Unplanned pregnancy entails a lot of consequences and psychological effects. Parenthood is a natural thing, but when it happens suddenly and not in the plan, there would be some problems along the way. For both the mother and child, they will be exposed to different types of risk — health, psychological, emotional, and social problems.
Unplanned Pregnancy and Health Risks
The first and usual problems faced with an unplanned pregnancy are the health risks associated with it. This is especially true for teenage moms who are more exposed to greater risks of maternal death, compared to mothers who are in the right age of childbearing. Unplanned pregnancy could also cause poor weight gain and anaemia, as well as pregnancy-induced hypertension, cephalopelvic disproportion, and even sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). All these risks might put the mother and the baby’s lives at stake; it can also cause caesarian deliveries and labour abnormalities.
Psychological and Emotional Side Effects
An unplanned pregnancy also leads to psychological and emotional side effects, most of which leads to committing abortion. Some women might have a hard time in weighing down their options on what to do with the unintended pregnancy — they’ll have to worry about the difficult and painful experience of abortion if they would choose that, and some people would be giving the woman their judging stares because of such decision. It is a tough decision not only for the mother but even for her partner and other people who are close to her.
On the other side, women undergoing unplanned pregnancies may also experience emotional distress. They are more prone to experiencing anger, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, and uncertainty especially in regards to their decision for that matter.
Who is most vulnerable to these effects?
Women have different reactions to unplanned pregnancies. Some would feel glad and relieved but some wouldn’t, and that all depends on each one’s situation. The ones who are more prone to experiencing these effects are the following:
- Women who went through previous psychological and emotional problems
- Women who are forced or coerced to do an abortion
- Women with different religious beliefs, moral and ethical views
- Women who don't have support from their partners
- Women from disadvantageous backgrounds
One great factor about the vulnerability of a woman to these effects would be her personal beliefs about the baby inside. If she is someone who believes that it is not a baby until it is born, she is going to have less of a hard time in experiencing the emotional consequences. But if a woman believes the other way around, then she is more likely to experience emotional and psychological distress.
Things to Consider:
- When you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy, the first and the best thing you should do is to communicate with professionals whom you can talk to; they’ll answer all your questions and discuss the matter and your circumstances with you for better understanding. You can also seek the advice of other people and hear their perspective on your situation so you can have another person’s POV.
- Try your best to avoid isolating yourself from others (in hopes of keeping the matter as a secret and to face it alone). It will be hard, but you should be open to your family and friends and accept their support, as isolation might lead to depression.
- As much as possible, avoid pressure. Don’t listen to what other people would say. Your choice is all that matters — you are the one who would be living with that choice, anyway.
- Talk to others, especially those who are or have been in the same situation as you. You would have a chance to find out what it was like in their situation and you might be enlightened.
Common Exercises to avoid depression
You can do a lot to ease and avoid depression. It might be a trip to the gym, aerobic exercises, doing anything you enjoy, or just chilling out and relaxing. When you can lessen your stress and anxiety, you will also be able to function well, mentally and emotionally.
Side effects associated with unwanted pregnancy may lead to an increase in maternal and infant deaths, even illnesses and marriage problems. It may also lead to difficult decisions like abortion. It will be a hard time for the mother, so it is important that she is being supported by her loved ones to help her get through it and come up with her choice of what to do with the situation.
Alison is the chief blogger at BabyJoggerStroller.co, a one stop shop for Best Jogger Strollers. Alison is on a mission to give parents the best advice on jogging strollers, fitness tips, and actionable health tips to stay fit & get back in shape.