Almost half of the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, which means that if you're facing an unplanned pregnancy, you should know how you’re not alone. There are other women who can help you, there are great counseling programs, and there are a great deal of professionals who specialize in this topic. Before you make any big decisions, try to take some time and consider your options. After learning you’re pregnant, these are your next steps.

Step 1: Contact Your Doctor

The first thing to do when you find out you’re pregnant is to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Maybe you’re stressed out about your unplanned pregnancy, but it’s important to visit a doctor to confirm your pregnancy, determine if everything is fine with you and your baby, and begin prenatal care.

Step 2: Assess Your Feelings

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be feeling a bit trapped; but you do have options. Before any harsh conclusions or decisions, take some time to think everything through. Write down your initial thoughts are about what you think you're wanting to do and make lists of pros and cons.

Step 3: Get Educated

Thoroughly educating yourself about all of your options is important since you’ll need to explore everything before making a final decision. Make an effort to learn everything you can about all of your options so you can feel confident in the choice you make.

Step 4: Talk it Through

Only you can decide what’s right for you. But, some women find it helpful when they talk it through with someone. You may choose to talk with a family member or a trusted friend. Having a support system is important since it’s not easy to cope with the stress on your own. If you don’t have anyone to talk to or you’re too afraid to share your feelings, adoption agencies or professionals or family planning clinics usually have trained staff you can talk with about all of your options. Sometimes it’s easier to open up to a complete stranger. People are afraid of prejudices and negative opinions, so it’s no wonder how many women seek professional help when facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Step 5: Make Your Decision

It’s important to take your time and think carefully about your decision. Maybe you worry about how you’re going to tell your family, your friends, or anyone who is dear to you about your pregnancy. Your time and energy should be spent thinking about what’s best for you and your baby, so don’t let those thoughts about what others will think to dominate your mind. You are the only one who can make the right decision. Don’t ever let anyone else pressuring you into something you don’t want to do. When you’re making your decision, think about your life now and about your future life. Try to answer what is the most important to you in your life at the moment and what are your hopes and goals for the future.

Facing an unplanned pregnancy is not easy, but no matter what option you choose the decision should be only yours.