When a woman experiences an unplanned pregnancy, her first reaction might be shock and denial. She might feel overwhelmed depending on the circumstances she is surrounded by. The reality the young woman or couple would be living through at the time of the pregnancy, will affect their thoughts, emotions and behaviour. It is possible that a young woman who might still be at school feels she is unable to keep her baby and is fearful of sharing this reality with her parents, family and friends. At other times the situation may have evolved due to an extramarital affair and voicing the truth to the husband is very difficult for the wife. There are times when the relationship the woman is involved in, is not a supportive one and therefore keeping the baby may seem very difficult. Due to her career, the mother might think that a child will only hinder her progress. It is also possible that the family is financially burdened and therefore having another child is frightening and causes concern to the parents. A pregnancy because of sexual assault, is another traumatic experience that causes the mother so much pain, fear and indecision.
At the moment the woman finds out that she is pregnant and depending on the circumstances she is surrounded by, she usually feels shocked, overwhelmed, anxious, ashamed, confused and frightened. She will feel as though her world is crashing down upon her. She might not know what to do and whom to tell. This also depends on whether she is surrounded by people who are non–judgemental and who are willing to support her. The mother might not be able to see beyond the situation she is in and may believe that an abortion will solve the situation and hide what happened from the eyes of the world. However abortion is never the answer. Abortion is ending the life of one’s own baby, leaving the mother to suffer severe repercussions for many years. In many parts of the world, most of society, the medical profession and the legal system unfortunately encourage women to believe that abortion is a right and a medical procedure that is normal, however the psychological, emotional, relational and spiritual repercussions are devastating and women are not informed of this reality.
The first thing that a woman should do when faced with an unplanned pregnancy is to talk to someone she trusts or even reach out to an organisation that supports women going through such a situation. If she is able to share her experience with someone who is able to listen to her in a non-judgemental manner, the woman may start to feel cared for. This support may help her ease her fears and enable her to take the time to think the situation through. She may also become aware that other women have gone through such an experience and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The beginning is always the most challenging, however with the right support, the mother may understand that the situation will eventually evolve for the better. Should the mother consider an abortion, it is very important for her to find someone who is trustworthy and who may help her make an informed decision, providing her with both sides of the reality.
I have met a number of women who were devastated because of an unplanned pregnancy and very often the situation was a complex one, however in time, with the right support and taking the appropriate steps, the mother was able to come to terms with her reality and keep her baby. Not one mother regretted the decision. The mothers express the joy the child has brought to them. She not only gave birth and celebrated her child’s life, but she was also able to grow from the experience and regain her inner peace and joy.
If anyone is going through a crisis pregnancy or if you are aware that someone is going through the experience alone, please do contact Hope which is an organisation based in Malta, focused on supporting women in crisis pregnancies.
Facebook: Hope Crisis Pregnancy Support Page
Contact: 00356 79091986/ 00356 21418055