I'm afraid to tell my mom, "I'm pregnant"

Originally Published: November 10, 2000 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 10, 2009
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Dear Alice,

I'm a twenty-one-year-old college student who will be done with school in a month. My boyfriend and I have been dating nine months and I am now two months pregnant. He is aware of the situation and is very supportive. My mother, however, is very strict and set in her ways. She reinforces all the time that I must not have sex with anyone until I'm married, and she has been asking me questions about whether or not I've had sex with my boyfriend. I am very afraid to tell her I'm pregnant because there is no telling how mad she will get. What do I do?!?!?!?!

Dear Reader,

You're in a difficult situation right now, and it's unfortunate that you also have to worry about figuring out how and when to tell your mother about the pregnancy. But remember that at age twenty-one, you are a full-fledged adult, and although your mom may not approve of your decision to have sex, or the decision you make about your pregnancy, these are officially your decisions to make. Either way, it sounds as if her opinion and support matter a great deal to you.

An unexpected pregnancy may be tough to deal with, particularly when you're aware that some family and friends (in your case, your mother) will respond with anger or upset. As you probably know, you need to decide what to do about your pregnancy. You have several options, including keeping the child, giving him/her up for adoption, or having an abortion. If this feels like a big or difficult decision it may help both of you to talk with a health care provider and/or counselor to explore your options and make the choice that is right for you. Planned Parenthood at 800.230.PLAN (7526) can help you with your choice, whatever you decide. You can weigh the pros and cons of each possibility and evaluate your feelings about each, rationally or irrationally. If you decide to keep the child, do you have enough support and resources to do so? How would you and your boyfriend pay for and care for a baby now? What are your personal beliefs about abortion? These are some questions that you could explore together that might help clarify the options.

To prepare for talking with your mom it may help to think about what you hope to get out of telling her. Do you need help with making a decision? Are you going to have the baby and you want your mother to know? Are you looking for support? It may also be helpful to practice what you'll say before you let her know. If talking to your mom seems to scary, try practicing first with another friend, trusted adult, or counselor who can help you rehearse. If you're a Columbia student, to make an appointment at Primary Care Medical Services by call x4-2284 or log-in to Open Communicator. You can also talk with a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services at x4-2878. To read more check out Pregnant and undecided, which addresses some of the issues you're facing right now.

Then you could choose a moment when you'll have your mom's attention. You could sit down with her, in a place where you're not likely to be interrupted, and say something like:

  • "Mom, I know you don't approve of sex before marriage, and I try not to disappoint you, but I've just learned I'm pregnant. My boyfriend and I have decided to keep the baby, and we want you to know — we really could use your support."
  • Or, "We've decided to give the baby up for adoption after s/he is born, and we want you to know."
  • Or, "Mom, I'm feeling scared about telling you this but it's important to me to be honest with you. I just found out I'm pregnant and I am pretty sure I want an abortion. I know you might be disappointed in me, but I could really use your support now."

Explain to your mom that you know she may be disappointed, angry, upset, etc., but that this pregnancy is nonetheless a reality, and you'd really like her support. It's impossible to predict how she will react; your mom may surprise you and be less angry than you expect, or she may be angry and hurt at first, and then come around. If not, your boyfriend's kindness may help soften the blow. It is crucial that you get caring and guidance from those around you, even if you don't receive it from your mother. Are there other family members who can help you and your mother deal with your pregnancy?

Whatever the case, keep in mind that sometimes life takes unexpected turns, and we can simply do our best to deal with them head-on as they arise.

Alice

April 19, 2012

510189
I'm a little concerned that the advice directs the student to go seek out planned parenthood to weigh options (abortion etc). At no point in her question did that even come up but, rather, she was...
I'm a little concerned that the advice directs the student to go seek out planned parenthood to weigh options (abortion etc). At no point in her question did that even come up but, rather, she was looking for a way to bring it up to her mom.

March 22, 2012

508982
There are many ways you could go about telling your mom that your pregnant. One that I would suggest is to get your boyfriend and explain to you mother that there is a serious matter that you need to...
There are many ways you could go about telling your mom that your pregnant. One that I would suggest is to get your boyfriend and explain to you mother that there is a serious matter that you need to discuss with her...just the 3 of you guys. If you don't feel comfortable with that, I would suggest getting a person who you know will be able to assist your mother with her feelings and thoughts as the two of you sit and discuss your pregnancy.

March 19, 2012

508817
I was in this situation, but I was about 26 and still afraid. But I thought, I can't hide a pregnancy because eventually she will see my stomach. I also thought, she can only have two reactions, be...
I was in this situation, but I was about 26 and still afraid. But I thought, I can't hide a pregnancy because eventually she will see my stomach. I also thought, she can only have two reactions, be happy or upset. I told her and she was upset, saying she thought I would wait longer. But it took her a day, and she was excited. I think for parents, it's the initial response for some of them to be upset. You should tell her as soon as possible, because you don't need to be stressed during a pregnancy. P.S my daughter was born on my mom's birthday, she was really excited. Good luck and God Bless You!!!!

June 29, 2009

21564
To the reader:

I was in this same situation as well! I was so nervous to tell my mother and father who were both very active in our church. They were very supportive of my decision to keep my son...

To the reader:

I was in this same situation as well! I was so nervous to tell my mother and father who were both very active in our church. They were very supportive of my decision to keep my son. The only thing was, they pushed marriage before my boyfriend and I were ready, and it ended in divorce in less than a year. Make sure the choices you make are your own, and your mother's support will come when she sees you making smart adult choices.

November 16, 2007

21315
I once had this exact same dilemma. I didn't tell my mom until I was 5 months pregnant. Even my body did not betray my secret. She was angry when I told her. But then she helped make sure I got to my...
I once had this exact same dilemma. I didn't tell my mom until I was 5 months pregnant. Even my body did not betray my secret. She was angry when I told her. But then she helped make sure I got to my doctors appointments, was in the hospital room when my son was born, and loves her grandson to death! Just remember, she is your mom and she loves you. If she is mad she is probably just upset because she is worried about how hard this is going to make your life, which it is, but you can do it. Good Luck! And tell her ASAP. By waiting, you risk upsetting her more than you have to.