Get Checked Out by a Doctor

First off, take a breath. You are going to be okay. Unplanned pregnancy is scary but not the end of your world. You have a lot of options and a lot of decisions to make. But first, you need to see a doctor. If you have a family physician that you trust, great—head over and get checked out. If you don’t have a doctor you have seen previously or don’t feel comfortable talking to your regular GP, there are still options for you; most communities have free clinics for pregnant women. If you don’t have insurance, Planned Parenthood is a great option for medical care and talking about options for the future. You also may have women’s clinics in your area that are run by local churches. While they may not have as much medical expertise, they can help you figure out where to go next. A quick internet search can help you find the options in your area, ensuring you get the care you need for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy you.

Talk Through Your Options

After you’ve confirmed your pregnancy and have a better idea of what to expect in the months to come, consider talking to a licensed social worker or therapist about what the future will hold for both you and your baby. Don’t assume that you can’t raise your child until you’ve explored all your options, including financial and social support. And don’t automatically write off choices like placing your child for adoption. Get as much information as you can, and make an informed decision. One caveat: This is your choice, and if you feel like your counselor is pushing you to make decisions faster or differently than you want, know that you have the right and ability to walk away at any time. This is your choice and your life—you get to be in charge.

Adoption Is an Option

If you’ve chosen to consider placing your child for adoption, check out agencies in your area. Be aware that not all agencies have the best intent for birth mothers. Choose one that offers prenatal and post-placement counseling and that treats you like a person, not just a baby maker. Consider searching through the forums at Adoption.com for recommendations from other women who have placed their children for adoption. The support you get from women who have walked in your shoes can prove invaluable.