There are a lot of influences that can affect a women’s decision-making process when it comes to an unexpected or unintended pregnancy.
When working as a part of the federally funded Infant Adoption Awareness Training Project, Adoption STAR worked cooperatively with Spaulding for Children to deliver extensive trainings on infant adoption awareness and education. One of the curriculum components talked extensively about the influences that can impact a woman in the midst of an unintended pregnancy.
As is the case with any decision-making process, individuals don’t make decisions in a vacuum. We have the potential to be heavily influenced in our decision-making by various messages (some of which may be competing) from various sources. Family members, friends, healthcare/helping professionals, and others will undoubtedly have their own “take” or opinion on the decisions we make, and our willingness to listen to their perspectives will vary greatly depending on our relationship to the individual(s) in question and how we perceive them (in terms of potential biases, expertise, life experiences, etc.).
- But potential influences don’t stop at just family, friends, and healthcare/helping professionals. Some of the other influences might include (but not be limited to) the following:
- Society and the media
- The expectant father
- The pregnant person’s age
- Values and beliefs
- Future goals/plans
- Education and understanding of the pregnancy options
- Economic situation
There is no denying that a pregnant person is going to have to deal with and “wade through” a host of influences when making a decision regarding her pregnancy. More than anything else, it’s important to recognize and understand just how intense the decision making process is for pregnant women, and that if you can try to empathize and “put yourself in her shoes,” you’ll gain an important understanding of just how challenging of a situation it can be by thinking about the following questions:
- What decision might you make in this situation?
- What might it feel like to have so many people telling you what to do?
- How does their input impact your decision-making process?