Finding out you are pregnant can be an overwhelming experience. Especially when it’s a surprise. So many questions are probably going through your mind right now. How did this happen? When did this happen? What does this mean for my future? How do I tell the father that I’m pregnant? Be prepared for your emotions and thoughts to change while you navigate through this unexpected life changing event. Take some time to breathe, sort through your feelings, and process your thoughts about your pregnancy.
Much of the anxiety you feel when you think about how to tell him you’re pregnant is fear of the unknown. Not being able to predict his response or the outcome of sharing the news can be scary. When reading through these tips, remember that every unplanned pregnancy situation is unique. We are here to help guide you through the question “How do I tell him I’m pregnant?”, but you will be the one making the final decision on how to tell the father.
Telling Him About The Pregnancy
- Confirm you are pregnant with a doctor. Most women learn they are pregnant from taking an at-home pregnancy test. However, it is still a good idea to see a doctor who can confirm that you are pregnant.
- Decide when to tell the father about your pregnancy. There is a timeline to consider, but you need to be mentally prepared for the emotions he could display when finding out about the pregnancy. There is no perfect time to share unexpected news, so pick a date and stick with it. Putting it off will just extend the stress of telling him.
- Decide where you want to tell him. Sending a text or messaging him is tempting, but telling him you are pregnant should be done face to face. Pick a place where you can have privacy. Think about how it would have felt if you found out you were pregnant in front of an audience. The exception of sharing the news in a private place is if you think his reaction could in any way be threatening or violent.
- Keep it simple. “I am pregnant” is to the point and leaves less room for confusion. Having him guess what you have to tell him only adds to everyone’s anxiety.
- Give time and space to process. You’ve had some time to absorb the news, but this information is brand new to him. Answer questions simply and truthfully. He may say something careless or be blunt if he is in shock. While he might be at a loss for the right words to use, the conversation should remain respectful.
- Plan a time to talk again. Agree on a day to talk more about the pregnancy when he has had some time to process. Before you speak again, think about what kind of support you want to have from the father. Support can mean different things to different people. Be clear with him about what type of support you are hoping for. You might just want him to support your decision on how to move forward with your pregnancy or you could want more active support, like having him come to medical appointments.
How Will the Father React to My Pregnancy?When finding out about the pregnancy, the father may react with a range of emotion. It is commonly thought that there are six basic emotions that we all experience. They are:
You felt one or more of these emotions when you found out about your pregnancy. He might experience a different emotional reaction or even a mixture of them. If the news shocks him, he may even have a physical reaction like feeling jittery, not being able to think straight, becoming distant or even wanting to leave before the conversation is over. This is our body’s normal fight, flight or freeze reaction. It is another important reason to give him time and space to work through his thoughts. The conversation may be tough, but you should both remain respectful to each other. While an emotional response is common, threatening behavior, physical or verbal abuse is unacceptable.
Whether his reaction is what you were hoping for or something completely different, keep your personal feelings about your pregnancy in mind. You will be the one physically and emotionally experiencing the pregnancy first hand. Your opinion needs to be vocalized, heard and respected.
Your Relationship with the FatherYour comfort level on handling the question “How do I tell him I’m pregnant?” will depend on what role he has in your life. Regardless of the type of relationship you have, announcing an unplanned pregnancy is still tough to do. Here are some helpful things to consider when you tell him about your pregnancy.
- Married or long-term committed relationship: In this type of relationship, you’ve spent more time together and have a general idea of how he reacts to things. You might have even had conversations about each other’s views on having children. As much as you want to predict the outcome of how he will react to your pregnancy, emotional responses from someone in shock can be surprising. Try your best to set aside expectations for how he will react when you share the news.
- Casual or shorter relationship: Not being together as long or having an official relationship status could give you less insight on how the father will react when you tell him about the pregnancy. For these conversations, it may be helpful to have a general idea of what kind of support or involvement you would like to see from him. It is especially important to keep your message simple and clear to help prevent miscommunication.
If you are reading this article, you probably haven’t told anyone about your pregnancy just yet. This can feel like one of the most lonely times in your life. Know that you are not alone. Most recent CDC.gov studies show that 45% of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. If you would like someone to talk to about all of your options, we are here for you. Our conversations are always supportive, confidential and professional. You are strong, you will get through this and you will make the best decision that is right for you. We believe in you.