An unplanned pregnancy is not something that you should endure alone. Having a faithful support system is key in helping you get through the pressures and challenges of pregnancy. It is also advantageous to just have someone to listen to you sort through everything. Many women dread telling their family or friends because they feel embarrassed or do not want to disappoint family members. They fear that their family may react with anger or judgment. In some families, this may be accurate, but in most cases, that sort of response is temporary and is worth it when you have the support of your loved ones.
Finding the Right Time
The best time to tell your family is not at a holiday gathering or some other event. This news will likely elicit a stress response at first, so choose a time where additional stressors are not already present. It will be easiest to discuss the news when you are in a small group, perhaps even one on one depending on the dynamics of your family. If you feel more comfortable, bring a close friend with you to stand by your side and give you courage.
Give Them Time to Internalize the Information
Think about when you first learned you were pregnant. How did you feel initially? Likely, you felt shocked, afraid, and maybe even a little upset. As time went by, you got used to the idea, and realized that even though it was an unplanned pregnancy, life is now growing inside of you. Remember that your family will likely feel shocked and fearful at first, just as you did. They may need time to sort through their own emotions.
You do not have to make the final decision between raising your child or adoption until after the baby is born. However, having a tentative plan in place can ease your fears and anxiety about your unplanned pregnancy. It could also help ease the tension when delivering the news to your family.
Protect Yourself and Your Baby
If you have a parent or family member with a history of violence and irrational responses, be sure to protect yourself and your baby. You could bring a friend with you, tell them in a public place, or even avoid telling them altogether. It is your decision whether you want to tell a family member. Do not associate with anyone that is unsafe for you or your baby and do not let anyone demand that you make a specific decision regarding the future of your child. Becoming a mother or offering life to another family is a private and courageous decision that another person cannot make for you or pressure you into making.