Woman sitting down, holding a positive pregnancy testIf you’ve just discovered you’re pregnant, you might be feeling shocked, confused, or scared. The situation might even feel unreal, leaving you thinking something like, “This can’t really be happening!” And you know you’ll have to break the news to people in your life, like your baby’s father, your friends, and your family.
 
Tons of questions pop up. Who can you tell? Who can help you through the next few months of your pregnancy? What will people say? Will they be happy for you or disappointed in you?
 
Here are some tips to have an honest, open conversation with those in your life — and to decide what to do next.
 

How Do You Feel About Your Pregnancy?

Before you can answer people’s questions about your pregnancy and start talking about your plans, the first step is to look inside yourself. How do you feel, deep down, about raising a child? Here are some questions to consider:

  • Am I ready to take on the responsibilities that come with having another life in my care?
  • Do I want to be a parent?
  • Am I OK with putting my education and/or career on hold?
  • Is the father of my baby involved and ready to parent?
  • Am I financially stable enough to care for a child?

Begin by determining how you feel about bringing another life into the world. After you know where you stand, it’ll be simpler to communicate those feelings and decisions with your loved ones.
 
Pregnant teen talking to her mom

Choose a Good Time and Place to Talk

The best time and place to mention you’re pregnant probably isn’t during lunch in a crowded restaurant! So that you can have a calm and mature conversation with your loved ones, choose a time and place that provides privacy and the time to talk.
 
You’ll want to clear your schedule when you decide to break the news: make sure you don’t have anywhere else to be. The best location is one that will allow you to express your feelings, and hear others’ feelings openly. That way, you can really understand one another without being worried about being overheard.
 

Stay Calm and Remain Patient

If this news is likely to come as a surprise to people in your life, don’t be dismayed if they’re upset and emotional. They are probably facing a lot of the same feelings you did when you initially found out you were pregnant.
 
Remain patient with them, and stay calm as you wait for them to take in this new information. By showing them that you’re ready to cope with the outcome of whatever decision you make, they will hopefully come to terms with the situation faster.
 

Schedule a Time to Talk Again

The first time you talk with your family about your pregnancy, things might not go as planned. You might be interrupted and not get to finish talking. So make sure to re-visit this conversation.
 
If a loving resolution can’t be reached from the first meeting, schedule a time to talk again at a later date. By doing so, the news about your pregnancy will have time to sink in. Hopefully, everyone will be calmer during the second conversation. Plus, and you’ll have a chance to consider your choices more thoroughly.
 

The Bottom Line

Some women feel relieved once they tell people they’re pregnant. Once you tell people about your pregnancy, you’ll get a wide variety of reactions. Everyone will probably have an opinion to share—whether it’s helpful or not. The bottom line this: it’s your body, your baby, and your pregnancy. Yours to talk about, yours to experience, and yours to decide about. And after your pregnancy, the baby is yours. So the opinion that counts the most is your own.
 
This doesn’t mean you have to go through it all alone. Tell people who are going to have your back, even when they don’t agree with you. Tell those who love you, know you, and know your situation. Don’t be scared to share how you’re feeling. If you have someone there by your side, things might not seem as scary or overwhelming.
 
Would you like to talk about your pregnancy and how you feel about having a baby, but can’t find the words to tell your family or friends? Lifetime is familiar with unplanned pregnancies and the decisions that come with them. Reach out to our caring and compassionate coordinators by texting or calling us at 1-800-923-6784. We’re here to listen, not judge, and can help you find the words you need to tell your parents and your baby’s father. You’re not alone!
 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 19, 2017, and has since been updated.