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Advice on unplanned pregnancy threads

(63 Posts)
ALittleStranger Thu 30-Jan-14 22:25:43

I fully accept maybe I ABU.

Support is nice. And there's nothing wrong with anonymous posters helping someone put the best spin on things.

But it worries me that when someone will post about an unplanned pregnancy and seek advice, someone will invariably reassure them that they'll be a great mum and love the kid etc etc. And that's it. Case closed as far as the supportive poster is concerned.

It just seems like such a bland platitude that it's unhelpful to say it. Deciding whether to have a child as a single parent is a huge decision. It concerns me that sometimes a "babies are cute" brigade will clatter in and start cheerleading and ignore that a) women have choices and b) there's invariably a complex back story and "you'll love you bubz" does not get around a lack of finance, support or enthusiasm.

I don't know, I'm just fiercely pro-choice and I fear that sometimes we risk forgetting that abortion can be the life enhancing option.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Fri 31-Jan-14 13:07:31

posters commenting on their own experiences can be useful, but commenting that some random person on the internet will be 'a great mum' is just weird.

the parents I know do their best and are good enough parents. but great? no.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 31-Jan-14 11:23:51

YABU, IME such threads are usually fairly balanced and guilt-trippers are firmly countered. Someone usually posts the number of counselling services too.

I do think that most people who start such threads know what they want to do, so either way they'll see what they want to.

specialsubject Fri 31-Jan-14 10:59:16

somewhere on here is a thread with mothers saying the unsayable 'I regret having my kids'.

not everyone wants to be a parent. It is not realistic to say that you should never have sex if that is the case.
as someone else has said, all children should be wanted. If they are not, it is better that they are not born.

thank goodness for choice in abortion. Let's hope those who seek to stop it in the UK never succeed.

Shufty Fri 31-Jan-14 10:58:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MiaowTheCat Fri 31-Jan-14 10:54:45

The only advice I ever give is that which was given to me:

Whatever decision you make at this point in your life will be the right one for you.

Callani Fri 31-Jan-14 10:50:05

The problem is, even if the overall response is balanced in responses, it only takes one person to say "I could never do that" or some other guilt enducing comment for the OP to focus in on that above all others.

Enb76 Fri 31-Jan-14 10:38:06

I was on one of those threads. I wanted to say "I think you'll be much better off not having the baby. You're young, you're single, the father wants nothing to do with you or the baby, you have no job, please get a life before you have a baby"

I didn't say that though, I said whatever decision you make will be the right one. I don't think it was true, I think keeping the baby will be an awful mistake. Of course, she will most probably love the child and do fine if she keeps it but her life will be hard and it doesn't have to be.

HavantGuard Fri 31-Jan-14 10:30:52

I agree that it's deeply unhelpful to have posters telling an OP what they will feel.

For me, a baby before graduating would have been an utter disaster. Abortion was the best option and I don't regret it for a second.

For people who are pregnant and unsure what to do the only things that matter are their own feelings/beliefs and facing the reality that having a baby changes your life completely. I do get seriously annoyed with the 'all they need is love' brigade and the comments made to younger pregnant women that suggest they can basically stick the baby in a sling and carry on with their current lives. Continuing the pregnancy might be entirely the right thing for them, but it doesn't help them to be completely unprepared for what's to come.

MeepMeepVrooooom Fri 31-Jan-14 10:25:32

I can't stand any posts that are too forceful either way

^ This

IAmNotAPrincessIAmAKahleesi Fri 31-Jan-14 10:23:21

I think the threads on the whole usually end up being quite balanced, though I can't stand any posts that are too forceful either way. I think it's helpful to hear stories from people who've been in that situation and kept their babies and things worked out great and also the ones where terminating was absolutely the best thing to do

If someone posted that they were pregnant and unsure what to do I think it would be just as damaging to have every poster say that termination is probably for the best, they made that decision and it was the right one etc etc because then they might feel they would be irresponsible to keep the baby even if that's what they really wanted

Worriedthistimearound Fri 31-Jan-14 10:19:16

Differentnameforthis, I'm sorry you had such a horrid experience as a child. I'd like to think that if your mother came in here saying she was married with 2kids and facing a 3rd unplanned and unwanted pg then I and others, would suggest that perhaps a termination was right for her. If she posted that her husband was trying to convince her to keep the baby then id tell her that it wasn't his decision and that only she could make it based on how she felt.
Having said all that, I think a great many women in your mother's situation would love their child once it came along and not reject it throughout its life. That's not to say they should all go ahead and have the baby eapecially if they really didnt want it but your mother's reaction was probably extreme.

