Chapter 19: Unexpected Pregnancy

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  • 1. Unexpected Pregnancy
  • 2. Signs of Pregnancy
    Early signs are different for every pregnancy, but here are some that many may experience;
    A missed, lighter, or shorter menstrual period
    Breast tenderness or enlargement
    Nipple sensitivity
    Frequent urination
    Feeling unusually tired
    Nausea and/or vomiting
    Feeling bloated
    Cramps
    Increased or decreased appetite
    Feeling more emotional than usual
  • 3. Ways to find out if you are pregnant
    The most simple and easy way to find out if you are pregnant is to take a home pregnancy test
    This test is easy to use and is available at any drug store for little money
    Family planning clinics, women’s health centers, and medical offices offer urine and blood tests
    These tests detect the hormone hCG present in blood and urine during pregnancy
  • 4. Tips to Avoid Unwanted Pregnancies
    Find out if there are other contraceptive methods that are more suited for you
    If you are being sexually abused, get help. There is a National Domestic Violence Hotline and a Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network
    Learn where to get emergency contraception. You may want to keep a package on hand as a backup. These are available at women’s health clinics, and in pharmacies.
    Talk with a counselor at a women’s health or family planning clinic
  • 5. If you are pregnant, there are a few things you need to do…
    The first step is taking the time to adjust to the news and all the emotions that follow
    This could include talking to your partner, quiet reflection, talking to close friends or family, counseling, or even writing it down
    You then need to decide whether to continue the pregnancy or have an abortion
    With this you can then decide to carry the child full term, chose to raise the child yourself, or have the child raised through closed or open adoption or foster care
  • 6. Common Myths Debunked
    A child will not automatically improve your relationship with your partner
    Abortion is not more painful than labor
    Abortion is not more expensive than having a child
    Using drugs in the beginning of the pregnancy does not hurt the fetus
    Adoption does not necessarily cut you off completely from your child
    Men can nurture and love a child the way a woman can
    There is financial help for all of the options
  • 7. Abortion
    Abortion is safe and legal in the United States
    The safest, easiest, and most affordable time is within the first three months of pregnancy
    This is calculated from the time of your last period
    It is very difficult to have an abortion after twelve weeks
  • 8. Interesting Quote
    “About half of the pregnancies in women over forty years old are unintended, a higher rate than for all other age groups except teenagers/young women; for these pregnancies, women over forty have the highest rate of abortion of any age group” (page 382)
  • 9. Parenting
    If you chose to keep the baby, parenting today has become easier than ever
    Babies are remarkably resilient and adaptable when they have a consistent, emotionally nurturing caretaker and are comfortable, properly fed, and safe
    You may chose to parent with the father of the child, or alone
    It is socially acceptable today to parent on your own today
  • 10. Foster Care
    Foster care is an option and deals with shared child rearing in extended families and among friends to ensure that as many children as possible has a chance to thrive
    System is common throughout the United States and around the world
    Goal is to provide you time to resolve your situation
    This requires you to obtain a lawyer for negotiations for either informal foster care of the governments formal foster care system
    Important to ensure that the guardian can make medical and educational decisions in your absence
    This does put yourself at risk for losing your parental rights permanently
  • 11. Adoption
    When choosing open or closed adoption, consider these options:
    Closed adoptions are now considered psychologically unhealthy for you and your child
    Consider picking an agency that will keep information about you to give to the child and adoptive family if they request it
    Also be sure the agency will help you find out about how things are going later on, even if you feel now that you will never want to know
  • 12. Adoption Continued..
    If you choose adoption, it will work easiest if you create a deliberate adoption plan with an adoption counselor and by using a reputable agency
    A good agency pays for your legal and counseling services and does not offer you money
    It treats you, not the adoptive family, as the client
  • 13. It is standard practice that you as the birth mother gets to choose the adoptive family from a pool of applicants in order to determine how comfortable you are having them raise your child
    Many agencies require the adoptive families to provide yearly updates on the child’s growth to the birth mother
    It may be possible to write letters to the child and have them placed on file for his/her future
  • 14. You can also find adoptive families through a newspaper ad, an independent adoption facilitator, a medical practitioner, or a lawyer
    In these circumstances, you create the adoption plan directly with the parents and/or their lawyer
    Either way it is advisable to have your own lawyer and counselor
  • 15. After making your decision;
    What ever route you decide, you may experience grief
    Grief is normal and it does not mean that you made the wrong decision, but rather that you are feeling a loss
    Remember you need support at this time and to be informed before making a decision
  • 16. Discussion Question
    If you were put in the position of having an unwanted pregnancy, what would your feelings be and how would you deal with them?