When life doesn’t go the way you thought it would, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and terrified. A positive pregnancy test can feel like the end of the world when you’re not expecting it.

If you are anxious and fearful about your unexpected pregnancy, you’re not alone. Though your circumstances may seem hopeless, you can find the answers and support you need to take back control of your situation.

Use the tips below to calm your emotions and find the right option for your pregnancy.

4 ways to cope with an unplanned pregnancy

1. Speak to someone you trust

An unexpected pregnancy often creates feelings of shame. You may fear judgment and rejection from your family, friends, professors, or colleagues. Some women worry that the pregnancy will prompt anger or abandonment from their partner.

At the same time, you may be consumed with thoughts of the future. What about your finances, health, and plans?

When your mind is filled with these worries, it’s hard to get in touch with your emotions. You may struggle to understand what you truly want to do about your pregnancy.

Telling someone you trust about your pregnancy can relieve feelings of being overwhelmed. This person can help you talk through your circumstances and options, helping you see things from a new perspective.

Choose someone that you can trust to be objective and supportive about your decision, no matter what it is. Anyone who would push you toward a specific choice or make you doubt what you want is not the right person to talk to.

2.  Learn about all of your options

Something as big as an unplanned pregnancy can leave you feeling like there’s only one option. 

Thankfully, that’s not the case.

There are numerous resources, services, and options available to you. Many focus specifically on challenges such as financial needs, access to healthcare, and more.

Once you know that you’re pregnant, take the time to learn about all of these opportunities. Speak with someone who can offer the information and resources you need. At Thrive, for example, we’ll walk you through all of your options and give you resources with more information.

The choice you make will affect your future in some way. Make sure you are making an informed decision that you won’t regret.

3. Remember to breathe

Take a deep breath. Hold it for four seconds. Let it out slowly. Count to four. Repeat.

Getting pregnant accidentally can stir up a lot of feelings and stress. As you’re trying to deal with all of the other stressors in your life, this pregnancy can feel like the last straw.

When you’re feeling so anxious and overwhelmed, you can’t think clearly about what you want and how your decision will affect your life. You are at a greater risk of making a quick choice that you might end up regretting.

Taking care of yourself is the best way to overcome your intense feelings. Use self-care to manage your anxiety and think clearly about your situation. Some easy ways to practice self-love include:

  • Meditating
  • Following breathing exercises
  • Journaling your thoughts and feelings
  • Talking with a trusted loved one
  • Taking a nap
  • Engaging in a hobby or favorite activity

Give yourself the chance to get in touch with what you want and need, outside of life’s chaos.

4. Talk honestly to your partner

“I’ll do whatever you want.”

Often, this phrase is how partners respond to news of an unexpected pregnancy. They think they’re being supportive, but this answer often puts more pressure and uncertainty on you.

Instead, have an honest conversation about how you both feel about the pregnancy. Don’t say what you think they want to hear or what you think is best. Share your emotions, fears, and desires openly and encourage them to do the same.

You might be surprised by what you hear. Additionally, going over the information about your choices together can help you make a decision you both feel good about. 

Most importantly, remember that their decision is not the only one that matters. If you don’t agree, share your doubts with someone who has your best interests in mind. They can help you understand why you’re unsure about your partner’s decision and what decision you truly want to make.

Confirming your pregnancy is the best first step after getting a positive pregnancy test or thinking you might be pregnant. Make an appointment today to get a free pregnancy test and speak with a medical professional about your options.