In this article, we talked about important issues about alone facing an unexpected pregnancy without a partner. We also included stories of people who have experienced this situation.
You are frightened, confused and you don’t know what to do. Everyone will say you should have known better. Yes, you’ve just found out you are beginning an unplanned pregnancy and now what do you do?
First, calm down and try to think clearly. Don’t make any rash decisions right now; there is time. Confide in a friend, your parents, or find an agency that will help you out. There are many others in your situation, and no matter how alone you feel, you aren’t.
According to the Jennifer Mclarin, premarital childbearing has been on the rise, not only among teenagers but also in older women. In 1930 to 1934, the number of first births to women in the United States in a surveyed area was 2,037. Out of that, 5.9 were premarital births. In 1960 to 1964, there were 5,507 first births, with 10.3 of those being premarital births. From 1990 to 1994, first births totaled 6,324 and out of those, 40.5 were premarital births.
Kate is pregnant at the age of 16. She was happy when she discovered she was pregnant. Several of her friends already had babies and she thought she would fit in with them better. She also was positive that her boyfriend, Ted, would want to get married. It was a big surprise when he told her he would pay for an abortion. To Kate, that was not an option.
Kate’s mother, also a single mom, scolded her for not having used contraception. But Kate didn’t think she would get pregnant without protection just one time. Her mother was angry because there would be another mouth to feed, and told Kate she could continue to live there as long as she went to school but after that she would have to find a place to live and take care of her own child.
As Kate’s pregnancy progressed, she found it difficult to keep up at school. Fortunately, the school has a program for unwed mothers, providing a nursery and parental training. Guidance counselors work with the girls and make sure they get training so that they can get a job. They help them find day care for their babies and give them training to manage money. There is also a strong support group of girls that are pregnant or have been pregnant while in school. Without these groups and the friends Kate has made, she says she doesn’t know if she would make it through the pregnancy.
“Get involved in support groups at your school or in your town,” Kate says. “They will help you get the information you need concerning the future and your life alone with your baby. I think I’ll be OK because of the things I’m learning.”
10 PHASES OF AN UNPLANNED PREGNANCY
Bernice is a happily-married mother of three children. Her first was born out of wedlock when she was in her freshman year of college, derailing her plans to become a journalist. She was even more devastated when the father of the baby informed her that he wanted nothing to do with the child. So she turned to a support system — her parents — and lived with them before the baby came and for a time after.
Bernice worried about how she would support a child on her own with no college education. She dropped out of college and planned to get a job after the baby was born. She knew her mother would watch the baby occasionally, but she also knew she would have to find daycare while she worked. Without a college degree, she wouldn’t find a job that paid well and she knew her check would eaten up by daycare costs. During her pregnancy she was depressed; there was no joy in having the baby alone. The first time she experienced any excitement was after her daughter was born. Once she saw the baby, she says she knew she had made the right decision to keep her.
At the time Bernice became pregnant, there were few support groups in existence. She says unmarried pregnant women today have it a little better because unwed mothers are more tolerated now and there is more support, both financial and emotional.
Bernice also suggests that pregnant women spend the full nine months preparing. “Take advantage of parenting classes. Learn how to change a diaper…and bathe a baby. Learn all you can before the baby comes. Nothing can really prepare you for the trials of feedings, lack of sleep and illness. These are just things you have to learn to deal with.” Also check out this article : What to do before getting pregnant?
Bernice says the best tip she can give to unwed mothers is, “Surround yourself with people you can trust. People from your church, your family, state and county agencies, and most important, friends. Let these people help you. You can’t do it all by yourself.”
Many public and private agencies lend support before and after the baby is born. Look in your telephone directory under “pregnancy” and you will usually find several numbers. Don’t be afraid to contact them. It will probably be the best thing you can do for yourself and your child.
Pregnancy without a partner is difficult — but certainly not as impossible as it might feel in the beginning when the fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. But surrounding yourself with supportive relatives, friends and helpful agencies will help the transition into motherhood.