If you’ve found yourself facing an unexpected pregnancy, your mind may be swimming with thoughts and questions, leaving you overwhelmed with options when choosing a path forward. Read on to consider eight questions that can help you clarify your thoughts, and feel confident you’re making the best possible decision.
#1: What Kind of Support System Do I Have?
Even the most independent new mother needs a strong support system. This doesn’t need to be family, but can include friends, coworkers, and other loved ones who are willing to bring you meals, sit with the baby while you take a shower, and help calm your nerves when you’re facing yet another night of broken sleep. A strong support system can mean all the difference between an enjoyable or more challenging season, during pregnancy and beyond.
#2: Does The Father Want To Be Involved?
The very nature of unexpected pregnancies means that they don’t discriminate between short and long-term relationships. Because of this, the involvement (or lack thereof) of the baby’s father can be a deciding factor in the choice to parent on your own or pursue an adoption plan. If you’re not confident in your partner’s commitment level, or if you are certain you don’t want to share co-parenting responsibilities, consider talking to a client advocate at Avail NYC.
#3: Will I Be Able to Finish School?
While it’s certainly possible to finish school while pregnant or after giving birth, it does present a challenge, and it’s important to realistically evaluate your chances of successfully juggling both commitments. This is another situation that will require you to lean on your support system of close family and friends. Research what tools and resources are available if you choose to complete high school, college, or graduate school while parenting, such as whether your school offers daycare or if there are any local resources like Avail NYC that can connect you with low-cost child care options.
#4: Can I Financially Support A Child On My Own?
Diapers, formula, and other necessities for infants can be pricey, but the costs don’t end there—once your child is born, you’ll find yourself facing 18 years or more of increased clothing, food, utility, and housing costs. Those who are struggling just to support themselves may find the added costs of a child burdensome, but there are plenty of programs and organizations that are willing to help parents shoulder the financial responsibility.
#5: Will My Job Provide The Flexibility I Need?
Some jobs and industries are more family-friendly than others. Regardless, you’ll want to consider all viable childcare options, along with your employer’s policies, otherwise tight work schedules may pose some serious challenges. These are tough situations, but many employers are legally required to accommodate working parents, so it’s important to have a discussion with your boss or human resources department to fully understand your options.
#6: Is Child Support Available?
Even if your child’s father chooses not to be involved, he may be legally ordered to pay child support after birth. This can help defray many of the costs of raising a child, but does require you to be at least somewhat financially dependent on someone with whom you no longer have a relationship.
#7: How Is My Health?
While pregnancy cravings for ice cream, pickles, and a variety of other less-healthy foods abound, pregnancy can be hard for those battling chronic conditions or other health concerns. It’s important to evaluate all risk factors with a licensed medical professional, such as an obstetrician, so that you’ll remain healthy throughout your pregnancy.
#8: Do I Have Other Children To Consider?
Not all unplanned pregnancies are first pregnancies, and considering the current demands of other children can help you navigate the various alternatives to parenting.
If you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy and aren’t sure where to turn, Avail NYC and their team of compassionate client advocates are there to help support you. Call today to make an appointment or learn more about their free, confidential services.
Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.