7 Things To Say To A Woman Facing Unplanned Pregnancy


What’s interesting about our beliefs as Catholics is that all abortions can be traced back to one moment.

One moment when a woman found out that she was carrying a new life inside of her and felt only one emotion:


I’ve definitely been there and what shocked me the most about that moment was that, even despite my years as a Catholic and my years as a pro-life advocate, marching and praying, the fear I felt was enough to let the thought of abortion creep into my mind.

unplanned pregnancy 7 things

In those first few weeks for a woman facing unplanned pregnancy, words matter. And if you’ve ever wondered what the right thing to say to a woman in that situation is (or if you’ve ever been there yourself), I present:

7 Things To Say To A Woman Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy

 1. “Congratulations!”

Yes, it sounds simple, and it is. But there were so many instances during my first pregnancy when people simply didn’t know if they should congratulate me or not. After all, was it even a good thing? Was I happy about being 21 and pregnant?

Allow me to assure you–it’s ok to congratulate a young mom and it will help her see that it is ok to be happy about her pregnancy.

2. “You look great!”

There is a huge difference between “You look so young!” which is, in essence, a completely derogatory statement, and the positive, “You look great!” First of all, odds are she probably isn’t feeling that great and in the beginning, it can be hard to cope with all the changes your body goes through.

I don’t care if she looks bedraggled or big as a house, all pregnant women are beautiful and she deserves to hear it.

3. “How are you feeling about everything?”

I found that during my pregnancy, most people avoided the issue of the scandal that was my unplanned pregnancy completely. It was much easier not to talk about the (literal and figurative) elephant in the room. Even through a baby shower and wedding planning, most people just skirted around the fact that I was definitely not a normal mom-to-be or bride-to-be. In the middle of a stress-fueled breakdown, I found myself just wanting to stand on a chair and scream, “Can we all please stop acting like this is normal? Because it’s not!”

It is ok to address her and her emotions–find out how she’s feeling. If she wants to talk, she’ll talk.

4. “You’re going to be a great mom.”

Hands down, the thought that she is not going to do a good job is a young mom’s worst fear. Heck, I think it’s every mom’s worst fear, young or old, unplanned or planned. Don’t be afraid to encourage her–she needs to hear that there are all kinds of different mothering styles and no one can say which one is “best”.

5. “You’re going to have so much fun.”

We’re all pretty quick to point out all the hard parts about being a young parent–the challenges with work and home and sick kids and school, but how about the good parts? How about the hands-down amazing parts? I love to hear, still to this day, some of the positives about being a young mom, like how we can have more energy to play with our kids, and how much fun it can really be to experience the world together.

6. “It’s going to be fine.”

I was so lost in my turmoil of doom and gloom after I found out that I was pregnant that I completely lost all perspective. It took my mom giggling when I told her about my pregnancy to smack some sense back into me. People–it’s a baby, not a death sentence!

And guess what? Babies grow up, situations change, and life really does have a way of working out in the long run.

7. “I know of this young mom who…”

Wrote a book, went to med school, placed her baby in a loving adoption. Fill in the blank here and encourage her with a real-life story of a young mom who has succeeded. If you need help, order my book or check out my young mom interviews for some stories to share.

 *For a complete talking guide for young women facing unplanned pregnancies, order Chaunie’s book here. Discounts for bulk purchases are available too!

Copyright 2014, Chaunie Brusie


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  1. I think this is a great start (coming from someone who faced an unplanned pregnancy too). I will say, however, that as I get older, I know more and more women who are older and are having an abortion; it’s important to know that not just young women have unplanned pregnancies. Any mother faces fear being pregnant (unplanned or planned). Most of these older women are married and have other children and have fear about finances, health issues (esp. if they had a traumatic birth or medical issues with the previous child), spacing of the children ages/feeling they are too old, the list goes on. Sadly, the husbands all agreed and helped their wife in obtaining an abortion. Affirming the mother’s abilities is important. Forming community and a supporting environment is important (the situations I speak of are from weekly-attending Mass goers who think that their parish/community/Catholic church just supports the unborn but then doesn’t show up when the baby is born and there are medical issues, etc). Very complicated issue that could be detailed in an entire blog post or series in itself.

