She may or may not already know or suspect she is pregnant.
If she is pregnant and knows it, she may be uncomfortable talking to you about it. If she’s pregnant and doesn’t know it, she may be in denial to herself and others. In either case, there are signs you can look for.
It is possible that she does not know she is pregnant and thinks she is gaining weight or has some sort of illness. Many girls who experience an unplanned pregnancy for the first time have trouble admitting to themselves that they could be pregnant. They deny the pregnancy and hope it goes away. Their denial is dangerous for themselves and their babies.
If you are concerned about approaching your friend or family member, keep in mind that each person is different. She may be hoping that you will broach the subject or you may need to allow her the opportunity to approach you in her own time. If you would like more guidance on how to talk about the situation, call 1-800-395-HELP to talk with a trained, caring counselor. You may also visit OptionLine for additional contact information.
It can be hard knowing what to say or do when someone you care about approaches you about an unplanned pregnancy.
You may be in shock, too, and once that shock wears off you may experience several different emotions. It is extremely important for you to take a step back and try to set your feelings aside. Remember, she is scared right now and really needs you. The best thing you can do is to try and remain calm and listen to her. Let her talk about her fears. Let her know that you will support her and be there for her.
Your friend or family member needs to know you love her and will help her through this pregnancy and beyond.
Your daughter, sister or other relative may fear that if she carries to term she will bring shame to your family for getting pregnant. You can quiet that fear by assuring her that though this may not be the ideal circumstances, all of this will be forgotten soon as you meet and love your new family member. There are many things in life worse than an unplanned pregnancy. Many families experience this challenge in some capacity, but life goes on and your family will love and accept the new baby…the next generation of your family.
Help her to see that this is not the end of her future. Every woman has a plan for her life. Some plans are very well formed and thought out. Other plans are constantly changing. Your friend or family member can rebuild her plan to include giving birth to and perhaps raising this baby. She may need your help in seeing how her life can be better or how she can achieve her personal goals if she chooses to raise her child.
Please contact OptionLine to speak to a trained counselor.
Your friend or family member has a very difficult decision ahead of her. It’s important that you understand how challenging this decision is. As she considers her options of parenting, adoption and abortion, be open with her and let her know you are ready and willing to discuss these options with her when she is ready. Remember that OptionLine is available any time, day or night. They offer free, caring and confidential help and can quickly connect your friend to the local assistance she needs.
Visit the options page to learn more about her choices.