In an ideal world, news of a pregnancy will only bring joy and excited anticipation. Sometimes, though, if a pregnancy is unplanned, the overwhelming feelings can be those of confusion and concern.
By understanding the range of choices available to you, you can make the best decision for your circumstance.
Although you should consider your options very carefully, your decision is, really, yours alone and you should not feel pressured by other influences.
Your first step is to confirm your pregnancy with a visit to your doctor. The test is simple and accurate and can be done after you have missed one period. Don’t wait, the earlier your pregnancy can be confirmed, the more choices you will have.
Almost half of all unplanned pregnancies in New Zealand end with an abortion. If you decide to have an abortion, your doctor or counsellor will make a referral. An abortion is generally carried out within the first 12 weeks from the first day of your last period. Abortions are performed at specialist clinics and some hospitals. Your doctor or counsellor will discuss the risks of the procedure with you.
Although adoption is not commonly chosen in response to unplanned pregnancy, the option is still available. Be aware that applications for adoptions are not considered until after a baby is born. If you wish to discuss this option during your pregnancy, speak to your doctor or family planning clinic for information about services that can provide you with support and counselling.
Making the choice to become a parent can be a tough one and it is one that should be taken very seriously. Although it’s also incredibly rewarding, parenthood can be an extremely challenging experience and it is not the best choice for everyone.
Having the support of family and friends is important. This is both during your pregnancy and after the birth of your baby. Your doctor or family planning clinic can point you to information and support services to help you ensure your choice is right for you.
This article was written by Claire Halliday for Kidspot. Sources include Family Planning Association of Western Australia and Children By Choice Association Incorporated.