Unplanned Pregnancy? How to Tell Your Family
An unplanned pregnancy is not something you should go through alone. Having a strong support system will help you get through the pressures and challenges of pregnancy. It is also important to have someone to listen to you sort through everything. Many women dread telling their family or friends because they feel embarrassed or do not want to disappoint family members. They fear their family may react with anger or judgment. In some families, this may be true, but in most cases, that sort of response is temporary. In the end, it is worth it when you have the support and strength of your loved ones during this time.
Finding the Right Time
The best time to tell your family is not at a holiday gathering or some other event. This conversation will likely be stressful for all involved, so choose a time without any additional stressors. It will be easiest to discuss the news in a small group, perhaps even one on one depending on your family dynamics. If it helps you feel more comfortable, bring a close friend to stand by your side and give you strength and courage.
Allow Time to Internalize
Think about when you first learned you were pregnant. How did you feel initially? You probably felt shocked, afraid, and upset. As time went by and you got more and more used to the idea, those initial feelings faded a bit. Remember that your family will likely feel shocked and fearful at first, just as you did. They may need time to sort through their own emotions.
You don’t have to make a final decision about what you’re going to do until after the baby is born. However, having some sort of tentative plan can ease your fears and anxiety about your unplanned pregnancy. It could also help ease the tension when delivering the news to your family.
If you have a parent or family member with a history of violence or irrational responses, make sure to protect yourself and your baby from them. You could have a friend with you, tell them in a public place, or even avoid telling them altogether. It is your decision whether you want to tell anyone about your pregnancy. Do not associate with anyone that is unsafe for you or your baby and do not let anyone demand that you make a specific decision regarding the future of your child. Becoming a mother or offering life to another family is a private and courageous decision that another person cannot make for you or pressure you into making.