If you’ve recently found out you’re pregnant, you may feel terrified to tell anyone. Perhaps you’re worried about what your friends and family will say. Will they think you’ve ruined your life? Maybe you’re struggling with horrible guilt and beating yourself up for letting this happen. Many women in your shoes have confessed, “I’m hiding my pregnancy from my family and friends.”
What you’re feeling is very normal. You didn’t plan on being pregnant, but now you’re faced with it, and it’s time to decide what to do. You could keep your pregnancy a secret, but that would be difficult to do. You do have other options. You can choose to raise your baby, get an abortion, or place your baby for adoption. Here’s an overview of all three of your options.
Raise Your Baby
Being a single parent is a tough choice. It takes courage to take on the responsibility of raising a son or daughter for the next 18 years. Consider the sacrifices you’ll be making for the rest of your life. Plus, it would help if you think now about what you plan to do about:
- Getting help from others for babysitting
- Potentially quitting school
- Getting a job
- Finding a place to live
- Getting medical insurance
- Buying things like a crib, clothing, diapers, and toys
Raising a child alone is a tough job. One study found that single-parent families are at a higher risk of financial problems, which can lead to greater mental stress. If you’re not sure you’re ready for parenthood, you may want to consider another option.
Get an Abortion
Abortion is a surgical procedure that terminates your pregnancy. It’s a hard decision to make, and not without psychological and medical risks. This decision should not be taken lightly, and you need to think about these things and consider if you’re willing to experience the potential risks your entire life.
For years, many people said there weren’t psychological risks for women having an abortion. However, recent studies show that some women do struggle with depression and mental health issues for years. Other side effects of abortion should know about include:
- Feelings of loss
Besides the potential psychological struggles you can have after an abortion, there can be physical side effects from the procedure. Some possible side effects of abortion include:
- Post-anesthesia complications
Sometimes friends or family will encourage you to get an abortion, saying it will quickly take care of your situation. You may not feel like abortion is the path you want to go down. Perhaps you want your child to have a life of their own.
Place Your Baby for Adoption
Adoption means choosing a future for your child. It’s a sacrificial choice that allows your child to have the life they deserve. Open adoptions are very common today. With open adoption, you have the power to make choices for yourself and your child. Your choices include:
- The adoptive parents for your child
- How things will go at the hospital once you go into labor
- The amount of contact you want with the adoptive family and your child
- How you maintain this contact (emails, texts, letters, or even visits)
Many birth mothers who have placed their child in an open adoption have great relationships with the adoptive family and their child as they grow up and reach adulthood.
Adoption Gives You Closure
The unique thing about choosing adoption is that it allows you closure. You’ll have the joy of seeing your child well cared for and happy with a loving family. Studies show that birth mothers who chose open adoption experience lower levels of grief, sadness, and regret.
During your pregnancy, you can plan for your life after the baby is born. You can decide to go back to school, move to a new location, or find a new job. Maybe being pregnant will help you in your relationship choices or help you work out your priorities in life.
How Long Can I Hide My Pregnancy?
Hiding your pregnancy is a hard thing to do. You may live in constant fear that someone will find out. Your family and friends may yell at you and think you’ve ruined your life.
The negative reactions are bound to come when people find out, but you can’t live in fear of what others think of you. Instead, think about your life and the options you have right now. First of all, remember you’re not alone. You can get help from experienced counselors who have walked through situations like this with many other women. They’re ready to support you through this difficult time. Plus, Lifetime can put you in touch with a professional counselor or peer support if you would like to talk to someone who has been in a similar situation.
Give us a call or text today at 1-800-923-6784. A caring, trained adoption coordinator is available 24/7. There is no obligation when you call. You will find a friendly ear to listen to and a soft shoulder to cry on if that is what you need.
As the Vice President (VP) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.