11 Next Steps for Pregnant Females
Finding out you’re pregnant can be intimidating and confusing. At In This With You, we have created this Next Steps resource to help you navigate this challenging time.
With that said, ITWY is by no means the authority on practically, emotionally or spiritually navigating through a crisis pregnancy. Rather, our humble perspective is offered with hopes that it will benefit you personally or help point you to some helpful resources, even if you don’t share all our perspectives. ITWY’s resources are works in progress, so if you have any feedback on this resource, please share your thoughts here.
ITWY does not work with individuals one on one. If you need immediate 24/7 help, you can reach out to our friends at OptionLine, call 1-800-712-4357, text “HELPLINE” to 313131, or click here for a live online chat. If you are in an abusive relationship and you have not sought help, you need to IMMEDIATELY chat online with or call The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
STEP 1 – Your Journey Starts with Being Where You Are
What does this mean? In any challenging journey, you must start from somewhere. And for you, your journey can start with this moment. This season might be the most confusing time of your life, but ITWY wants to point out some truths:
- You Have Permission To Feel – Being unexpectedly pregnant can cause your emotions to be all over the place. You might be facing overwhelming fear, sorrow, regret, depression, shame, or something else. No matter what form your emotions come in, you need to know that it’s okay to feel what you feel. It might not be the ideal feeling for you long-term, but you must begin from where you are- not where you want to be.
- You Have Permission to Need and Ask for Help – Pregnancy is a hard journey that doesn’t have to be traveled alone. Whether it be from friends, supports group like we mention below, or having a mentor, accepting your need for others is a good thing.
- You Have Permission to Have Hope – When you found out you were pregnant, you might have thought your life was over and your dreams were dead. While no doubt life has changed, ITWY believes that God has a blessed journey for you to walk with Him. You have permission to believe for an amazing future, no matter what your current circumstances are.
STEP 2 – Read the Stories of Other People’s Crisis Pregnancy Journeys
Reading the stories of other people who have experienced an unplanned pregnancy can bring perspective, wisdom, and inspiration to you in your own journey. ITWY encourages you to read the stories of other women who have walked in your shoes.
STEP 3 – Schedule an Appointment at Your Local Pregnancy Resource Center
Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC) are local organizations that generally offer free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, counseling, and resources to aid you in your pregnancy. These centers are full of dedicated, loving people who can help you during this challenging time.
STEP 4 – Join a Support Group
There are three amazing national organizations that provide small group support for young pregnant mothers to journey together. Click their links to join one of their groups.
Our friends at Embrace Grace work through local churches to provide small support groups, baby showers, and community for unmarried pregnant women of ALL AGES. Click this link to find the local EG group for you to plug into.
If you are in high school, hopefully you have heard about the great people with Young Life already. YoungLives is Young Life for teen moms, both pregnant and already parenting with chapters across the nation. YoungLives has regular gatherings called club and camps across the country for teen moms and their children each summer. Through Young Life’s time-tested methods and life-on-life mentoring, teen moms are empowered to make positive choices, set and achieve goals, and live a future rooted in Jesus. Click here to find the contact info of the regional coordinator in your part of the US who will get you connected to you local group.
MOPS and Teen MOPS provides a faith-based, supportive, nonjudgmental environment where moms can come together for mentoring and encouragement. To find Teen specific groups, click “Advance Search” and “Teen” under Group Type under the search tool.
STEP 5 – Understanding Your Options – Parenting, Adoption, and Abortion
Deciding what to do from here- whether it be parenting, adoption, or abortion- can feel overwhelming. You can read more about all your options below.
Parenting – The decision to parent is an honorable one as you maintain the responsibility of being the legal guardian of your child. This requires financial provision and relational care. Depending on your life circumstances, you might find it best to parent your child. While parenting is a great choice, ITWY suggests making this choice by looking to God’s leading, your financial situation, and your stage in life while also looking at adoption as an option.
Adoption – Adoption is a brave, honorable, selfless and loving choice for a parent to make. Though it might be hard to think about your child being raised by another family, adoption might be what God leads you to. Additionally, in 90% of domestic adoptions today, the birth parents maintain contact with their child, so adoption doesn’t mean a loss of relationship. To help you navigate this decision, our amazing friends at BraveLove have helped us write a resource to help you be educated on the adoption process.
Abortion – Abortion is a medical termination of a pregnancy by way of surgery or medicine. There are a lot of conflicting opinions about abortion and often it seems there is more arguing going on than loving. ITWY does not want to add to this by shaming and judging those who have made or will make this choice, but ITWY does believe strongly that abortion is not God’s desire for your life or the life of the baby in your womb.
STEP 6 – Open Up to a Trusted Friend, Your Parents, & the Father of the Baby
Letting your parents, your partner, your friends, or others know that you are pregnant might be the hardest thing for you to face. But letting people walk this journey with you is one of the healthiest things you can do to gain clarity about your situation. ITWY has created the resource A Guide to Opening Up about being pregnant to help you start these conversations. Note: If you are in an abusive relationship you should NOT open up to your partner unless you have first insured your safety. If you have never reached out for help or need to currently, contact the The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
STEP 7 – Take Care of Your Body and Your Developing Baby
To insure the health of yourself and your developing baby, you will need to educate yourself and make life adjustment in areas of food, drink, sleep, exercise, and life habits. Below is a linked resource for making healthy choices for your body and baby during your pregnancy.
STEP 8 – Seek Support for Medical Care, Food, and Other Areas
Because many crisis pregnancy situations are financially challenging, ITWY recommends seeking out governmental medical and food assistance programs that you may be eligible for depending on your income level. Honestly, the paperwork process for these programs can be a bit overwhelming and cumbersome, so ITWY recommends you reach out to a mentor or friend who is able to help if the process becomes too confusing for you.
Healthcare – While coverage and eligibility varies from state to state, Medicaid and CHIP are programs that can help cover medical costs for you and your pregnancy. For more information on the application process and eligibility, visit this website and this website.
Food Assistance – A proper diet is important for a healthy pregnancy. To help supplement some of the food costs during your pregnancy, apply for your state’s food assistance program by visiting this site. Also, find your local food pantry here or by Googling “local food pantry” to see local nongovernmental organizations that help with food assistance.
Other Benefits – Depending on your state, there might be other programs that you may be eligible for like breastfeeding support and more. ITWY recommends searching out your state’s various benefits by visiting this website.
STEP 9 – Go Through ITWY’s Bible Study [Coming Soon]
ITWY wants to provide you with a bible study resource in the near future but is still working to complete it. Because of the sensitive nature of the challenges of the pregnancy season, ITWY is taking its to complete, review, and release the bible study. But if you would like to sign up to be in the focus group to for an trial release of this bible study resource, click the button below.
STEP 10 – Sign Up for the “Walk Courageously” Emails
ITWY wants to send you occasional emails to support you in the courageous journey you are on. These emails will include encouraging thoughts to meditate on, practical information, and ways to stay connected with the ITWY community.
STEP 11 – Share Your Story/Reflection Anonymously for ITWY’s Stories Page
Sharing your story of honest reflection, even anonymously, can be a big step in your own journey and even help the lives of others who may read it. If you feel like this is something God might lead you to, click below to submit your story to be potentially placed on our ITWY’s Stories page.
Can You Help ITWY?
- FAQ Resource Help – ITWY desires to put together a Frequently Asked Questions resource in the future for those walking through an unplanned pregnancy. Go here to submit as many questions as you can think of that women, men, and their friends would have during an unplanned pregnancy.
- Feedback – Do you have any feedback for ITWY on how this resource can improve? Click here to submitted encouragement, constructive criticism, and/or suggestions.