For many women, finding out that you are pregnant is a joyous and celebratory moment. We all see the sweet, intimate, and elaborate pregnancy announcements to partners, family, and friends on social media. If you’re pregnancy is unplanned, however, and coming at what feels like the worst possible time, your feelings are probably less than joyous – perhaps the very opposite.
Right now, it may feel easier to isolate yourself and not tell anyone about your pregnancy. But it is important that you do not let yourself become consumed in shame and regret when what you need most is community and support.
So, how do you break the news?
Talk with a Professional:
A women’s clinic, like the Cline Center, is a great first step. At the Cline Center you will receive free medical services to verify your pregnancy with a lab grade pregnancy test and have an ultrasound to determine how many weeks along you are, as well as the location and viability of your pregnancy. You will also have a free options counseling session with a trained advocate where you can process your emotions, organize your thoughts, and ensure that you are well-informed about all of your options as well as the resources available to you.
Decide how you feel about your pregnancy:
Before you have difficult conversations, it is important to set boundaries, make peace with yourself, and start believing that you are capable, brave, and strong. It’s important to treat yourself like you are worthy; with the dignity that you would expect to be treated. Decide that you’re not going to give anyone the room to make you feel less than, or ashamed, for your pregnancy.
Confide in the person you trust most:
Telling other people about your pregnancy can be hard – it is sometimes important to have a friend or advocate that understands your heart and will walk alongside you in these conversations.
Identify the people you need to tell – like your parents and your partner:
We understand that your situation with your parents or the father of the baby may toxic or even abusive. If this is the case for you, it is important to remove yourself from any dangerous situations and seek professional help. There are resources for you to do so, listed below.
Telling your Partner:
Whether it was just a hook-up, or it is a committed relationship, you may want to consider telling your partner about your pregnancy. Before breaking the news: set up a time and place, prepare what you would like to say, determine what your expectations are, and give them the space to process this news while maintaining your boundaries. Once your partner has had time to process the news, you may want to consider discussing your options with them and discussing what their involvement might look like as you both move forward.
Telling your Parents:
Again, it is important to set a time and place, prepare what you want to say, and give them space to process the news while still maintaining your boundaries.
Both of these conversations may be hard. The people you love may respond in a way that is hurtful to you, with anger, disappointment, or sadness. If this is the case for you it is important to remember: you deserve dignity and respect, you are brave and capable, no one can legally force you to terminate your pregnancy, you are worth celebrating, and you are the only one who gets to decide how someone is going to make you feel.
***if someone is attempting to force you to terminate your pregnancy, please call the Cline Center at 601-487-1064. The Cline Center can offer you the resources and help you need.
Center Against Forced Abortions Hotline: 210-614-7157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
***if you are in an abusive situation with your partner or parents:
The Center for Violence Prevention Crisis Hotline: 601-923-4198
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233