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For Men; Help With Fatherhood

So you just found out you got your girlfriend pregnant…

Fatherhood wasn’t your plan, and you’re not sure what to do. There is a lot going through your mind right now, and your emotions are all over the place. First, you need to slow down and not rush into making a decision. Take time to examine your thoughts and feelings. The situation involves more than just you.

I feel trapped! What are my options?

If you’ve gotten your girlfriend pregnant, don’t be pressured into making a quick decision. It is not unusual to feel trapped, to want to keep the pregnancy a secret, or to want it to disappear. Don’t base your decision on fear, panic or pressure. As the man, you feel the responsibility to take care of your girlfriend and your child. You have options in the face of this unplanned pregnancy, and with a little help, you and your girlfriend can make a decision that is healthy for her, for you, for your baby and for your relationship. Be careful not to just say that you will support her in whatever she decides to do – you have a voice and your thoughts are important. Weigh the pros and cons, and then take the road that is best for you. It might not be the easiest, but the one that leads to a healthy, productive future for all of you.

What are my responsibilities as a father?

Your role in this relationship can be hard to understand. Assisting, protecting and supporting your girlfriend are very important at this time. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with each other will give both of you strength. Trust in yourself and your ability to provide financially. She may be carrying the baby, but you are both parents and the baby needs you.

Pregnancy doesn’t mean you have to give up your life or your dreams.

When you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, it is easy to feel like you are alone, but millions of men have been here before you. In fact, you probably know some friends or family members that were once in your exact situation. How did they deal with their decision, and were the results positive or something they regret? Ask them if they could do it all over, would they do anything different. Trust in your inner strength and know that good can come from even the most challenging situations.

First things first.

The decisions you make today will affect you for the rest of your life. Get the information you and your partner need. At Next Step, we can help answer your questions and provide you with factual information so that you can make an informed decision. The first thing you need to do is find out if she is really pregnant and learn about your options. Next Step Pregnancy Services provides confidential, free pregnancy testing, and we encourage both of you to come and talk to one of our qualified staff members.

So you just found out you’re going to be a grandfather . . .

You just found out your baby is having a baby and you’re shocked – and this is normal, but try not to overreact. Your response will have a significant impact on your future relationship with your daughter. It’s an overwhelming situation, but your daughter needs you more than ever now.

It’s not going to be easy, but it is possible.

What you are going through isn’t easy, and there are no simple answers. Although it’s important to respect each other’s need for space and to talk to each other honestly and openly, don’t isolate yourself or say anything that you might regret later. Clearly this isn’t the future either of you planned, but it doesn’t mean your world is coming to an end. Your daughter still looks up to you – share your wisdom and life experiences with her. Remember that this is your grandchild. Don’t just tell your daughter that you will support her in whatever she chooses because this will make her feel alone. She needs to hear you say:

  • “I still love you.”
  • “I’m here for you and I’ll help you.”
  • “It’s not what we planned, but we will be ok.”
  • “We will get through this together.”

There are three options to consider for this baby – abortion, adoption and parenting. Encourage your daughter to make a list of pros/cons in regards to each of these options. Listen unconditionally as she talks about her feelings and plans.