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Unexpectedly Pregnant: “How Do I Help My Friends Understand?”

If you’re a fan of the show Parks and Recreation (as I am!), you’re probably familiar with “Galentine’s Day.”  This fictional/real day to celebrate female friendships has become a cultural phenomenon in recent years.  Any time is a great time to connect with the ladies in your life and honor these important relationships.  But isn’t it fitting that we now have a day specifically set aside for this, right before the slightly-less-inclusive 14th of February?

However close you may be with your friends and loved ones, it may be challenging to engage with key people in your life around a really personal matter like an unexpected pregnancy.  Maybe you’re going through this particular experience this February, and you’re not sure how to approach your friends about it.  Your desire for their support is natural and healthy.  We all want to feel understood and accepted, especially within the context of highly valued relationships.  But the topic of an unexpected pregnancy can touch on some especially sensitive issues.  You may be wondering how to navigate this journey with your nearest and dearest.

Whether your personal support network feels strong, fair, or weak right now, Avenue Women’s Center is here for you.  We’re a limited medical clinic with multiple locations in Chicagoland, and we’re passionate about equipping women with the tools they need to feel confident and supported in their pregnancy journeys.  We’ve been trusted by countless individuals experiencing complex challenges like yours since 1981.

Learn more about our free, confidential first-step pregnancy services!  We offer lab-quality pregnancy tests, options consultations, and more!

Tips to Engage Your Friends Around the Subject of Your Pregnancy

Perhaps you’ve been wanting to have meaningful conversations with your friends about your unexpected pregnancy, while approaching this subject in a way that helps them understand what you’re going through.  Consider some of these tips!  Of course, all of them can be helpful and applicable, regardless of your friends’ genders.

  • From the start, choose compassionate and trustworthy friends to confide in about your unexpected pregnancy. This may be particularly important if you’re in the early stages of your pregnancy, and not very many people in your life know about it yet.
  • Be authentic when you engage in conversations about your pregnancy. This doesn’t mean that you have to tell your friends everything that you’re thinking and feeling.  It’s healthy to lean on your instincts when navigating these discussions.  There may be times when you feel like now isn’t the right time or place to disclose certain details, and that’s okay!  But be honest about your emotions surrounding this pregnancy.  Try not to paint your circumstances in an overly positive or overly negative light.  (Sometimes, we do this without even realizing it.)  It may be helpful to plan out what you would like to express, while recognizing that some flexibility may be needed.
  • Let your friends know what you need from them. When we hear difficult news from a loved one, we often put pressure on ourselves to say or do “the right thing.”  You can help your friends out by considering and communicating what kind(s) of support you would like to receive from them.  Here are a few examples of how they may be able to come alongside you during this season.
    • By providing a listening ear.
    • By giving genuine feedback, with compassion and sensitivity. This may or may not involve sharing their own relevant experiences.
    • By offering practical help. This may involve, for example, assisting you with calls to pregnancy centers and/or driving you to appointments.

A Quick Word About Empathy

Your friends don’t need to have experienced an unexpected pregnancy to empathize with your feelings and support you well.  Also, keep in mind that you’re not responsible for their reactions to your pregnancy news or your pregnancy decision.  The burden is not on you to convince your friends to respond to your situation with empathy.  If you feel as though they haven’t been compassionate, it may be time to respectfully address this with them and/or seek support from someone else.

Maybe you’re blessed to have caring and encouraging friends.  Perhaps you have friends that you don’t necessarily trust, or you feel as though seemingly no one understands (or wants to understand) what you’re going through.  Avenue Women’s Center is in your corner no matter what you’re facing.  We have a truly compassionate, all-female team of professional pregnancy consultants and nurses who are available to help you navigate the early days of your unexpected pregnancy.  Avenue is a safe, comfortable, and confidential space to find answers to your questions and receive support.

Reach out to Avenue Women’s Center today!  We’re all about helping individuals make the most informed and empowered decisions possible.

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.