Support For Her
So You’re Pregnant..?
Take a deep breath. Calm your pulse. Everything’s going to be ok!
Did you know that around half of all pregnancies are unintended? That means you’re far from alone in this. The thoughts occupying your headspace right now probably begin with two little words: “I’m too…”
I’m too young, too scared, too alone, too focused on my career, too unstable, too financially stretched, too old, too confused, too unprepared and a myriad other reasons why pregnancy feels all wrong right now.
But women in your circumstances – and worse – have faced your same dilemma and got through it. Have a chat with a mum and you will invariably find a woman who says they were ill-prepared (even when the pregnancy was planned!), but the rewards of parenthood outweighed the challenges.
It’s good to remember that circumstances change but the decision you make now will be with you forever.
That’s why it’s important not to rush this. Allow yourself time to sort through what is truth rather than rushing blindly into a promised ‘quick fix’. Arm yourself with information so that your decision will serve you well for the rest of your life. Give yourself permission to ask why?
Facing a pregnancy crisis or loss?
Contact Pregnancy Help Australia
1300 792 798 (QLD, NSW, VIC, ACT) 1300 655 156 (SA, WA, NT, TAS)
Why the inner turmoil? Sorting through your feelings.
Many people treat being pregnant as the ‘problem’. If you’re doing this, it can cloud your judgment regarding how you truly feel about being pregnant and becoming a parent.
Take a moment to imagine if you were in different circumstances; married or with a supportive partner, enough money in the bank, family and friends to encourage and support you. Would being pregnant be the ‘problem’ that it is now? This may indicate that being pregnant is not the ‘problem’ at all, but the circumstances you find yourself in or the lack of support or encouragement you are experiencing.
Remember that the circumstances around you can change rapidly and often unexpectedly. Whatever your circumstances, ask yourself, ‘If things were different, would I still be so worried or anxious about being pregnant?’ If the answer is no, you now have the opportunity to really explore your thoughts and feelings about being pregnant.
Friends and family can be helpful to talk to, but sometimes it helps to talk to someone who is outside the situation, someone who is willing to listen.
Here are some good questions to ask yourself:
- Is this my decision or am I feeling pressured in any way by any other person or circumstance?
- Have I explored all the options? (It’s important to find out all the information on the options so that you are able to understand your choice clearly).
- What are my feelings? How might I feel in 1 month, 9 months, or years from now?
The development stages.
Let’s call your baby Emily, for the sake of these snippets of the most awe-inspiring information. If it makes you hungry for more, visit Baby Center.
At the moment of conception, all of Emily’s physical characteristics have been determined: sex, eye and hair colour, body type and fingerprints. She is essentially and uniquely Emily, with DNA that has never previously existed and will never be repeated. By about 22 days after conception, before her mum even knows she is pregnant, Emily has a heartbeat. Within the first month she will multiply in size 10,000 times. Amazing, huh?
At three months after conception, all of Emily’s organs are in place. Nothing new develops; she grows and matures. Emily moves constantly, has perfected a somersault, sucks her thumb, wiggles her fingers and toes, can make a fist, even urinates, and is comforted by the sound of her mother’s heartbeat. She frowns, smiles and yawns. This is about the time you receive those glorious ultrasound images that confirm what you know in your heart: that a new little life is thriving within you.
Emily has long since made her presence felt with constant kicking, and can now recognise her mother’s voice. Soothing music settles her, while loud music or sudden noises can stimulate movement and startle her. She dreams, her heartbeat slowing when her mother is at rest. Ella is gaining weight, getting stronger and makes breathing movements in readiness for life outside the womb.
A Listening Ear
Some trustworthy folk you can chat to.
Feel like you just want to talk to someone about it, no strings? We would love to put you in touch with someone nearby who will offer professional and confidential help and advice, as well as practical care and support. Click below to find a listening ear near you.
Continuing Your Pregnancy
Support for you.
We’re cheering you on! You are a strong and powerful woman and that body of yours has coping mechanisms you never dreamed of. Don’t underestimate the staying power within you. All that said, information is gold when you’re stepping boldly out into the varied landscape of motherhood. The amount of information out there can be just a little bit overwhelming. Click below to find our favourite websites. Additional to scouring these sorts of sites, do make the most of the support community around you. Ask questions about antenatal classes and local mothers’ groups when you visit your GP, midwife, doula or obstetrician. We are wired for community, so embrace it and get connected with other people at the same point in the journey. You will find it so encouraging.
The other option.
“Just because I can’t look after my child doesn’t mean someone else can’t.”
This was spoken by a birth mother to the woman who adopted her baby. Adoption is sometimes the most loving option when a pregnant woman’s circumstances are insurmountable. Adoption not only gives hope to the mother and her unborn baby, but to a couple wanting to become a family. Sarah, pictured here, is the perfect example – learn her story here.
There are hundreds of couples waiting to adopt children in Australia. Adoption is quite a different prospect than it was years ago, with many people now opting for an open arrangement so they can keep in touch with adoptive parents and have access to information about their child, and in some cases even see their child.
There are no private adoption agencies in Australia, as all adoptions are handled through state government departments. Contacting the relevant department in your state can give you more information.
Things you should know.
While abortion is legal and common in Australia, there are some important questions to ask when considering this procedure. In order to be completely at ease with your decision you need to be satisfied that you have given informed consent to terminate the pregnancy. That is, you have been informed of every option. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How will I feel about this choice in two months, one year, five years?
- Have I researched all options, including the support available to continue the pregnancy?
- Is this really my decision? Or am I being pressured by a person or circumstance?
- What would it take for me to continue this pregnancy? Who would be happy to help?
- Do I understand exactly how the abortion is carried out, and the risks involved, both short term and long term?
Many women say they felt they had “no other choice” but to have an abortion and, on the other side of the procedure, wish they had explored their options. You have that opportunity right now.
Ask these questions
At the abortion clinic.
If you’re still here, still reading, and still considering abortion, there are still more things you need to know and understand. There are important questions you need to ask of those who will remove your child.
And if at ANY point you feel even the slightest hesitation, if your gut does flip-flops or you have that sinking feeling that usually means you’re about to do something you’ll later regret, leave. Remember, abortion clinics are businesses. They make money out of your unplanned pregnancy situation. They are not the place to find unbiased support.
Again, this website contains links to free, caring pregnancy support centres filled with trained staff who can help you sort through the confusion and chaos without judgment, shame or pressure. But if you find yourself at the abortion clinic, take this list of questions with you and arm yourself with information.
- What is the name of the doctor who will perform the procedure?
- Will I be able to speak privately with the doctor about my personal circumstances?
- Does the doctor have admitting rights to my local hospital in case I have any complications?
- Who will I call if I have a problem after the procedure?
- Does the doctor provide independent counselling so that I can discuss my options? If so, does this counselling cost money? How much?
- Do I have to pay any money up front, before I have counselling to make my decision?
- Can I change my mind at any time and get a full refund of any money I paid?
- Will you provide an ultrasound? If so, how much will it cost?
- Will I be allowed to view the ultrasound if I choose?
- Will you tell me exactly how many weeks pregnant I am?
- Can you give me information on the development of the foetus?
- What possible physical complications might I experience?
- What possible psychological complications might I experience?
- If having a medical abortion: Where can I go for help if I change my mind after taking mifepristone?
- Can you provide me with information about any services in my community that may help me if I decide to proceed with my pregnancy?
Remember, if you are uncomfortable or unhappy with any of the answers, you do not need to make an appointment, or you can leave if you are already at the facility. We sincerely hope you will.