One of the most difficult things about an unplanned pregnancy is informing the people you love. For many women, these people are your parents.
Some reasons why to tell your parents:
You need them.
Your parents are part of your support system. As you make decisions, they may have valuable insight and information for you. For instance, you might worry whether or not they will let you live with them. Sharing your news gives them the chance to think about if and how they will support you and the baby financially. If that would make a difference in your pregnancy decision, you need to give them the opportunity to actually tell you instead of making assumptions. While you may be tempted to avoid “burdening” them, you may be hurting them and yourself by acting on limited information.
Furthermore, if your parents live close by or you live with them, it makes sense to include them on the fact that you are pregnant—for your own health. If you were to experience heavy bleeding, ectopic pregnancy, or miscarriage, knowing that you are pregnant will help them get you suitable medical care. If you pursue an abortion, your parents should know so they can recognize signs of infection or complications. If you feel emotional distress after an abortion, they can help you get counseling and walk through your grieving process with you.
They will probably find out anyway.
If you carry your pregnancy to term, eventually they will see it themselves, or someone else will tell them. If you choose to abort, it may be possible to keep it from them. However, the procedure becomes a part of your medical history. If you maintain contact with them, medical situations often come up in families, and they may very well discover it.
It usually ends on a positive note.
Although it is normal for your parents to be shocked or disappointed, once the initial wave of crisis passes, they often see the upside…in less than a year, there will be another member of their family, whom they will love.
What if my parents pressure me into a decision I’m not sure about (parenting, adoption, or abortion)?
Even if you are a minor, your parents cannot coerce you to have an abortion. They cannot make you pursue adoption. They cannot force you to parent. Just like you needed time to adjust to the news of your pregnancy, they may say or do things that indicate they are in a “crisis mindset”. This can be very hurtful and make you feel like you are responsible to comply with them in order to make them happy.
At Legacy Pregnancy Center, our staff is equipped to help families facing unplanned pregnancies make informed decisions, based on facts, not fear. If you are in conflict regarding your pregnancy decision, you owe yourself the opportunity to investigate the resources and hope that is available for you. You leave empowered, not pressured.