- a teacher or youth worker
Think about who is around you and who could listen and give you support. They don't need to have all the answers, just someone to be there for you.
What might happen when you tell?
It is good to tell someone, because you need support and not telling may mean you are trying to cope on your own. Are you worried about how†someone will react? This really depends on who they are. It could be a shock to them and the first thing they say may be out of embarrassment, fear or anger. They may not know the right thing to say. Give people a little bit of time and usually they will want to help. You are all going to need a chance to get used to the idea. Over time, as people think more about it, they can be much more supportive.
You and your partner
If you and your partner are together try to support each other.
- Make time to talk properly, things could be hard if you are both running off to class or work afterwards.††
- It's very easy to let your worry and fear make you want to blame or hurt each other. Talk about what you think and feel.†Neither of you are mind readers, so†if you don't say it, they won't know it.
- Don't think you have to start making decisions straight away. You both might need to talk with your parents or other people you feel close to, before you can work out what you both want to do.
If you were just together on a one night stand, or broke up before you found out about the pregnancy, you might not be sure what to do. Talking to a friend, your parents, or a counsellor about this may be a good idea. Ideally it is good to have both people involved in any decisions to be made, but this is not always possible
You and your parents.
Is telling your parents something you are worrying about? There is probably no best time to tell them. Don't put it off as the sooner they know the sooner they can help you and also get used to the idea themselves.
- If they are both in your life, maybe telling one first might be easier than telling both at the one time.
- Maybe you feel closer to your mum or to your dad, one of them might help you tell the other.
- Parents can react in different ways, but putting off telling them may make things worse. They could hear it from someone else and feel hurt or angry that you didn't talk to them yourself.
Most parents do want to help, but their first reaction might not show this. Your parents may not even have been aware that you were having sex, so they will probably be pretty shocked and angry at the start. Their anger is because they care about you and they know having a baby at a young age can be pretty tough. Like you, they will need time to let it sink in. If you really do think your parents will react very badly, could you get a relative or close family friend to help you to talk with them. You will need someone to help you cope if things get very upset.
Pregnancy counselling gives you the chance to work out how you feel about being pregnant and can help you make a plan for what to do next. It will allow you to talk through the options that are open to you and help you make the best decision for you.
- The counsellor will encourage you to take time to think about what you want to do and how you can do it.
- You may not be sure whether you want to continue with your pregnancy or not, counselling can help you decide. You may want to consider adoption but not know what it means. You can take the time to consider all your options.
- While some people can easily talk to their parents or friends at this time, others canít. Even if you can talk with others it may be hard for them at times to put their own feelings aside. Pregnancy counsellors will encourage you to think for yourself.
Pregnancy counselling services are available in most areas of the country. Details of these services can be found in the Help When you Need it section. The services listed provide the counselling free. Your doctor may also provide pregnancy counselling so you could give him/her a call to check this out.