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Surprise Pregnancy

The surprise pregnancy is happening more often than you think. There are some studies in which is noticed that almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. [1] It is noticed that by the age of 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy. If you are a woman and you have not gone through menopause yet, then you have a chance of getting pregnant. If you like to take steps to improve your chances of conceiving, then you can do it. But, not all of these pregnancies are necessarily unwanted, they are just a surprise.

As a result of this, these pregnancies are accompanied by a wide range of emotions, like resentment, embarrassment, excitement, panic, fear, anger, and disbelief. In many cultures, women believe that pregnancy should be a time of complete joy. The reality is that pregnancy is a very emotional experience and the emotions are not always pretty. It does not make you a bad mother if you have conflicted feelings.

The low levels of stress are not dangerous, so you should not be worried that your emotions are harming your baby. It is not uncommon for mothers in this situation to worry that they will not bond after giving birth or to feel that they are not bonding with their babies in utero. Many women make home pregnancy tests, but these tests can give false readings if they are used improperly, read wrong, or taken too early. Also, it is noticed that many women who do not that they are pregnant until they are in labor may have confused the symptoms of pregnancy with other problems, like indigestion, food poisoning, or stress.

The distress and immense pressure can push even the healthiest woman to deny that she is pregnant. Many studies are shown that stress can induce the denied pregnancies in women who have no history of psychological problems [2]. Many women are overconfident in contraceptives, so this explains why women do not know that they are pregnant until they are in labor and they are often in shock over the situation. You may not have a clue that you are pregnant, so do not be worried about it. Your baby is a blessing for you both and you should love this idea.

Why the surprise pregnancy happens:

Surprise Pregnancy

There are many sayings in which is said that the only birth control which is 100% effective is abstinence. In most cases, birth control does work, but accidents can always happen. IUDs (intrauterine devices), birth control pills and condoms, and other methods usually work 80% to more than 90% of the time. Permanent birth control, like female sterilization or male vasectomy, has a failure rate of less than 1%. But, if you use your birth control wrong, then your chances of getting pregnant are increasing.

In some cases, it is obvious that it did not work, like when the condoms break. In this case, many women want to take the second step and that is taking over–the–counter “morning after” pill. This type of pill can prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected sex. But, if you have missed your daily pill or you did not notice an error, like a small hole in the condom, then you could become pregnant. The biggest reason for unplanned pregnancy is that couples are not using any contraception and it is not ineffective birth control like many people think.

Some women may not use birth control pills regularly and others are never using them. Some women may have a partner who does not want to use them, others may not like to use birth control pills and some women might not have access to them. In many cases, women or couples are not sure if they want a child or not. They are not planning to have a baby, but they are not actively trying to avoid the pregnancy, so they end up getting pregnant. Some women do not realize that they could get pregnant.

If you do not have regular periods, you have struggled with infertility in the past, or you are in perimenopause (this is the time before menopause, which can lead to irregular or light periods), then it is still possible for you to conceive, even though you do not expect it. If you still get your periods, even if they are not regular, and you do not want to get pregnant, then you should keep using birth control.

When you go through menopause (this means that you are no longer menstruating and it has been a full year, since you have had a period), then this is safe to assume that you can have sex without contraception and not get pregnant. But, you will still need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases.

If your husband wants another baby:

You and your husband may have talked about having more kids and settled on the timing, but you had some nagging doubts. You may feel that your family is perfect and manageable as is. In some cases, women are too busy with their careers and the new family member will cause too much responsibility. Some women have a sense that they do not have enough time to do it all and do it well. Usually, men feel more prepared for another baby, because they usually are not as involved in the daily grind of parenting.

In many studies is noticed that even both parents work, the woman handles the majority of childcare and household tasks. [3,4] Usually, men think about the way of providing money, instead of the family and daily responsibilities in the home. It is very important to talk with your husband about your feelings. You do not want to harbor resentment toward him, but, on the other hand, come down too hard on yourself for allowing the pregnancy to happen. You need to accept your part in the situation, so you will remain a team.

Seeking support:

It can take time, space, and a network of support to cope with the unplanned pregnancy. This is not something that you wrap your head around overnight. It is very important to actively work through what you are feeling. You should talk with other couples who have experienced a surprise pregnancy to find out how they got through the tough times. Your partner can also have many different emotions for the unplanned pregnancy, just as you. But, he may have trouble putting his into words.

Other men may look like they are not interested, but doctors are recommending women not to be anxious about this situation because their partners can be confused. Men worry about money in most cases, so they will be worried about the way of providing money for the new baby, because the bigger family is, the bigger is bills. But, on the other hand, you are in the period when your hormones are changing you a lot [5]. You need to talk with your husband and tell him that after three months, the intense connection between you and your baby eases a bit and you will be able to return more of your attention to your husband.

In the terms of money and finance, you both need to remember that you can always make money and you have many years ahead, so do not worry a lot and start thinking about the new blessing in your life. Also, you need to stop with the negative thoughts about you and your pregnancy.

You should not blame yourself for this situation. If you ask yourself what is wrong with you or what you did to deserve this, then you should know that everything is okay with you and you are just blessed to bring a new life to this world. You need to talk with your family and close friends about your pregnancy, so you will get more support, which you need a lot.

Things not to panic about:

The most important things for which you should not panic about are next:

  • Not having a life: Your future is still in your hands. You will have a child, but also, you have your own life. You should always plan to do what you love and take the baby along. You are not sacrificing your entire life, you are just making adjustments.
  • Housing: You need to remember that you have your entire pregnancy and many months after the baby is born before he or she needs a room or even a separate space. In the first few months, you will need supplies and a bassinet, and a place to keep your baby clothes.
  • Money: You should cut the extra like daily lattes, so you will cover the cost of disposable diapers. You can shop consignment stores and garage sales for lightly used (in some cases, they can be brand–new) baby clothes and furniture. If you are not insured, then you need to find out more about medical payment plans, less expensive providers, such as state insurance programs or midwives.


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unintended pregnancy. Retrieved from

[2] Hall KS, Dalton VK, Zochowski M, et al. Stressful life events around the time of unplanned pregnancy and women’s health: Exploratory findings from a national sample. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2017;21(6):1336–48. doi:10.1007/s10995-016-2238-z

[3] Germano M. Women are working more than ever, but they still take on most household responsibilities. Forbes. 2019. Retrieved from

[4] Poduval J, Poduval M. Working mothers: How much working, how much mothers, and where is the womanhood? Mens Sana Monographs. 2009;7(1):63–79. doi:10.4103/0973-1229.41799

[5] Kumar P, Magon N. Hormones in pregnancy. Nigerian Medical Journal. 2012;53(4):179–83. doi:10.4103/0300-1652.107549

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]


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