Pregnancy - what to do and how to decide?
Finding out you (or your partner) are pregnant can make you feel all sorts of emotions, possibly all at once.
You may be:
Our aim is not to tell you what to do, but to help you think about the decisions you need to make, the feelings you may have and the support you need, so you can decide for yourself.
We want to concentrate on you and how you can cope with the decisions that lie ahead. See our below information for practical advice on health and pregnancy:
Pregnant - is it really true?
If you think you (or your partner) are pregnant the first step is to find out for sure. Worrying unnecessarily is stressful but if you are pregnant then ignoring it, or pretending it will just go away, can make matters worse.
You can get free confidential advice and a test by:
You may be relieved, but some women may feel slightly disappointed as well. This is quite a normal reaction but think carefully before you act on these feelings. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to be pregnant – it is just your emotions running high.
I’m pregnant - who can I turn to?
Decide who you can trust to talk to - your GP must give you confidential, free and unbiased advice or you might choose to talk to a parent, friend, partner, professional or family member who can support you while you think through what to do next.
Telling parents / carers.
This may or may not be difficult depending on your relationship. But remember, you may have just got used to the idea but parents may need more time. Don’t be too surprised by their first reaction, they may take a while to adjust. Explain that you want their support and help to make your decision. Most young people find that parents and carers are understanding and supportive if you give them time and they can see that you are trying to be responsible and mature in thinking things through carefully. If telling them really isn’t an option then find someone you trust to talk to instead.
What about my relationship?
There is no doubt that being pregnant and having a baby puts a strain on any relationship. Becoming parents is one of the most demanding but rewarding tasks and is a commitment that lasts forever. Legally, the decision to continue with a pregnancy or not lies with the pregnant woman, so you don’t have to tell your partner if you don’t want to.
What are my options?
You may decide to:
It is worth taking some time to think through all the options even if you already think you know what you want to do. You are allowed to change your mind!
Have the baby?
The responsibility of bringing up a baby as a young person is a difficult decision, especially if you are still at school or college. But there are some organisations which offer support and advice to younger parents.
These are difficult but important questions, but it is up to you to decide. It may help if you have someone to talk with you about your decision.
Having an abortion/termination
Having an abortion is a safe, legal medical procedure to end a pregnancy if you decide you do not want to have a baby at this time.
Abortions are available to any woman, at any age, free on the NHS or privately at a clinic (for a cost) in the UK but more difficult to obtain in Northern Ireland.
Here is some more information to help you make a decision:
Having a baby adopted
If you decide to have your baby adopted, you will continue with the pregnancy until the baby is born. Then it will be cared for by carefully selected, chosen adoptive parents. Once the adoption is final you will no longer have any rights or responsibility for your baby.
How it works:
Tommy’s - http://www.tommys.org.uk
Brook Advice centres - http://www.brook.org.uk/
Family Planning Association - www.fpa.org.uk.
British Association for Adoption and Fostering - http://www.baaf.org.uk/
Marie Stopes - www.mariestopes.org.uk
Date of Review: 14/02/2013
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