Pregnancy shame is a feeling that thousands of women experience, but few talk about.

For many women, this emotion is one of the strongest factors in the decisions they make about their pregnancy.

It’s the reason you’re afraid to tell your parents and partner. It’s the judgmental voice in your head that keeps you from reaching out for help. 

We want you to know that shame has no place in your pregnancy. To make an informed decision you won’t regret, shame can’t be in the driver’s seat.

If you’re feeling ashamed of your pregnancy, this blog is for you.

Should I feel ashamed of my unintended pregnancy?

It’s always best for you and your partner to get pregnant when you’re ready to grow your family. As we tell our patients, abstinence outside of marriage is healthiest for your emotional and sexual health.

That said, you should NEVER feel ashamed of any pregnancy. Pregnancy is a normal and beautiful part of life. You didn’t do anything wrong when you became pregnant.

And this applies to every circumstance. Whether you are in a loving relationship, were forced into sex without your consent, had a casual fling, or any other situation, you don’t deserve shame.

Unfortunately, our culture says differently. It tells women that wanted pregnancies are the only ones worthy of value. An unexpected pregnancy is a mistake and you should be judged for it.

If you feel this way about your pregnancy, we want you to find freedom from your shame. You are worthy of happiness and you define your pregnancy’s value. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

Should I feel ashamed of my unintended pregnancy?

Where does pregnancy shame come from?


Unplanned pregnancies have always had a stigma of shame, especially for women. Attitudes about sex have changed a lot over the last century, but the judgment over unplanned pregnancies remains.

Our culture tells women that:

  • They can’t accomplish their dreams and goals if they get pregnant
  • Unintended pregnancies are a dark secret that should be taken care of as quickly as possible
  • Your partner will leave you if you get pregnant
  • Being a single mom or low-income parent will ruin your life and your child’s
  • You aren’t strong or capable enough to keep your pregnancy

We see every day that these beliefs are lies. Every woman we see is strong, brave, and capable of achieving the life she wants, pregnant or not. 

No matter what you choose for your pregnancy, never forget your strength. You can do anything. Believe it.

Loved ones

Unfortunately, our friends and family are often another source of shame.

Loved ones

Even loving parents, family members, and friends may blame and judge you for your pregnancy. You may hear things like:

  • “We raised you better than this!”
  • “How could you be so stupid?”
  • “Now you’ll never graduate school/get that job/be successful.”
  • “You were supposed to be the smart/better/successful one.”
  • “You know you can’t keep it, right?”

These wounds are hard to heal. After all, your friends and family know you best and love you most. What they say must be true, right?

No one deserves shame over a pregnancy, in any situation. Hopefully, your loved ones will recognize and apologize for their actions. But even if they don’t, your worth isn’t defined by other’s opinions.

We encourage you to build a support system of people who offer love and help, not shame. This group can include people from your church, family, friend group, workplace, and even organizations like Thrive Orlando. No matter who they are, they should build you up and help you succeed.


You are your harshest critic. You may be filled with regret, disappointment, fear, and shame. You can’t forget the events that led to this pregnancy and there’s a little voice telling you that you deserve the judgment you receive.

That voice is wrong.

You may regret getting pregnant, but your circumstances don’t define your worth. You have just as much value as you did before you got pregnant. Your life and future hold just as much potential as well.

When you find yourself struggling with feelings or thoughts of shame, tell that voice to shut up. Remind yourself of the truths you hold: you are strong, worthy, and capable.

No one, not even you, can change that.

You deserve better than pregnancy shame

We’re here to help you Thrive.

At our clinic, you’ll receive all of the tools and encouragement you need to achieve the life you want. We offer information about your pregnancy, sexual health, and all of your options. You can ask medical questions and get advice for overcoming your obstacles.

Thrive Orlando provides the judgment-free care you deserve. Book an appointment to be empowered today.

You deserve better than pregnancy shame
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