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When Pregnancy is Unplanned

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Unplanned pregnancy is common. About 1 in 2 pregnancies in America are unplanned. Ideally, a woman who is surprised by an unplanned pregnancy is in good preconception health and is ready and able to care for a new child. But this sometimes isn't the case.

If you have an unplanned pregnancy, you might not know what to do next. You might worry that the father won't welcome the news. You might not be sure you can afford to care for a baby. You might worry if past choices you have made, such as drinking or drug use, will affect your unborn baby's health.

You might be concerned that having a baby will keep you from finishing school or pursuing a career. If you are pregnant after being raped, you might feel ashamed, numb, or afraid. You might wonder what options you have. Here are some next steps to help you move forward:

- Start taking care of yourself right away. Take 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) folic acidevery. Stop alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.

- Make a doctor's visit to confirm your pregnancy. Discuss your health and issues that could affect your pregnancy. Ask for help quitting smoking. Find out what you can do to take care of yourself and your unborn baby.

- Ask your doctor to recommend a counselor who you can talk to about your situation.

- Seek support in someone you trust and respect.

For more resources on pregnancy click here.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.