Worriedthistimearound Fri 31-Jan-14 10:11:18

Sorry, fell asleep.
I didn't mean to suggest that it wasn't the right decision for you Ali. I meant that phrase didn't seem to fit (IMO). To me, something that is life enhancing is amazing and joyous. And of course no longer being pregnant may have felt like that but I wouldn't describe a termination in itself as that. I'm sure the vast majority of women would rather not have found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy rather than needing to opt for a termination. I can be pro choice and still see it as an unpleasant experience even if you're sure it's what you want.

differentnameforthis Fri 31-Jan-14 03:08:00

All that leaves is affection, which I don't think is a given for anyone. Have you experienced lack of affection from your mother? Once my dad left I had no affection. I would watch her laugh & play with my older sister & brother, smile at them, hold them. While I looked on. She looked after me. That's all she did. She left me at hospital at 9 to wake from a major op on my own. It was two days later that I saw her (was in hospital for a week). I remember another mum on the ward cuddling me as I cried for her. My sister cut her leg at 18 & my mother rushed her to hospital. My sister didn't even need stitches, but was kept in overnight (possible shock) and my mother stayed with her. Don't underestimate how important affection is.

Not sure I'd ever describe it as the 'life enhancing option' though. It enhanced my life. Honestly. While waiting for my op I was depressed. I was yelling at my 6mth old, I wanted to die. I thought about crashing my car (didn't obviously, but that was only because every time I was in it, my 6mth old was too). So yes, I would describe it as life enhancing.

Neitheronethingortheother Telling a poster that it worked out for you isn't a problem. It helps them see that it CAN work. What I object to is what I put above 'you won't regret it' etc. Because as people who do not know the poster, we can not know that!!

I don't tend to go in to those threads, but I'm betting that for every post supporting keeping the baby, that there are just as many suggesting an abortion. If you don't tend to go on them, then how can you possibly comment as to their content? Anyway. to answer ; Not in my experience. It is heavily weighed in the favour of support for keeping baby. I think it is because as soon as someone comes on to express another option, they are usually made to feel like they have to justify their choice & then berated (because I was) for terminating in those situations. I have had a few people tell me my reasons weren't good enough, that I could have found a way around them, and this was while I was trying to support an op who was thinking of termination. It is a good job that I know my reasons are valid & good enough, but I suspect others have been scared off because of this.

I have often felt like a lone voice on such threads.

The thing is, if you regret your abortion, that's your life impacted negatively. If you regret continuing your pregnancy, that's two lives impacted negatively. The latter definitely seems worse. The latter is MUCH worse.

differentnameforthis Fri 31-Jan-14 03:07:48

I object SO much to people saying

'you will love it'
'you'll cope'
'you never regret having a child'

Unplanned pregnancy thread is NOT the place for this type of talk. The experiences of the posters in these situations aren't helpful. They give false hope.

Deciding to have a child within a relationship is hard too, if it is unplanned. I terminated at 9 weeks (3rd pregnancy, 4yrs ago) for a lot of reasons. I don't regret, yes it changed my life. But for the better.

I am pro choice. VERY.

I was unwanted as a baby. My father convinced my mother to have to me, telling her it would be ok, she would love me etc. She didn't love, never wanted me & it damaged our relationship, especially when dad left (no one to show me love etc). We haven't talked for 20yrs.

No, I do not wish I have never been born, but I do wish I hadn't had to suffer what I suffered.

Every thread like this I've seen has had posters on it offering support whatever the op chooses. I have seen many that have not. Posters go on to detail how they felt when in that situation, but more often than not, they have finished with 'our accident is now 4 & we love her to bits, so it does work out' or 'you never regret having a child'. And those things are said far more than 'you don't have to do this' 'you can regret a baby' and also far more than any support offered.

Then you get the pro lifers coming on & giving over their agenda.

For instance, if someone tells them "you'll love the baby once it gets here" see, this is the EXACT thing we are talking about!! How the hell can anyone know that they will love the baby once it is born? My mother was told that, and she didn't love me. It's giving false hope.

And NO ONE gives any consideration to the person in that situation at all. What if they come back on 9mths later & say 'you all told me I would love him, but I don't. I didn't want him, I regret having him" Will they all offer to help op? Adopt the baby? Of course they won't!!

It is not unusual for them to be prefaced with 'I just know I could never have an abortion' or some other similarly guilt-inducing comment. Exactly. If ever I am on a thread like that, if the poster hasn't already expressed that she will go ahead, I would advise of the options.

My opinion is that if you choose to have a baby in the UK regardless of your relationship status or income your baby will have education, food, healthcare, a home and a safe environment. Hold on a sec... Nope, sorry, I told myself that at least I got an education, good healthcare, a home & felt safe (for all is true) But sorry, it failed to fill that huge fucking void left by my mother not loving me. All that means absolutely nothing if your mother doesn't love you & regrets having you.

