Pregnancy is a big deal, and whether a woman was hoping to become pregnant or was caught completely off guard, that woman needs support from her friends more than ever. Here are some ways you can help your friend process the news that she is pregnant.
Honestly, we all need someone to listen when we are coping with big news. If your friend trusts you with the news of a pregnancy, you should be honored! Let her talk about how she found out, what she thinks about the pregnancy and what the father of the baby is saying. Let her imagine out loud what life might look like in a month, nine months or a few years.
It’s not recommended to offer advice at the beginning of this conversation. Instead, practice “reflective listening” to stay connected. For example, if she says she took two tests and couldn’t believe the results, respond by mirroring back what she just said (“Wow, you took two tests? Then what happened?”) to keep the conversation moving. Reflective listening also helps you stay engaged in the mostly one-way conversation.
Once your friend has shared her initial thoughts, hopes and worries about the pregnancy, there are great questions you can ask that are tailored to her situation. By gently helping her look at the possibilities ahead, you can help her start to make a plan for what to do next.
For example, you can ask questions like:
- What does the father of the baby think about the pregnancy?
- Will he support you if you decide to keep the baby?
- Have you told your parents?
- What will your friends say?
- How are you feeling?
- Do you have a doctor?
- What will you do about work?
- What will you do about school?
- Have you thought about what could happen next?
- What will life look like if you keep the baby? In nine months? In five years?
- How will life change if you choose adoption for your baby?
- Do you know about abortion procedures?
- How will you feel about an abortion down the road?
- How can I help? (and be prepared to follow up if she asks for help!)
By listening to your friend and asking good, caring questions, you’ve provided invaluable help to her. But a necessary third step is directing her to some help. For instance, all pregnant women need to connect with medical care and ongoing support. This is where Life’s Choices can help you and your friend!
Life’s Choices offers the following:
- Pregnancy Tests –
Even if she’s taken one (or multiple) tests on her own, taking one in our office is helpful. Many women say this step makes a pregnancy more real to them.
- Prenatal Vitamins –
No matter what her plan at this point, early pregnancy takes a toll on a women’s body. These vitamins help keep the mother and the baby healthy.
- Doctor Referral List –
We’ve created and maintained a list of local OBGYNs, and we encourage women to set up an appointment early in their pregnancy.
- Confirmation Ultrasound –
Typically given at the six week mark or later, our ultrasound confirms the age of the fetus and looks for a heartbeat. This type of ultrasound is often required by doctor’s offices, insurance companies and even abortion providers.
- Information on Abortion –
While we do not perform, recommend or refer for abortions, we have factual information on the different procedures used to end a pregnancy. We want all women considering abortion to be well informed and provide this information in a caring, non-judgmental environment.
- Information on Parenting –
We have great resources, classes and mentorship available for expecting parents. From what to expect during pregnancy, to creating a child birth plan, to preparing to take care of a newborn, we have new moms and dads covered!
- Information on Adoption –
Again, we have a list of reputable adoption agencies as well as information on what modern adoption looks like. Some women don’t realize, for example, they can choose the adoptive parents as well as how involved the birth parents will be in the baby’s life down the road.
- Material supplies –
Parents can receive items they need for the baby, from a car seat and clothing to diapers and towels, and so forth.
All of our services are provided free of charge and are conducted with complete confidentiality.
If you aren’t located near our Hamburg or Kutztown, Pennsylvania, offices, don’t worry. As a CareNet affiliate, we can connect your friend to a center more convenient to her that will offer similar support.
At Life’s Choices, we strongly believe in the power of prayer! If you have a relationship with God, even a tenuous one, why not ask him to help your friend? Here are some Bible verses that show how much God cares about everyone involved:
- “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.”
- “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
- “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
So, there you have it. If your friend tells you she is pregnant, listen to what she has to say, be ready to ask some good questions and then direct her to some help she may need. And don’t be afraid to pray and ask God for help – for you and your friend – through this process. Need more help? We are just a call, email or text away!
We’re continuing to take necessary precautions and abide by guidelines for the safety of you and our staff. At this time, we ask that the client set up an appointment before coming in. Thank you!