There are a lot of choices to be made when an unplanned pregnancy happens. It might seem like the end of the world, no matter what the decision is – but whatever decision mom makes, dad will need support as well. This blog talks about how his feelings of fear and anger and responsibility will be as strong as hers, and so will his feelings of grief.
Everything was going so well. You both had plans, and the future was looking pretty good. But then, the unexpected happened and changed everything. If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, it is likely leaving both and your partner feeling alone, scared and confused. Everyone talks to mom and asks her how she is doing, but what about dad? How can you make sure he is being supported during an unplanned pregnancy?
Ask him how he is feeling
As the dad, he is probably feeling just as scared and confused as anyone else. He might be worried that he will have to work harder and earn more money. He might be worried he will have to step up, take a job he doesn’t want, or give up his schooling to work. He might be unprepared to make such unalterable decisions. Asking how he is doing is a simple way to let him know you care, and that you want to support him in any way you can.
Don’t pressure him
Sometimes, asking him for his feelings might not be helpful as he may not feel like sharing them. He may be feeling like this pregnancy is all his fault, or beating himself up for not being more careful, and guilt can make people angry, irritable, or want to be alone. Under normal circumstances, a pregnancy is something that takes two people and one person alone can’t be blamed. It happens, and matters now is what happens next.
Look at the options together
There are so many choices. She can keep the baby or have an abortion. If she chooses to keep it, both parties can raise the child together, raise the child separately, or place the child for adoption. Whatever is decided, it will have an effect on both mom and dad and their relationship together. When two people are facing an unplanned pregnancy, the most difficult thing at the beginning is the emotions. Fear and confusion are normal, but they should not be the reason for the decisions that need to be made. Support is available for both mom and dad. And if both parents can be supportive of each other, it reduces a lot of the stress.
Don’t make uninformed decisions
You are not alone. Recognizing this and reaching out for help is the best way to be supportive of each other and to move forward as a united front. Go to the doctors, find clinics, talk to the people who are supportive of you. Find out what your rights are, and what your options are. The Pregnancy Care Centre is here to help you with these kinds of issues.
For dad, there are men’s support groups that will help him understand his feelings in this situation, and give him someone to talk to if he is grieving for the baby or for what might have been. There are also support groups to help him if he chooses a decision that is separate from her decision. Perhaps dad doesn’t agree with adoption or abortion. What then? Should he stop it from happening, and what are the consequences?