Actually all babies need is love. NO. I had love. Just not from my mum. Which is the only love I wanted/needed. All babies need to be WANTED.

LittleBabyPigsus Fri 31-Jan-14 02:02:51

The thing is, if you regret your abortion, that's your life impacted negatively. If you regret continuing your pregnancy, that's two lives impacted negatively. The latter definitely seems worse.

anothernumberone Thu 30-Jan-14 23:58:37

I do know what you mean OP however outside of extreme circumstances abortion is not something I personally would consider. So say for example say I got pregnant now it would be a huge shock since DH had a vasectomy. I would be shocked, a little disoriented and tbh probably upset but I would want the everything is going to be ok chat not the you have options chat so I guess every situation needs to be judged on its own merits. Even women without obvious support might want the everything is going to be ok chat rather than the options chat. It all depends I guess.

I don't think running in with the options chat is very necessary either since everyone knows there are options don't they? At the end of the day abortion should be a choice not something someone needs to be encouraged into. If an OP comes on asking for advice on abortion or what options are out there that is when the abortion advice is relevant not otherwise IMO.

MeepMeepVrooooom Thu 30-Jan-14 23:37:38

I think it depends. There are different types of these threads. There are for example 'I am pregnant how am I going to cope being a single parent? ' and 'I am pregnant and don't know what to do' the former suggests to me they have made their mind up to continue with the pregnancy and to go blundering in with pro choice posts wouldn't be appropriate unless the OP brings it up. The latter of the two I think they are looking for advice on options, in that case any advice should be given.

MidniteScribbler Thu 30-Jan-14 23:37:37

I don't tend to go in to those threads, but I'm betting that for every post supporting keeping the baby, that there are just as many suggesting an abortion.

There is no law on an internet forum about having to post a completely balanced argument for your point of view. People post to ask for an opinion, and that's what they get. Like it or not, there's people out there for whom abortion is not a palatable option and as long as they aren't trotting out the "murder" line, then suggesting that the OP keep the baby is a perfectly valid option. No woman should be pressured either way, but a balance of opinions is healthy.

As we see on this board all the time, people ask for opinions and then ignore the posts that don't suit them. For some women, it may be that support they need to go ahead with an abortion, and for some women it may be the support they need to keep the baby.

clara that's unfair. a lot of pregnant women have no understanding of what they're getting into, not just teenagers. i appreciate that being a jobless, teenage parent isn't ideal but I had dc1 at 16 and was never any less capable of loving and looking after her as an older mother would have been.

saying to someone who is struggling to come to terms with an unplanned pregnancy, 'you'll be a great mum' is insensitive and stupid. but having a baby can be life enhancing as much as terminating an unplanned pregnancy. unless you know the person very well, it's a bad idea to advise either way. as has already been said, mention the options but that should be it.

Neitheronethingortheother Thu 30-Jan-14 23:29:51

I think there are a lot of people who have been faced with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy and who thought it was the end of the world and considered abortion but decided to keep the baby and did end up loving the baby and things worked out OK. I know this happened to me when I was 18 and I never regretted out for a minute. That is my experience so I would share that with someone as a personal experience. I have had 4 pregnancies since then with varying outcomes but I dont see the harm in sharing an actual experience as opposed to giving impartial unbiased counsel to someone who finds themselves in a similar situation. Surely the best advice is to tell them to speak to a fully trained counsellor rather than using amateur skills to try and influence them

ALittleStranger Thu 30-Jan-14 23:25:59

"need to talk, focused on" even

AnnabelleLee Thu 30-Jan-14 23:25:58

They do engage, just not in a manner you like.

ALittleStranger Thu 30-Jan-14 23:24:48

Annabelle I think responses could actually engage with the OPs' need to talk about focus on their individual circumstances, feelings and options. Populating a thread like a Facebook wall filled with "likes" is not helpful.

claraschu Thu 30-Jan-14 23:23:48

I hate threads where young teenagers are encouraged to continue with pregnancies, even though they have no way of understanding what they are getting into, no way of supporting the baby, and are already very unbalanced in their thinking.

We have a huge population problem, and an enormous number of children who are neglected, abused or just not particularly well cared for.

ALittleStranger Thu 30-Jan-14 23:23:19

I apologise taking, I'm sure the more articulate posters are also capable of crap advice.

Good I'm sorry to read that, it's awful circumstances to be put through.

Worried maybe a time machine or better luck would be more life enhancing, but yeah working within the options currently enabled by science and technology...

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