    Very interested in your book!

    • Such a good point, and I definitely felt scared with this baby–I’m on #4 and still felt some of that fear, even though we are now happily married.

  2. Megan DePerro on

    How the HECK is “placed her baby in a loving adoption” a great thing? Adoption only leaves a lifetime of pain for birthparent and adoptee. Never promote adoption. The adoption industry is a multibillion dollar corporation that consistenly lies and is less regulated than the real estate industry.

    • Megan, I’m sure that Chaunie will reply from a more informed perspective. I want to thank you for visiting our site and for commenting, but I don’t think such a vast generalization is helpful to the conversation here. I’m leaving the comment up so that others who have personally experienced the positive impacts of adoption can hopefully chime in. All birthparents, adoptees and adoptive families, as well as foster children and foster families, are in my prayers this morning.

    • I know many birth mothers and adoptive families who prayerfully came to their decisions and have been blessed from adoption. I’m sorry for whatever circumstances led you to come to your view of adoption. God Bless.

      • I can see where you are coming from Megan. Truly. Each and every day I have pain that I am not parenting my daughter. This pain is not severe, and in the spectrum of things, I have more pride in the decision I made over the pain that I have. With humility, I am proud over the decision I made to give birth (I didn’t ‘choose life’ as life was already given — she was already alive in me).

        Prior to facing my own unplanned pregnancy I had no idea of the intricate details and issues that permeate our society surrounding adoption. I am now a very big advocate of supporting mothers, and fathers, and/or their families in being able to raise their children. I am a huge advocate of kinship care. Children, if at all possible, should be raised within the family. I recognize that not all children can be raised within the family and adoption is possible for these situations. My daughter has life today because I didn’t follow through with an abortion — and for that I am crying tears of joy at this very moment.

        I thank solid life-affirming therapists and doctors who assisted me through processing everything, my husband who is supportive especially in times when I need to cry (even middle of the day when at work), and God. I am joyful thanks to Him.

  3. i would definitely add to the list: “you can count on me for anything!”

    how i WISH I eveer heard these words instead of: oh, it will be so tough, ready for the sleepless nights?, but you just lost the weight, now you’ll gain it back, but how are you going to manage with x,y,z??

    I can’t describe the anxiety I feel every time I have to announce a pregnancy, especially when iit’s relatively close in age with the previous so everyone can figure out that it was likely unpanned.. I would put up up there on the list of worst feelings in the world- and it’s primarily due to the fact that instead of getting enthusiastic and helpful reactions you get all those “worried” , doom and gloom ones..

  4. Megan DePerro on

    I know many birth mothers and adoptive families who prayerfully came to their decisions and have been blessed from adoption.

    No mother is blessed in losing her child to adoption. Sure, an open adoption-IF it remains open- is much better than a closed adoption but to say she feels blessed or lucky to have to admit defeat that she cannot parent her own child and must hand over her son or daughter, well I’m not buying it.

  5. Megan DePerro on

    But I don’t think such a vast generalization is helpful to the conversation here.

    Actually, it’s not a vast generalization. The adoption industry is a multibillion dollar industry with fewer regulations than the real estate industry. The entire system must be revamped.

  6. Megan DePerro on

    Roberta, adoption is not the answer to abortion but I am glad your daughter is alive too.

  7. Megan DePerro on

    See people see “adoption is a blessing” as taking home someone else’s infant, forgetting about the birthmother who is crying her eyes out.

    Adoption can be a blessing, but not infant adoption for a first mother (birthmother) was never really given a chance and a baby is immediately separated from her roots. However, adopting say an abused child is a blessing for the new parents and for the child. Sadly, society doesn’t picture some abused say 11 year old child coming to her new home of acceptance and love. They picture a wet womb infant.