The experience of a woman finding out that she is unexpectedly pregnant is often a confusing and emotional time. It is important that a woman feels loved, cared for, and supported as she processes through her emotions, decisions, and future. But where foes the father fit into the picture? While supporting the expectant mother is crucial, it is just as important to support the father of an unexpected child. His support and involvement throughout the pregnancy may weigh heavily on the mother’s decision regarding the pregnancy. As the body of Christ, it is our job to reflect Jesus in the way we love and serve others. There are many practical ways that we can support and equip men who may be feeling ill-prepared for taking on this role.
Caring Network understands the impact that an unexpected pregnancy can have on a father. We’re here to offer a safe space to gather information and receive support. For over 40 years, we have been providing free pregnancy services to men and women in the Chicagoland area. To learn more about our mission to reach more, serve more, and save more, connect with us today!
Three Ways of Supporting Fathers Facing Unexpected Pregnancies:
The role of a father is essential in a child’s well-being and development. The news of an unexpected pregnancy often leads to feelings of inadequacy or feeling ill-equipped to father a child. Through empowerment, men facing unexpected pregnancies will feel more prepared emotionally and practically to take on the responsibilities to care for another life and build a healthy family.
A large aspect of empowerment comes through education. Many men want to be involved and father their child well, but may not know where to begin. Ways that we can support men through empowerment is by providing educational resources to better understand their role as a father. By being educated about the pregnancy, they can better equipped to support the expectant mom and come alongside her. It is important to include fathers in programs and resources provided by the church and pregnancy centers. His involvement from the beginning stages of the pregnancy can set the tone for his ongoing involvement in the life of his child. Through empowerment, men will confidently be more present fathers and feel more equipped to be involved in parental responsibilities.
While empowerment through resources and education is essential, it is also just as important to walk alongside men by allowing them to process any emotions while being supported. The power of presence should never be underestimated and can be a great way for men to feel empowered as they walk through life with somebody else. Simply being encouraging and loving can go a long way. Not being alone helps them navigate through these decisions and process their emotions with somebody who is willing to listen and intentional about building a friendship.
When a man hears the news that he is going to be a father, you never know what kind of emotions, fears, and doubts may be taking place. This may trigger past pregnancy experiences or produce a strong desire to terminate the pregnancy. Wherever he is, we can support men by providing them with a space free of judgment. A man who has previously had an abortion needs to be reassured that he is loved despite his past, present, or future. The news of a pregnancy with previous history of abortion may trigger intense feelings of inadequacy, shame, or guilt. However, our job in supporting men is to provide a judgment-free environment to allow them to healthily process and grieve through their experience. Our Restore After Abortion program is here to come alongside him, offering the hope and healing needed to support his family and child in the long run.
Caring Network has been offering services and support to both men and women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy since 1981. Our expert staff is here to address the unique questions and concerns that men may have and connecting them to resources that can set them up for long-term success. If you’d like to learn more about our mission and how you can get involved, reach out to us today!