When you’re in an unexpected pregnancy, it can be terrifying. Maybe you are worried about how your friends and family will react. You didn’t plan on being pregnant, and maybe you’re nervous about whether you’re ready to become a mom. You aren’t sure if being a parent is the right choice for you right now or your child. What you’re feeling is normal. Here are four things you should consider right now if you find yourself pregnant and scared to be a mom.
1. Is your family supportive of your pregnancy?
When you tell your family you’re pregnant, you don’t know how they’ll react. Depending on your family, they may be upset or even angry. It’s normal for a family to need some time to warm up to the idea. It might take a couple of conversations before they’re ready to hear your thoughts about what you plan to do in the future.
You’re the only person who can decide what’s best. Your family may have strong opinions about what you should do, but ultimately, you must make the best decision for you and your child.
Consider Your Options
If you are pregnant and scared to be a mom, you need to take some time to consider the best options for you and your child. Basically, you have three options. You can get an abortion, choose to raise your child, or place your child for adoption. Each choice needs to be carefully thought through because your decision will affect you and your child’s life both now and later.
- Abortion is a very final decision that can’t be reversed. Consider the implications for your child and you in the years ahead. Studies show that abortions are associated with elevated rates of mental health illness compared to women without a history of abortion. It’s thought that the mental health issues for at least some women are associated with abortion.
- Being a single mom is a full-time job. Hopefully, your family will be supportive of you and your little person. As a single mom, you know it would be wonderful to have a loving family accept and help you care for your child as they grow.
- Adoption allows you to choose a caring adoptive family for your baby. If your family isn’t on board with you parenting your baby, adoption might be the best option.
2. How are you feeling about being a parent?
Aside from feeling scared right now, how do you feel about being a single parent? Maybe you’ve watched a mom friend raise her child alone. So you know that being a mother is a lot of responsibility. It requires the sacrifice of your time, energy, and money. Being a single parent will affect every aspect of your life, including:
- Your social life
- How much sleep you’re able to get
- Your work schedule
- Your education
As a pregnant woman, if you’re considering adoption because you’re not ready to be a single mom, don’t think you’re being selfish. It’s actually extremely courageous and loving to place your child with a caring family who is ready to give your child all the things that you can’t give your baby right now.
3. Can you financially support a child?
Raising a child is expensive. Beyond the diapers, medical, child care, food, clothing, and housing costs, there are activities you hope to give your child to help them develop and grow. These extra things cost money. It’s important to consider if you will have enough money to cover the basics for your child now and later.
Currently, the average cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years old in the United States in 2022 is estimated to be $272,049. That’s a lot of money for anyone, but especially a single mom. Will your family be able to support you financially? Will they be able to provide other practical help? If your family can’t help you, you’ll need to plan what to do for things such as:
- Getting a job
- Potentially quitting school
- Getting a babysitter
- Finding a place to live
- Getting medical insurance
If you’re not ready for parenthood, are you open to placing your child for adoption? Adoption will assure you you’re placing your child with a financially stable and loving family. In addition, you will know they’re able to give your child all things you want for them.
4. What do you want for your child’s life?
If you’re pregnant and scared to be a mom, it’s understandable that you feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to do. No doubt, you want the best for your child and yourself. Wanting the best for your child makes you a good person, and if you aren’t ready or in a position to provide that, adoption is a kind and sensible way to make sure your child experiences the happy childhood you want for them.
Try to imagine what you want life will be like five years from now. Where will you be working? Where will you live? Will you be in a relationship with a loving person? What about your child? What will they look like? Will they act like you? Maybe they’ll have your laugh.
As you visualize your future, it’s helpful to consider how you can ensure your child’s life will be happy. You are the only one who can make this decision. Even though you are pregnant and scared right now, you can make the best choice for yourself and your child.
Adoption Gives You Choices
Lifetime Adoption works with many adoptive families who are ready to love your sweet baby. If you choose an open adoption, you will not only choose the adoptive family but get to know them. You’ll have the privilege of seeing your child grow up and having a long-term relationship with them.
Right now, as a pregnant woman, you might need help. We at Lifetime Adoption know this is a confusing, scary time for you. You may be tempted to make an impulsive decision without weighing all your options. Please contact us for help so you can make the best choice for you and your child. We promise to help you without judgment or criticism.
Lifetime Adoption can help you sort through the various emotions you might be facing right now. Our adoption coordinators have decades of experience helping pregnant women. They’ll have information to help you make the best choice for you and your child.
As you make your decision, your Adoption Coordinator will be there to help you. If your family isn’t supportive of you, you might think of your Adoption Coordinator as a source of support to you. They’ll be there no matter what you decide.
We believe that adoption gives you the chance to provide everything you want for your child. It’s a decision that gives you as a birth mother the best life for yourself and your child.
Pregnant and Scared to Be a Mom
If you’re pregnant and scared, don’t worry. You’re not alone. You can contact Lifetime’s support line by calling or texting 1-800-923-6784 any time of the day or night. Or you can fill out the contact form on our website. We can help answer all your questions about adoption and help you move past this confusing time in your life, knowing you made the very best choices for you and your child.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on January 17, 2015, and has since been updated.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.