Unplanned pregnancy? Here are your options
People become pregnant at many different ages and stages of life. Many people plan their pregnancies, but unplanned pregnancies are common. In any given year in Canada, about 60% of all pregnancies are unplanned. Of those, close to half end with an abortion and the rest lead to a birth. When making decisions around an unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to remember that everyone is different, and we all face different circumstances that inform the choices we make. Trust people you know to make the decisions that are right for them, even if that’s different from how you might react in a similar situation.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, know that you are not alone. People can feel anything from joy to fear to confusion – and all of those reactions being normal and valid.
It can be hard to sift through your feelings when making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy. It can be especially complicated when it happens at a time that others might expect us to want to be pregnant, or when we might want to be pregnant later. Sometimes, we might want to be pregnant, but find ourselves dealing with circumstances that make the idea of continuing a pregnancy scary or unsustainable, or just plain impossible. Other times, we might be nearing the end of our reproductive years and feeling the pressure of “the clock ticking” or we might have children already and want to plan and space our families accordingly.
Sometimes, we know exactly what we want to do. Other times, it can bring up lots of confusing and conflicting ideas and feelings. We might have lots of supports around us, or we might have none. An unplanned pregnancy can sometimes bring on big life changes – for instance, it can bring on changes to a relationship if partners have different ideas or expectations than we do. If you’re feeling overwhelmed when experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, pregnancy options counseling is an excellent way to receive non-judgmental and competent support when considering the many factors that will inform your decision moving forward. If needed, call the Access Line to get a referral to reputable pregnancy counseling options.