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Unexpectedly Pregnant: How to Have an Authentic Conversation with Parents

Responding in a healthy way to an unexpected positive pregnancy result isn’t easy.  It’s a process that often involves taking difficult steps, and communicating with loved ones about an unexpected pregnancy may be one of the hardest.  Are you thinking about sharing your pregnancy news with your parents, and wondering how to approach this dialogue in a sincere and winsome way?  Maybe you’ve already told them the news, and now you’re engaging in follow-up conversations while considering your next steps.  Authentic communication can build mutual empathy.  But it doesn’t always flow naturally, especially when tensions are high.  Read on to learn how to have authentic (and respectful, and compelling, and effective) conversations with your parents about your unexpected pregnancy.

Talking with family about an unexpected pregnancy is usually an ongoing process.  If you choose to include your parents in your pregnancy journey, chances are, they will need to reflect on this news and will ask to have follow-up conversations with you (probably because they care deeply).  Avenue Women’s Center is here to walk this road beside you as well.  We’re a limited medical clinic with several locations in Chicagoland.  Our goal is to provide all the information and support you need to take confident steps toward a positive pregnancy outcome.

Learn more about our free, confidential early pregnancy services!

Tips for Authentic Communication

Having a healthy, authentic conversation involves balancing honesty with respect and transparency with good discretion.  It’s something of an art… an art that can be especially hard to master when everyone involved is coping with strong emotions.  Fortunately, there are steps you can take to express yourself genuinely and discerningly while engaging in tough conversations about your pregnancy.  Consider these tips!

Tell your parents how you feel.

This doesn’t necessarily mean saying whatever comes to mind.  It’s important to communicate your thoughts and feelings in a clear, calm, and careful manner.  For example, if you want to express to your parents that you’re angry, instead of speaking sharply or using an irritated tone, it’s better to state that you’re feeling angry and explain where you think these emotions are coming from.  This approach will probably take your parents off the defensive.   Hopefully, it will help them to see your perspective and respond with empathy.  But even if it doesn’t work out this way, you’ll have done your part to work toward a mutual understanding.

Show respect.

Be courteous, and use language that your parents will view as respectful.  Again, this can be hard to do when emotions are running high.  Remember that showing respect is an extremely effective way of getting through to people.  Practicing it will likely help you to de-escalate tension and facilitate better communication.  A respectful approach will also demonstrate just how capable you are of being considerate and engaging in a rational conversation.

Invite them to respond.

Allow your parents to share their perspectives and listen attentively, but hold them to the same standards of respect that you’re showing to them.  Keep in mind that you don’t have to agree with your parents’ feelings to validate them.  It’s also important to remember that you’re not responsible for your parents’ reactions, nor do you have any control over them.  Every conversation is a two-way street.  Your parents are accountable for how they respond to you, just as you’re accountable for how you respond to them.

Preparing for a Successful Conversation

When connecting with family about an unexpected pregnancy, it can be really beneficial to prepare for a dialogue ahead of time.  You’re bound to have complex emotions surrounding this pregnancy, your pregnancy options, the responses of your loved ones, and other factors.  Take time to process your thoughts and feelings before you approach your parents.  Seek insight into your own emotions so you can clearly communicate to others why you feel the way you feel.  Consider how your family might react, and think of potential responses that would be both caring and assertive.  You’ve got this.

As you get ready for pregnancy conversations with your parents and others, check out some of our other blogs that touch on this important topic!

“I Don’t Know How to Tell My Parents About an Unexpected Pregnancy”

“Helpful Communication Tools When Sharing Pregnancy News”

When it comes to navigating a highly stressful situation like an unexpected pregnancy, getting genuine support is key.  Having a pregnancy conversation with parents isn’t the best move for everyone.  But it’s vital to receive support from at least one caring and trustworthy person.  Our expert pregnancy consultants and nurses at Avenue are available to be a part of your support network as you navigate the road ahead.  We strongly believe in empowering women with all the tools they need to make informed pregnancy decisions, and we’d love to partner with you.

Contact us to learn more and schedule an appointment!  You’ll be met with warmth and compassion, no matter what circumstances you’re facing or which pregnancy option(s) you’re leaning towards.

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.