Learning that you are pregnant can be a scary and confusing time. Regrets and bitter self-recriminations will follow suit, and you will become anxious and afraid of both the present and the future. The emotional upheaval you are feeling is perfectly normal. However, you will need to calm down and plan your next steps of action.
Confirm the pregnancy: While pregnancy test kits are generally reliable, it is important to confirm the pregnancy with a doctor. Find the nearest NHS or Brook’s sexual health services for a free pregnancy test. Their services are confidential, so they will not inform parents or guardians about your pregnancy status unless they believe you are at risk. They will also provide you with important literature about the pregnancy that will be useful in the coming months.
Inform the father: Fear of rejection sometimes causes young mothers to avoid informing the fathers of their baby. However, most young fathers are actually receptive, eager even, to be involved with the pregnancy. The presence of a partner during the next nine months can prove to be invaluable.
Inform your parents: The prospect of your parents reacting badly to being told of your pregnancy is there. However, it needs to be done as you will not be able to face this trying time alone, especially from a financial and logistical standpoint. Be comforted by the fact that most parents will eventually calm down and do everything they can to help you. After all, the safety of you and their grandchild will be the most important thing in the world to them.
After you have completed the three steps, you will have to make the most important decision of your life concerning the pregnancy. Going forward, you will have three options:
Before making the decision, discuss the matter with your parents and the father of the baby. They are all stakeholders, so you should hear their opinions. Ultimately though, the decision lies in your hands alone. If you would like to speak to an impartial party, consider speaking to an NHS counsellor at the Worth Talking About helpline by calling 0300 123 2930.
Depending on your eventual decision, spend plenty of time learning about prenatal care to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your baby during the pregnancy. Start making post-childbirth plans to ensure that you will be fully prepared after the baby’s arrival.
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