If you are pregnant and can’t keep the baby, you are not alone. There are many reasons why women struggle with their options when they become unexpectedly pregnant. We are the experts and have been in your shoes. This article will help you understand why some women feel they can’t keep their baby. We also offer advice and next steps below.
8 Reasons Why A Pregnant Woman Feels She Can’t Keep The Baby
This pregnancy is unplanned and I’m so embarrassed
Feeling embarrassed about an unplanned pregnancy is really common. Many women ask how they got themselves into this situation. Birth control doesn’t always work. Drugs and alcohol frequently play a role for obvious reasons: we are uninhibited and we start making bad choices.
Younger women may not have enough information about sexual reproduction and don’t understand that certain birth control methods are ineffective. These young women might not completely understand how and when their bodies are capable of getting pregnant. I’ve spoken with many women over the years who have said they should have known better. Whatever you are telling yourself, you should shift the narrative. Maybe you have made some choices you regret, and now is the time to move forward with choices you can feel proud of.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re unexpectedly pregnant and can’t keep the baby. Take responsibility for your actions. Understand your options, and make better choices moving forward.
The father drugged and raped me
You have probably seen this topic in the news more often these days. If you haven’t heard of date rape drugs and what it means to be roofied, you can read more here. Women who become pregnant under these circumstances frequently find out somewhere in the second or third trimester that they are pregnant. This is because the woman was unconscious at the time she was raped and doesn’t remember. Many women have irregular cycles and a missed period for two or three months isn’t unusual. This is especially true if the woman is not sexually active.
When a woman becomes pregnant through an assault, she might not feel a connection to the baby. Some women report that they don’t feel a maternal instinct. Others are so traumatized by the experience, they feel they can’t keep the baby. They fear that the child will be a trigger and a reminder of the assault. Not surprisingly, they might be terrified how to tell their child they were conceived by rape.
I’m too young to be a parent
This is a really common reason women tell me that they can’t keep the baby. Teen pregnancy is a complicated issue, and there are few resources out there to help young mothers. For teens who experience unplanned pregnancy and live in poverty, raising a child can be daunting. Statistics show that these young mothers don’t finish school. They have more health problems and struggle to break the cycle of poverty.
Many teens are still children themselves. An unexpected pregnancy forces them to think about adult options like parenting, abortion, and maybe adoption. If you are pregnant and can’t keep the baby because you are too young to be a parent, I encourage you to talk with an adult you trust about your options. You have adult choices to make and should have a trusted adult help you consider your options and the consequences.
My parents will kick me out
It’s always a little heartbreaking when a woman says she can’t keep her baby because her parents will kick her out. Many parents will threaten to kick a pregnant daughter out of the house. There’s always the possibility that they won’t go through with it (I’ve seen this a lot). Sometimes it’s a knee-jerk reaction. Parents get scared and don’t know what to say, so they try to scare you into doing what they want you to do. Sometimes parents threaten to kick you out because they want you to take responsibility for yourself.
If your parents said they’ll kick you out if you keep your baby, I encourage you to think about your options. If you want to parent, where will you live and who will help you. Some women will consider abortion. What are your values? Who will get you to the clinic? How will you pay for it. If adoption is something you’d consider, do your research (I can help) and come up with a plan.
When you’re ready, sit down with your parents and show them all the work you’ve done to consider your options. Talk about the pros and cons and see if they can help you think through your options. If they see that you are taking responsibility and have thought through the consequences, they might let you stay in the house while you make your plan a reality.
My boyfriend will break up with me
This is another heartbreaking one. I have a lot of sympathy for young women who are under the spell of a boyfriend and want to please him. If you are pregnant and can’t keep the baby because your boyfriend will break up with you, I encourage you to look long and hard at that relationship. Ask yourself if you want to be with someone who manipulates you. I’d also encourage you to ask yourself if this is really the person you will be with long term. Deciding whether to keep your baby is a lifelong decision. What you decide could change the course of your life. Ask yourself if you are willing to make these types of choices because they are in his best interest and not yours and your baby’s.
My baby’s father is violent
I have worked with many victims of domestic violence over the years. Fear of retaliation for an unplanned pregnancy is real and valid. If you are afraid of your baby’s father, you still have options. Every state is different when it comes to parental rights. You need to learn more about what your state’s laws are if you want to parent without your baby’s father, make an adoption plan, or safe surrender your baby at a hospital or other designated safe place.
If a victim of domestic violence wants to parent, she should look for victim’s resources. Unfortunately, these are really limited and frequently women who need assistance are on waiting lists for services. Women’s shelters and homes for single moms may be an option for you.
I’m not ready to be a parent
This is probably the most common reason a woman feels she can’t keep her baby. There are countless reasons why a woman isn’t ready to parent. Frequently the reasons are based in financial limitations. Some women can’t afford another child. Others may not be working, or already have finances that are stretched to the limit. I’ve written a lot about this topic, which you can read more about here.
I know I won’t be a good mother
This reason for feeling you can’t keep your baby is the least common. However, when it comes up, women will say they won’t be a good mother for many of the reasons I’ve listed already: I’m too young, can’t afford it, the father will break up with me. An unplanned pregnancy puts many women in a bad headspace where they come down hard on themselves. Along with this self-judging seems to be the conclusion that they won’t be a good mother.
I always encourage these women to make choices based on the reality of their circumstances. Parents and mothers are all very different, with wide ranging personalities, priorities and values. Just because you are feeling bad about yourself, feeling selfish and irresponsible, doesn’t mean you won’t be a good mother.
Unexpected pregnancy is challenging. I know because I have personally been through it. You can trust that I understand what you’re going through, and I’m ready to help you think through your options. Reach out to me today using the contact options on this page. I’m here for you whatever you need, even if it’s just to listen.