When women face an unplanned pregnancy, there are often difficult life circumstances or trying obstacles involved. Issues such as housing concerns, lack of family or partner support, financial worries, and conflict with educational or career goals are just a few of the complicated challenges that may need to be addressed. What are some of the common hurdles women and their partners face with dealing with an unplanned pregnancy?
Caring Network is a Chicagoland faith-based non-profit that comes alongside women and their partners who are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. By providing free services and emotional support, we help remove some of the obstacles that arise, enabling more choices for life. For more information on our services or to learn how to get involved, contact us today.
Unplanned Pregnancies Bring Multiple Obstacles
There are many obstacles a woman and her partner may confront when dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Here are five common situations that many face:
An unplanned pregnancy can occur in any age group or cultural demographic; however, the highest percentage in the U.S. is often women under the age of 24. Therefore, stable housing is a consideration. Will my parents kick me out if I have a baby? Is my current apartment able to hold an additional person? Would my boyfriend still want to live together if we have a child? Instability in a housing situation can easily influence a pregnancy decision. It’s important to help women gain access to stable, secure housing options when facing a pregnancy decision.
Relationship with the Father of the Baby
Relational concerns are another huge factor. An unplanned pregnancy can call into question the status of the relationship itself. What does the father of the baby think? Do we have a future together? Will that be impacted by the choice made regarding the pregnancy? Many men may feel like their appropriate response is to say, “whatever you decide is fine,” while women may view that response as a lack of interest or concern for the situation. For pregnant women, the support (or lack thereof) of their partner can mean the difference of choosing life or abortion. The dynamics of a relationship play a major role in the pregnancy decision.
Lack of Family Support
In addition to partner involvement, family support is vital in an unplanned pregnancy. So often women rely upon others in their lives to come alongside them during this vital time. If their parents or other important family members are pressuring them to make a decision or are threatening to pull their support, that can make or break a pregnancy decision.
Affording a child is an important consideration in a pregnancy decision. Perhaps a woman is already facing job insecurity or underemployment. When you add an unplanned pregnancy into the mix, it may be difficult to imagine the financial feasibility of taking care of a child. That’s why it’s important for pregnancy resource centers to have connections to agencies and organizations in the community that can offer help (provide material goods like diapers or clothing, baby furniture, provide transportation assistance, etc…) that can ease the financial burden of a new baby and support new moms and families.
Life Goals – Education, Career
One of the fears women face when encountered by an unplanned pregnancy is the possibility of losing their dreams. How will this pregnancy impact their ability to move forward with their goals of career or education? Although those goals are not impossible to achieve while parenting, the reality is, there will be potential delays or setbacks. Many local community colleges, like College of DuPage in suburban DuPage County, offer night classes and many courses are now taught virtually so options for flexible education schedules do exist. Simply coming alongside women to help them envision a new future as a mom is an important step of pregnancy counseling.
Caring Network helps women overcome the obstacles of an unplanned pregnancy. Through supportive services, compassionate care, and community resources, we come alongside women and their partners in a crucial time of need. If you’d like to join in our work through partnership, volunteering, or prayer, reach out today!