Positive pregnancy testHaving a missed period is one of the worst scares you can get when you’re not ready to be a mom. You’re probably eyeing your calendar, counting the days, and hoping your fear of being pregnant is just irrational and your period will arrive.

Before you freak out, make sure that you are in fact pregnant. A late period can be caused by a variety of things, like stress, weather change, or losing lots of weight. Every missed period doesn’t mean you’re pregnant. But if you’ve been expecting your period for a few weeks now and it hasn’t arrived, then it’s time to take action. Buy two or three pregnancy tests so you can test a few times. It’s more likely to be accurate if you test in the morning.

If your pregnancy test is positive, the next step is to visit your Ob-Gyn to confirm you’re actually pregnant. Once your doctor confirms you’re pregnant as well, you’ll need to plan what you want to do. Don’t just make a quick decision, think about all of the possible outcomes. Hash it out with your partner. This one-time decision will have an effect on both of your lives.

Here’s a breakdown of the 3 choices you have:

Become a mother: Being a single mom is hard, and a life-long commitment. Although parenting a child while you are young is extremely difficult for many reasons, you should look into all your options, including the benefits and the realistic challenges of parenting.  By talking with counselors and other women who have chosen parenting, you will better understand this choice.

Abortion: this is a tough decision to have to make, and there are several things you should think about before choosing abortion. Keep in mind your physical and mental health. If you’re dating but not ready to become a mom yet, you need to make sure to talk abortion over with your boyfriend. Abortion should be a decision you both make. If you do choose it, make sure you know all you can about abortion before going through it.

Adoption: The choices with open adoption today will allow your baby to grow up knowing they are loved by both their adoptive parents and by you. It allows you to make the decisions you want to about your pregnancy, delivery, and your baby’s future. You may even choose the adoptive family you want and visit your child if you wish!

As with all your options, fully exploring the adoption process will give a clear picture and help you make the right choice. Counselors, adoptive parents and other birth mothers are available to help you get a better understanding of adoption. Visiting an adoption company’s website is a great place to start as well.