Your daughter’s pregnant. Now what?
At Bella, we recognize that when a young woman has an unplanned pregnancy, she isn’t the only one affected by the news. Her parents, boyfriend, siblings, grandparents, and the other people close to her may also experience some roller coaster emotions. If you need to talk, we are here for you.
As her parents, you may feel shock, fear, disappointment, embarrassment and even despair at the news that your daughter is pregnant. These feelings are normal, but remember that your daughter too is facing an overwhelming situation. One of her greatest fears may be in how you are going to react.
Try not to overreact!
Words spoken in haste can cause confusion and damage in your relationship with your daughter. Remain calm, take a deep breath, count to ten, and avoid condemnation and assigning blame (to your daughter, the young man involved, or yourself).
Focus on the positive, including your unconditional love and concern for your daughter, your confidence in her, and your faith in God – from whom you can all draw strength at this time. Remember that showing love and acceptance of your daughter is NOT condoning her behavior. It is affirming your relationship with her.
Your daughter needs to hear you say the important things, such as:
“I still love you, no matter what.”
“This isn’t what we planned, but it will be okay.”
“I’m here for you and I’ll help you in whatever way I can.”
“We will get through this together.”
Your daughter needs you to advocate on her behalf.
- Don’t try to force her or talk her into doing something she may later regret.
- Find ways to enable her to make rational, well-thought out decisions.
- Give her some space by allowing her some privacy. Let her think things through without demanding that she share all of her thoughts and feelings with you.
- Help her find a compassionate and caring health care provider that she feels comfortable with.
- Encourage her to eat healthy foods and get proper exercise.
- Be available to answer questions, remembering that to her, they are not silly or unimportant.
- Support your daughter as she tells other family members. You may want to offer to tell some of them yourself.
- Help her create a plan for a safe, healthy, and secure future for her child – your grandchild.
Remember, a family crisis has the ability to draw family members together or drive them apart. Many people will offer you advice, but it’s important to seek wisdom and guidance from those who understand the unique dynamics of an unplanned pregnancy. Please feel free to contact us for confidential and caring help for you and/or your daughter.