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pregnancy, fatherhood

Just for Men: 5 Ways to Support Your Partner’s Pregnancy

Most men understand that when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy, the decision about how it is handled ultimately is up to their partners. Once a missed period happens, a whirlwind of emotions can overtake both you and your partner. Just because the final decision about whether an abortion, adoption, or parenthood is up to the woman, that does not mean men cannot be involved in the process. 

Most women value – welcome, even – input from their partners. Keep in mind that input does not equal overbearing demands or threats hurled at your partner. Those kinds of behaviors will alienate you and your partner and are not healthy emotionally for either of you. How you choose to respond, and the actions you take after finding out about the pregnancy, can help influence your partner’s decision. 

Once you confirm the pregnancy, here are a few things men can do to support their partners’ pregnancy decisions. 

#1 – Educate Yourself About Pregnancy Options

There are many options for dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. One of the most important steps you can take together is to educate yourselves on all pregnancy options available. Care Net is your premier abortion clinic alternative in Albuquerque. Our caring and supportive staff will present all information about pregnancy options to you and your partner as part of the free pregnancy help services that we offer all clients. Information about abortion, adoption, and parenthood is discussed. No matter which route you choose, Care Net provides ongoing support. 

#2 – Practice Active Listening

Active listening is a technique that requires carefully listening to spoken words while observing non-verbal cues. From the moment your partner tells you she may be (or confirmed she is) pregnant, you must put on your “listening ears” if you want to be viewed as a beacon of support. Ask her about her thoughts and feelings. Is she excited about being pregnant, or scared and uncertain? Does she have any initial thoughts about what she wants to do? Let her know that no matter how she is feeling, it is OK to express those thoughts and feelings to you. Make sure she feels like she is in a safe space for sharing. 

#3 – Share Your Thoughts and Feelings

Once your partner has had a chance to express how she feels, it is your turn to be brutally honest. Keep in mind it is OK to not be excited about a pregnancy. It also is OK to be totally confused about how you are feeling. There are no wrong feelings about pregnancy. There are only wrong ways to express them. If you are feeling negative about the pregnancy, make sure you express your feelings in a constructive way. Lead with “I” statements so your partner does not feel personally attacked. For instance, you could say something like “When you told me you were pregnant, I felt nervous because I am not sure I am mature enough to be a father.”  Not only is this being honest, but it also places responsibility for your feelings right where they belong – on you. 

#4 – Show Your Support

From the minute your partner tells you she is pregnant to her final decision about the pregnancy, show your support. This is one of the most important things you can do. Even if you are on opposite ends of the spectrum about how best to deal with the pregnancy, your chances of getting through it in a way that preserves your relationship are by showing your support. Let her know you care about her. During difficult times, Do not pressure your partner about the pregnancy or her choices. It is definitely not OK to “check out” on her, either. Explore your options together and find the help you need to sort through the situation. Giving her the support she needs – including exploring pregnancy options – can make your relationship stronger. 

#5 – Respect Her Decision

This is the hard part, guys. When exploring her pregnancy options, your partner could make a decision that makes you unhappy. The best thing you can do in this situation is to respect her decision. We know this is a difficult ask. Men who need extra support at this time can reach out to Care Net for help. We offer a caring environment for discussing your feelings, including support groups where you can share your thoughts with other men. 

pregnancy, early pregnancy, how do i know if i'm pregnant

How Do I Know If I’m Pregnant

10 early signs of pregnancy

Long before you get a positive pregnancy test, your body issues some early signs to share the news. While the only way to know for sure is with a pregnancy test or an ultrasound, there are some symptoms most women experience during the earliest days of their pregnancies. Some of these early pregnancy indicators can mimic premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which means some women think they are gearing up for their next period and they ignore them. 

