What should I do if I get my girlfriend pregnant?

A: Don’t worry about things before you know for sure, at this point you just have to wait it out and see what happens. If she is pregnant then you need to tell your parents or someone close to you as soon as possible. Then you just need to be responsible for your actions by being there to support your girlfriend, seek all the information you need to make an informed decision together, but wait until she takes the test before you start to worry and panic. If it turns out she isn’t pregnant then you need to be more careful so you don’t put yourselves in this position again.

How do I tell my parents that I'm pregnant?

A: No matter how close you are to your parents, you're going to wonder how they'll react. It's one thing if your parents realize you're having sex and they're OK with that. But it's another thing if they've forbidden you to date or if having premarital sex is completely against their values and beliefs.

Most parents want to be supportive of a daughter who is pregnant (or a son who's girlfriend is pregnant), even if they are angry or upset at first. They may take time to absorb the news. Others react quickly and there's no mistaking how they feel. Some will listen and be sensitive to your feelings. Some parents will spring into action, taking charge and telling you what to do.

First, find the words. You might say, "I have something difficult to tell you. I found out that I'm pregnant." Then wait. Allow your parents to absorb what you said.

Be prepared to deal with the reaction. What happens next? It's good to think ahead about what you might do and how you may feel. For instance, if a parent yells, you'll want to be prepared so you can keep the conversation productive and resist any urge to yell back.

Saying things like, "I know you're really mad," "I know this isn't what you wanted for me," or, "I know this isn't what you expected" can help your parents be more understanding. The key is to be honest and speak from the heart.

My girlfriend is pregnant I don't want her to have the baby, she says she is, where do I stand on this?

A: You need to talk to her about what you are feeling. Your opinion is fair enough but if she decides to keep it you will have to support her and your baby.

The risk you take every time you have sex is pregnancy even with the pill and a condom. If you are willing to have sex then you are obliged to accept the consequences.

My boyfriend says he loves me but he gets really angry and pushes me around. Will it hurt my baby?

A: An abusive partner could say he loves you or that he will change, so you won't leave. However, the more times you take him back, the more control he gets. Make sure you pay attention to his actions and not just his words. As the old saying goes, 'actions speak louder than words.' Abusive relationships are rarely abusive in the beginning.

This kind of violence not only can harm you, but it also can put your unborn baby in danger. During pregnancy, physical abuse can lead to miscarriage and vaginal bleeding. It can cause your baby to be born too soon, have low birth weight or physical injuries.

Abuse can come in many forms. An abusive partner may cause emotional pain by calling you names or constantly blaming you for something you haven't done. An abuser may try to control your behavior by not allowing you to see your family and friends, or by always telling you what you should be doing.

Ask yourself:

  • Does my partner always put me down and make me feel bad about myself?
  • Has my partner caused harm or pain to my body?
  • Does my partner threaten me, the baby, my other children or themself?
  • Does my partner blame me for their actions? Do they tell me it’s my own fault they hit me?
  • Is my partner becoming more violent as time goes on?
  • Has my partner promised never to hurt me again, but still does?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.

Sometimes it may be the pregnant woman who is abusive to her partner, it is not always the other way round.

What can you do?

1) Recognize that you are in an abusive relationship.

Once you realize this, you’ve made the first step towards help. There are lots of things you can do.

2) Tell someone you trust.

This can be a friend, family, a health care provider or counsellor. Once you’ve confided in them, they might be able to put you in touch with a crisis hotline, domestic violence program, legal-aid service, or a shelter or safe haven for abused women (see below for services).

3) Have a plan for your safety.

This can include:

  • Learn the phone number of your local police department and health care provider’s office in case your partner hurts you. Call 000 if you need immediate medical attention. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police or medical record should you choose to file charges against the abuser.
  • Find a safe place. Talk to a trusted friend, neighbour or family member that you can stay with, no matter what time of day or night, to ensure your safety.
  • Put together some extra cash and any important documents or items you might need, such as a driver’s license, medicare cards, bank account information. Have these items in one safe place so you can take them with you quickly.
  • Pack a suitcase with toiletries, an extra change of clothes for you. Give the suitcase to someone you trust who can hold it for you safely.

My ex says that the baby she is having is mine – I don’t think it is. How can I find out?

A: You will have to wait until the baby is born. Then the answer to this depends on whether or not the mother of the baby agrees to provide a sample for DNA-testing. In most cases, the DNA of the mother, the child and the man is taken. If the mother agrees to give a sample, and gives permission for a sample to be taken from the child, there are a number of private companies that provide paternity-testing services.

If the mother of your child doesn’t want to provide a sample, you may be able to obtain a court order through the Family Court. You will need to seek legal advice about the correct procedure to obtain this order. You may have to establish a case for why you believe you may not be the father.

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