Women may respond differently to an unplanned pregnancy. Some hide it or keep it to themselves. Some tell their partner or close family members. Others confide in friends first that they know will support them.
What should you do if you find out you are one of those friends? How do you respond if someone shares with you that they suspect they are pregnant unexpectedly?
First, it is important that you realize how vulnerable it is for her to let you in as she processes her feelings. In many cases, an unplanned pregnancy can leave someone feeling confused, vulnerable, or in shock. And she came to you. So make sure that you treat her with compassion and kindness. She is going through a lot.
The most important thing to do is be there for her. Ask her how she is feeling. Listen to what she has to say. Ask questions if she seems to be having trouble identifying her feelings. Maybe just sit quietly with her so she knows that she is not alone.
Remember that this is not the time to lecture, judge, or impose your beliefs upon her. You can be there for her by letting her sort out how she is feeling and being a support to her.
Many women feel a sense of urgency to decide what to do. Remain calm and help to remember that she has time to think through all her options and make the decision that she is comfortable with. There is no rush.
Be available. Offer to go with her to tell her family or partner if she wants. Be available for her to talk if it does not go well.
If she is struggling, encourage her to get outside help. Sit with her if she wants to call a Pregnancy Resource Center, like We Care Pregnancy Clinic. Offer to drop her off or go with her so she does not feel alone.
Contact We Care throughour website contact page. You can also call 815.748.4242, or text our helpline at 815.780.9097.
Support during the Covid-19:
During the spread of Covid-19, it is just as vital to offer support to friends you may know that are experiencing unplanned pregnancy. The stress or worry that comes with the unknown of the virus can increase anxiety that an unexpected mother may be feeling.
It is very important to adhere to the recommendations of social distancing for the health of our community. But there are still ways to support your friend during this time.
- Check on her often. Be available in any way you can. Phone call, text, video chat.
- Send her links to helpful resources. We Care Pregnancy Clinic is available to help via text while practicing social distancing.
- Order her favorite meal or food to be delivered. This will help her know that people want to help. Also it will ensure that she is eating, which can be a struggle when you are feeling stressed.
- Listen and let her know that you care about her and what she is going through.
You don’t have to have all the answers. She is the one who needs to make the best decision for her. But she does need compassion and support as she takes in all this new information. Just keep doing what you did to make her call you during this time. Be her friend.