For some women, the idea of having to tell their parents is the scariest part of being pregnant. Your mind is flooded with the worst-case scenarios— "How will they react? Will they yell at me? Will they kick me out? Will they ever talk to me again?"
The reality is, you will never know how your parents will react until you tell them. You may be surprised. Their reaction may be far more loving and supportive than you could imagine.
Should I tell my parents I'm pregnant?
It's important your parents find out about your pregnancy from you, not your friends' parents or someone else in your community. While it may feel incredibly intimidating to tell your parents you're pregnant, regardless of their reaction, you will likely feel a sense of relief knowing you no longer have to treat your pregnancy as a secret. Hopefully, your parents will be supportive in the long run, and telling them sooner rather than later will give them time to adjust to the news and become a source of support as you walk through this important time.
Regardless of what pregnancy option you're leaning towards, the thought of telling your parents you're pregnant is likely pretty scary. However, it can be an important step to take as you walk through an unplanned pregnancy.
To help you out, here are our top tips for telling your parents you're pregnant:
1.Confirm the Pregnancy at Your Local Pregnancy Clinic
Before you tell your parents, you may first want to confirm that you're really pregnant. Your local pregnancy clinic will provide confidential, no-cost pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan. The ultrasound scan will give you vital information on your pregnancy like whether or not the pregnancy is viable and how far along you are.
You might even consider bringing an image from your ultrasound scan when you tell your parents. Not only will this show them you're taking this seriously, but it might also help them move from shock to excitement.
2. Prepare for the Conversation First with Your Case Manager
It can be hard to know how to tell your parents that you're pregnant. If you're struggling to come up with the words to say, your case manager at your local pregnancy clinic can help you navigate this challenging conversation. It may seem silly, but rehearsing what you'll say will help you stay calm as you prepare to talk with your parents.
3. Choose a Time and Place Strategically
They say "timing is everything." When telling your parents you're pregnant, we recommend being strategic regarding when and where you choose to have this important conversation — more specifically, when and where not to. For a conversation that could become emotional and/or long, avoid telling your parents while they're driving, about to leave the house, preoccupied, or dealing with something else that's frustrating or emotional.
4. Tell Them How You're Feeling
When telling your parents, you might only be thinking about one thing: how they're going to react. However, it's important that you're honest with them in expressing your own emotions in the conversation. If you're feeling disappointed with yourself, tell them. If you're feeling scared and overwhelmed, tell them. Knowing how you're feeling will likely help them see the full picture of what you're experiencing.
5. Prepare for all Situations
As you prepare for this conversation, it might help you to run through the many scenarios in your head. While we hope your parents' reaction will surprise you in a positive way, you should also prepare for the worst. Instead of letting this worst-case scenario detract you from telling them at all, use it to help you prepare.
If you feel like your parents might be overly angry, or if you've ever experienced verbal or physical abuse, you might consider bringing a friend, mentor, or someone else you trust. Again, we recommend you speak to your Case Manager at your local pregnancy clinic who will provide you with important considerations, suggestions and resources.
Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy isn't easy, but thankfully there's help available to you. Here at Open Arms, we're passionate about guiding women and men as they navigate their pregnancy options. If we can help, call or text us to schedule your free and confidential appointment.