How do you, as a pregnancy decision coach, help your client prepare to share pregnancy news with the baby's father or constructively continue a conversation she has already started? Consider a few of these things.
Imagine sitting in front of a woman in the coaching room. Tearful and afraid, she tells you she really wants to keep her baby but does not want to have another discussion about this with the baby’s father.
Your client explains that he stopped communicating with her after hearing the news. She assumes this means that he wants her to abort, and she admits to occasional thoughts of abortion as an easier answer. Before all of this happened, she didn't believe in abortion.
Confused, scared, and desperate, she opens up to you about her desire to have the father’s support both during her pregnancy and afterwards.
According to Care Net’s Research, 61% of women discussed the decision to terminate their pregnancy with the father of the baby before they told anyone else. But a woman can have an abortion without the father’s consent. This suggests that, in most cases, a woman really does want the support of her baby’s father, and a woman's decision to continue her pregnancy is strongly influenced by whether she can count on his support.
In some situations, the baby's father may not have a positive impact on your female client's safety or emotional well-being. However, in a healthy relationship, the father’s support is paramount.
In a recent article, National Fatherhood Initiative tackled the negative consequences that come from the father’s absence.
But how do you, as a pregnancy decision coach, help your client prepare to share pregnancy news with the baby's father or constructively continue a conversation she has already started. These 6 considerations can help.
- Encourage her to get the facts
Help her clarify the reasons she wants to welcome her baby. She might write down a list of reasons which led to her decision to have her baby.
Then help her clarify her thoughts about abortion procedures and risks using Care Net’s Before You Decide resource or the center's preferred options education resource. This will help her prepare to explain to her partner why she does not want to have an abortion.
Vernicia T. Eure is Care Net's Director of the Pregnancy Decision Line.