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My Friend is Pregnant, How Can I Help Her?

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My Friend is Pregnant

My Friend is Pregnant

As you’re sitting in a busy coffee shop talking about your day, out of nowhere your friend whispers, “I’m pregnant.” Luckily, you weren’t mid sip. Your mouth drops, and you’re not sure whether to be excited or scared to death for your friend. Maybe you’re not sure what to say, so you sit there silently for a few seconds, gathering your thoughts. “Really”, you say. “What are you going to do?” You knew the answer before you asked. “I’m not sure”, she says.

You lean over and give her a hug because you don’t know what else to do, what else to say. Right now you know she needs your support and a hug is a good start. Over the next few days, weeks, and months she is going to need your support in some very practical ways. She’s going to need to know that you are there for her no matter what. Some of these ways of being there for her may even help you work through your emotions about her pregnancy.

Be Supportive and Positive

As your friend processes the information and works through all of her options she is going to need someone in her corner. This is probably one of the biggest decisions she will face in her life and she is probably feeling completely overwhelmed. Ask her what she needs. Maybe she needs someone to listen. Maybe she needs some time alone. She probably doesn’t need someone giving unsolicited advice and telling her what is best for her. So really listen to what she is telling you and give her what she needs.

As you do that remember to be positive. As she is thinking through the options of abortion, parenting or adoption, try not to be negative in your thoughts and comments. Saying things like “I could never have a baby at your age”, “I can’t imagine giving a child up for adoption”, or “How could you consider an abortion” may make you feel better, but it isn’t going to help her. She also doesn’t need to hear horror stories of your aunt’s two week long labor. Not helpful. If she asks what you think or would do, frame it in a positive perspective.

Ultimately, you have to realize this is her decision and it is a difficult one.

Respect Her Decision

Once she has made her decision you need to be able to respect it, or at least her. You may not agree with it, you may not think it is the best option, but you need to respect it and her point of view. If you can’t, you are going to cause a great deal of damage to your friendship.

Maybe you’ve been in a similar situation yourself. While this can definitely help you relate to what she is going through, it doesn’t make you the expert. Her story is just that, her story. There are different circumstances, different personalities, and different possible outcomes. Use your situation to empathize with her, to share your experience, but realize that she has to make her own decision.

Sometimes your feelings about her pregnancy can get in the way. Maybe you’ve been there and wish you could make a different decision. Maybe you’re just worried how this pregnancy will affect your friendship. If your emotions are getting in the way, it may be helpful for you to talk to someone else and share those feelings. Sharing all those feelings with her may make you feel better, but it won’t be helpful for her. Talking to a professional counselor or a PRC staff member are good options.

Practical Help

There’s a good chance your friend is going to need some real help. A ride to a doctors appointment, a Saturday where you stop by her place and help with the cleaning, help picking out baby clothes if she decides to parent, a trip to Starbucks or Chipotle just to get her mind off everything are all ways you can be there for her. She may just need someone to cry with or get excited with, depending on her mood that day. One of the best things you can do is ask what she needs, don’t just assume.

If the father or her parents aren’t supportive, she will need you more than ever. Check in often just to let her know you are there for her and want to help, but not too often. She’s your friend; you’ll be able to figure it out.

If you’re friend comes to you before she knows for sure she’s pregnant, or she’s sure and just wants someone to talk to, tell her about PRC. If she’s only taken a home test and wants to take another test to confirm we’d love to help. You can even come with her to her appointment if that makes her more comfortable. Once we confirm the pregnancy is viable, we’ll give her an estimate of how far along she is. We’ll also give her information about all of her options. We want to be here to help her make a decision about what is going to be best for her. If she does decide to carry the baby and parent, we have resources at PRC to assist her and we can also provide referrals to other resources in the community.

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment please call us at 814-234-7341. We’re here to help.

 

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Category: Pregnancy, Relationships

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