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it is not necessarily a cause for alarm. You may want to follow up with your primary care physician or visit the nearest Care Net location for free pregnancy testing

  1. Cramping and spotting
    This is a common early hint your body sends about pregnancy. It usually occurs between 10 and 14 days after you become pregnant. You may notice some light spotting and cramping, as part of the implantation process. This means one of your eggs was fertilized by sperm and has now embedded itself into your uterus, where it will continue to grow into a fetus. So, how do you know if it is implantation spotting or a light period? The color of the bleeding is your first clue. It tends to be pink, red, or brown and can last less than three days. Some women describe the pain of implantation bleeding as mild while others say it causes severe pain. Every woman is different. 
  2. Missing a period
    Many women suspect pregnancy after the first missed period, especially if they recently engaged in sexual activity with their partner. You miss your period during pregnancy because your body begins producing the human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. Its sole purpose is to maintain the pregnancy by signaling to your ovaries they no longer need to release mature eggs for fertilization. Some home pregnancy tests can detect hCG levels as soon as eight days after you miss your period. They are not always reliable, so you may want to take more than one or visit your local pregnancy care center for follow-up and confirmation. A free limited pregnancy ultrasound can help confirm or refute pregnancy. 
  3. Rising body temperatures
    Basal body temperature is an excellent way to monitor your fertility cycle. Some women choose to use it for natural family planning purposes to help pinpoint when they ovulate to either get pregnant or help avoid pregnancy. Once you become pregnant, your basal body temperature rises and stays elevated. This is because your body is producing more progesterone to support the pregnancy. 
  4. Feeling sleepy
    Fatigue during early pregnancy is common for most women. When progesterone levels rise, it can make you feel more fatigued. The same properties of progesterone that help it to loosen your joints and ligaments in preparation for pregnancy and birth can cause feelings of sleepiness. 
  5. Increasing heart rate
    Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy to help support the growing fetus. One of those changes involves your heart rate. Starting between eight and 10 weeks, your heart begins pumping faster and harder to promote increased blood flow to your uterus. Arrhythmias and heart palpitations are common during pregnancy due to the boost in your blood flow. 
  6. Urinating frequently
    A heart that beats faster and harder is not the only side effect of increased blood flow during pregnancy. All that extra blood circulation makes your kidneys work harder to process the extra fluid. The result? You will need to pee more often. Some women also find they are unable to hold their urine. When they feel the need to go, they must find a toilet quickly. If you find yourself urinating more frequently without any extra intake of fluids to account for it, you may be pregnant. 
  7. Bloating and constipation
    Some women experience bloating and constipation during PMS, which is why this warning sign often is ignored. This duo of symptoms signals a change in your digestive system, which slows down during pregnancy due to the shift in hormones to support the growing fetus. 
  8. Rising blood pressure
    For most women, their blood pressure drops during the early stages of pregnancy. This is caused by progesterone, which promotes more blood flow and a faster heart rate. Because your blood vessels are so dilated, some women experience dizziness, especially when they first stand up. If your blood pressure is lower than normal and you find yourself experiencing dizziness, you could be pregnant. 
  9. Smelling senses increase
    If you find yourself turned off by the smell of something you used to love, it can be your body’s way of signaling pregnancy. These smell sensitivities can happen with foods or with anything odorous in your environment. Flowers, perfumes, and even household cleaning products can trigger pregnant women. 
  10. Feeling nauseous
    This is one of the earliest symptoms most women associate with pregnancy. You may just feel nauseated, or you might also throw up. Medical professionals are not entirely certain why this happens, but believe fluctuating hormones play a role. Dubbed “morning sickness,” it usually occurs first thing in the morning and subsides as the day goes on. Some women, unfortunately, are nauseous throughout the day with their pregnancies. Feelings of nausea usually begin between the fourth and sixth weeks of pregnancy. 
early pregnancy signs, pregnancy exhaustion

What to do if you suspect you are pregnant

If you suspect you are pregnant but are not sure, making an appointment with a pregnancy care center can help. Care Net offers free pregnancy testing and free limited pregnancy ultrasounds. The first step in our process is to have you take a pregnancy test. If it is positive, then we follow that up with an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. Sometimes pregnancy tests are not accurate, and an ultrasound is the best way to confirm a positive test. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation the minute you suspect you are pregnant. We care about you and are here to help! 

abortion grief, abortion regret, abortion support

Seeking help for grief after abortion

Choosing to have an abortion is never an easy decision. Some women opt for an abortion because they are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and feel it is the best option. How you decide to handle your pregnancy is deeply personal. Ideally, it is best to get the support you need from the moment you find out you are pregnant. Pregnancy care centers like Care Net can help you explore your options, including abortion, adoption, and parenthood.  Whatever decision you make, having ongoing support can help you deal with any feelings you may have before, during, or after. 

