Seeing that positive pregnancy test can send your life into a tail spin. No matter whether it was planned, or unplanned, welcome or unwelcome life is about to change. There are now decisions to be made, things to consider and all of this while you are scared, freaked out, happy or in denial. Where do you turn? The internet is full of information but what information do you trust?
Friends, family members and even the baby’s father can be great sources of support and you will need support no matter what decision you make about your pregnancy. If you aren’t comfortable reaching out to people you know there are support groups out there that may help. Across the United States there are groups for expectant mothers, groups for women considering adoption, women who have already placed babies for adoption, and groups for women who choose abortion. Sometimes the best advice comes from those who know what you are going through, and it can be a relief to find support for your unplanned pregnancy from those who truly understand.
There are two main types of support groups:
- In Person Support Groups: Women’s assistance programs, churches and other religious organizations may host free support groups for expectant women. Usually a professional social worker, therapist or clergy member will moderate these groups.
- Online forums and message boards: Sometimes talking to strangers about an unplanned pregnancy can be scary but joining one of these mostly anonymous groups may be easier for you. You maintain a sense of privacy while also reaching out for support.
Online forums and message boards can be great for connecting to women in similar situations, but the anonymity of these boards also holds the potential of connecting you to biased unhelpful parties. Pay attention to who runs or moderates the boards, understand that all the information given in these forums may not be accurate and you may need to use a back up support system to help you make a decision that is right for you.
You can also find support through experienced pregnancy counselors. Adoption Agencies, pregnancy and health clinics will discuss your pregnancy options with you completely confidentially and for free. Please try to find a clinic or health center that will provide you with all your options, such as planned parenthood. Religious organizations that run clinics or health centers may not go over all your options or may provide you with biased information regarding your options. Adoptions Agencies that are not religiously affiliated may also provide you with unbiased information or resources that can help you make your decision. Staff are usually trained counselors and can speak with you about your options regarding your pregnancy and help you make the best decision for you.
Some adoption agencies work with women throughout the country, others have local agencies with counselors that can meet you in person and help you go over all your options. If you choose a local agency they can also provide you with resources to help you get the help you need during your pregnancy.