What can I do if My partner doesn't support my pregnancy?

Wow!!! Finding out you are pregnant is often an overwhelming feeling. The thought of caring for another human brings most women a moment of terror. “How am I going to manage another life when I hardly have my life figured out?” “What if there is a catastrophe, am I going to be able to care for my baby?” “How do I make money and be a mom?” These are just a few of the instant anxious questions that flash through a woman’s mind when she sees a positive result in a pregnancy test. Like all big news, good or bad, taking several deep breaths gives your body and mind time to process the unexpected.

Slowly women begin to assess who can help them in raising the baby. The father of the baby would be the most likely person who would be invested in seeing that his child is cared for and safe. Knowing you are not alone in this new adventure helps silence anxious thoughts. Sometimes, the father of the baby abandons his responsibility to the woman and the baby. What is a woman to do in this situation?

The following is not a checklist but a process. Some items on the list may require more time than others, may need to be repeated, or two or more items can be done at the same time.

  1. BREATHE.  We think more clearly when we can calm our bodies down.
  2. WAIT.  Taking time to let the shock and the flood of feelings settle down before making decisions will reduce regret.
  3. FOCUS. Change your focus from him (who you cannot change) to yourself (who you can change). Never choose abortion because the father of the baby wants you to. Never give up your power! If he is pushing abortion when he knows you want your baby, how likely is he to stay anyway?
  4. DON’T GO IT ALONE.  Find a friend, a family member, or counselor who you can share your fears, anger, and disappointment with. Processing through these feelings of rejection and abandonment will help with your mental health and clear your energy for self-care and prenatal care. Birthright Counseling, St. Louis offers free prenatal and postpartum therapy with professional counselors. Our counselors are here for you and ready to listen to your concerns.
  5. TAKE STOCK.  Assess who is in your circle and can walk this journey with you. The father will not be there to give his 100% support so find several key players to share your joys and struggles with. Seldom are we truly alone in this world. Birthright Counseling, St. Louis has made it our mission to deliver compassionate services to women who are pregnant or postpartum. Each woman has different needs and our comprehensive approach allows us to walk beside women, offering community referrals and practical support as needed.
  6. PLAN.  Develop a general plan of how the next few months will play out regarding prenatal care, delivery, and childcare. Lean on your trusted people to help you. Asking for help in difficult times is essential – you are worth it!
  7. DAILY CHECK-INS.  Once you have your plan, it is key you take one day at a time. Wake up each morning, take a deep breath, and focus on what this one day has to offer and what you need to accomplish this one day. Living in the future keeps us unsettled but staying present in today and getting things done in small doses will help you reach your goals.
  8. REMEMBER. who you are, what your strengths are, and what your accomplishments are. Fill your vision and ears with positive self-talk and people. A positive attitude is in your control and your biggest asset.
  9. BOUNDARIES.  Set boundaries on the father of the baby. Do not change your direction or plan each time the father of the baby wants to be more involved, feel he has a right to know, or just want to do things on his terms. You and the baby deserve commitment, not drop-ins from him based on his whims.
    • Clarify what you want for yourself and the baby.
    • Share that information with the father.
    • If he is onboard, then he needs to keep his distance and support your ideas and plans for several months, then move slowly into a more involved plan with the father. Six months to a year is a good length of time to see if the father has prioritized his time, money, and values to come in alignment with yours. Do not rush this part. Empty promises and flattery are not enough to build a family on. Time will let you observe if his words and actions match.
  10. CELEBRATE. your strength and compassion as you deal with the pregnancy, delivery, and childcare that comes along with being a mom

Contact Birthright Counseling, St. Louis to learn more about our free, professional counseling services and find the support you deserve.

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