Abortion is an option that approximately 18 percent of pregnant women choose each year in the United States. Sometimes women experience extreme grief after an abortion. Even when they know what to expect and choose this pregnancy option, it can be difficult to unpack their emotions afterward. Grief is not always immediate, either. Sometimes it takes years for a woman to recognize the emotional trauma having an abortion can cause. 

How to recognize the signs of after-abortion grief

Pregnancy loss – whether planned or unplanned – causes an interruption in your hormonal cycle. Most women are familiar with the kind of mood disturbances that can occur when their hormones fluctuate, especially when it involves estrogen. Pregnancy hormones can decline quickly after an abortion, hurling you into an emotional freefall. It can take anywhere between 16 days and 2 months for hCG levels (the pregnancy hormone) to decline. 

So, what does all this mean? Well, it means it is somewhat normal to be moody after an abortion until your hormone levels return to normal. Any feelings of relief you experience immediately after your choice can quickly be replaced by discouraging ones or self-doubt. Some of the negative feelings you might experience after an abortion include:

  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Remorse or regret
  • Shame

Women who choose abortions also may have relationship issues moving forward and feel isolated or lonely. Again, while these feelings are common and even normal, it does not mean you have to suffer through them alone. 

abortion grief, abortion support

When to seek help for your after-abortion grief

There is never a wrong time to seek help and support after an abortion. Even if you think you are handling it well, you may be surprised to learn that some of your underlying feelings of anxiety and stress are caused by the major life decision you just made. Talking with others who understand how you feel can be a tremendous source of relief. 

While it is normal to feel remorse and grief after having an abortion, it does not mean all feelings after an abortion should be ignored. If you find yourself unable to cope with the loss or experiencing thoughts of suicide, you must seek help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a valuable resource. A national network of crisis centers, the lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people who are in distress. You can receive information about local care and suicide prevention resources. If you are experiencing suicidal feelings after an abortion, please do not wait. Call the lifeline toll-free at 800-273-8255. 

What to expect from after-abortion care programs

Sometimes talking with others who know what you are going through can help with any feelings of anxiety or other distress you are having after an abortion. After-abortion care programs provide the support needed and can help you connect with other women who get it because they have been through it themselves. 

Support groups are just one resource you can expect from a quality after-abortion care program. Our caring staff at Care Net also have access to trauma resources to help with your emotional and physical reactions to pregnancy termination that require more assistance than a support group offers. We pride ourselves on offering a confidential, non-judgmental environment where you can feel safe talking with someone one-on-one about your after-abortion feelings. We can help you find a trauma resource that addresses your individual needs, providing the help you need to work through your feelings. 

Seeking help before you make a decision

Seeking help before you decide what to do about your pregnancy can ensure you make the right choice. Sometimes women choose abortion because they do not realize there are alternatives. Care Net Pregnancy Care Centers provide information about all your pregnancy options

Our team of advocates and licensed medical professionals make sure you have access to medically sound and accurate resources that include abortion, adoption, and parenting. All care you receive – including pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds – is free and confidential. 

You do not have to go through this alone. Contact us today to schedule your free appointment to discuss your pregnancy options. We have four convenient locations in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Moriarty, and Rio Rancho. 

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The information and graphics contained on this site are for informational and educational purposes only. This site is designed to promote broad knowledge of various pregnancy or sexual health topics and general understanding concerning pregnancy. It is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice, or professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Pregnancy and other health issues need to be diagnosed by your physician or other qualified health care provider in person. Home tests and online discussions do not qualify as diagnosis or advise for treatment. Make an appointment with one of our center medical team or with your physician to discuss any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new health care regimen. Follow your medical provider’s instructions and never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on a website or social media.