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Unexpectedly Pregnant and Feeling Isolated Due to the Weather

Well, it’s definitely winter.  That much is obvious from the moment you step outside.  Gray skies.  Bare trees.  Chilly temps.  And, for those of us who live in the Midwest, constant snow on the ground (whether in the form of fresh, powdery-white mounds or dirty roadside clumps).  It comes as no surprise that mid-winter isn’t a favorite season for very many of us.  The weather conditions we undergo this time of year can naturally cause low mood and social isolation.  But maybe you’re also coping with an unexpected pregnancy right now, which can be a lonely experience in and of itself.

Are you, like so many of us, experiencing a post-holiday slump?  Going through an unexpected pregnancy and dealing with winter at the same time can easily amplify feelings of isolation and even despair.  As hard as it may be to find motivation and reach out for support, now is a critical time to connect with people who care.  Our compassionate and knowledgeable staff at Avenue Women’s Center would love to partner with you.  We’re a first-step pregnancy clinic with a mission to help women thrive, no matter what circumstances they’re facing.

Learn more about Avenue Women’s Center!  We have multiple locations in Chicagoland, and all the early pregnancy services we provide are free and confidential!

A Demoralizing Season of the Year (And of Life)

It’s hard to maintain a healthy and vibrant social life these first few months of the year, and winter weather can be a significant factor.  Snow, sleet, and frigid temperatures tend to keep people indoors, and these conditions can sometimes make traveling unsafe.  Lack of sunshine and fresh air are known to have negative impacts on mental health.  Plus, there’s generally not a whole lot to celebrate in mid-winter (aside from tax season).  For all these reasons, winter is the most socially, physically, and emotionally isolating time of year for the majority of us.

Unfortunately, experiencing an unexpected pregnancy can have similar effects on an individual’s mood and lifestyle.  Being in this difficult position may cause a woman to feel disconnected from her loved ones, especially if they don’t know about her pregnancy.  She may feel a lack of understanding and support even if they are aware.

Coping with Social Isolation

Social isolation may not be as widespread a crisis as it was during the pandemic.  However, it’s still an overwhelming social concern that can be devastating on an individual level.  (As Psychology Today points out, social isolation was a growing problem even before the pandemic took place).  Knowing how to cope with feelings of loneliness is critical- especially during this season of the calendar year and of life.  Let’s explore a couple of basic guidelines from Psychology Today.

  • “Perceived social support is key.” Experiencing support from others is important.  But perceiving that social support is available if it’s needed is also critical to a person’s ability to cope.  Psychology Today recommends, “being mindful of the various sources of support available to us,” and, “think(ing) broadly about support- not just who could drop everything and help in an emergency, but who can cheer us up, give us advice, connect us to resources… and provide us with tangible help.”
  • “Cope communally.Coping communally means sharing an experience within a group.  It’s, “a way of viewing the problem as something people are facing together instead of separately.”  This could look as simple as texting a friend to ask how she’s doing and chat about how the winter weather is affecting both you and her.  Within the context of an unexpected pregnancy, it could mean reaching out to other women who are facing circumstances like yours.  It could also mean sharing your pregnancy experience in community with supportive friends and family members, whether or not they’ve personally been through something similar.  Pooling resources will lead to better outcomes than trying to manage on your own.  Sharing your pregnancy experience with others is bound to help you feel stronger and more resilient, even if in-person communication is limited.

Key Takeaways Regarding Your Unexpected Pregnancy

If you haven’t already taken this step, it’s important to tell someone you trust about your unexpected pregnancy.  Confiding in a dependable person who cares on a somewhat regular basis will help you continue to cope effectively.  It can be hard to reach out for support, especially in the winter when people are generally not spending as much time together.  It takes courage and initiative.  But it’s absolutely critical, and it’s something that everyone is capable of achieving.  If you’re not sure how to find meaningful connections with others within your pregnancy journey, begin by telling one trustworthy person.  This may be a family member, a close friend, a counselor, a pregnancy consultant, or someone else.  It’s okay to take this path toward your own best pregnancy outcome one small step at a time.

Avenue Women’s Center offers a safe and comfortable space to take the first steps in your pregnancy journey.  We’re here to help you explore all your available pregnancy options and resources, because we believe it’s important to receive all the relevant facts before choosing abortion, adoption, or parenting.  Here, you won’t find any judgment.  Just reliable information and caring support.

It’s easy to connect with us!  Call, text, chat, or email to communicate with an expert staff member!  We offer virtual and in-person appointments.

*If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, reach out for support immediately.  Contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 if you’re having thoughts of harming yourself. 

*Avenue is a limited medical clinic that provides certain first-step pregnancy services at no cost.  We do not offer mental health treatment or professional counseling.  However, we can provide counseling referrals.  Reach out to a mental health professional if you need additional mental health support.



Psychology Today.  (2021, October).  How to Cope With Another Socially Isolated Winter.  Retrieved from:

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.