So your girlfriend or wife just told you she is pregnant—now what? Maybe you two have not yet decided if you are going to parent the baby. Maybe you have discussed the idea of adoption.
Even if you haven’t decided what you are going to do, this is not the time to avoid her or the pregnancy. No matter what parenting decision you make for the baby, she needs you to be there for her now.

Just starting his final semester in college, Nate’s girlfriend Allie told him she was pregnant as he was headed out the door to his car full of waiting carpool buddies. Not sure how to react, he just stood there and looked at her in disbelief. “Allie, I really can’t deal with this right now.” He left her with that thought as she hung outside the door, the guys waving to her as they drove away. Of course, now this had not been exactly perfect timing for her to share the news with Nate, but pregnant women sometimes do strange things. Allie spent the day in tears, concerned about what he would say about the pregnancy when they did sit down to talk. They had recently discussed how they were going to wait to get married and start a family. She wondered if he would help her or even want to be part of her life now. Questions about their options and their future filled her mind through the day.

Sound familiar? What would be your reaction? As a man, what are your feelings about an unplanned pregnancy? About being a dad at this time in your life? Would you consider adoption, abortion or leaving her? What thoughts come to your mind?

You can do some important things to help in the early days and throughout her pregnancy, regardless of what you decide to do—parent the baby or chose another family to parent through adoption.

A man’s active participation in a pregnancy is difficult. Most men want to “fix things” for women and especially for the woman they care about. If she is sick, you want to make her feel better. If she is cold, you get her a blanket. Many men feel that if they just knew what to do for their woman, they would do it.

So, here are some ideas for you to help your pregnant girlfriend or wife during this trying time:

1. Show interest. Go to doctor appointments with her. Listen to her concerns. Let her voice her ideas about being a mother or possibly placing the baby into an adoptive home. You may be the only one she has to talk to, so just be there and listen. Support her in any way you can.

2. Don’t drink. It is difficult for a pregnant woman to suddenly have to give up the things she is used to doing. You can show your support by giving up the same things she will be giving up. Drug use, cigarettes, and alcohol all must be given up during the pregnancy. Watch her face light up when you tell her that you have decided to give up the same things. Your actions will be a great way to show her how much you are willing to support her during this time.

3. Eat healthy. A balanced diet will help both of you feel healthier and have more energy. If you cook, this is a great time to pamper her with some good meals. Even if the best thing you can do is make reservations or pick up a healthy salad at the market, you will be supporting her and the baby’s good health.

4. Consider taking birthing classes together. Even if the two of you have not yet decided about parenting or adoption, taking childbirth classes will provide you valuable information on parenting and preparation for the birth.

5. Sleep. Getting enough rest each night is very important to a healthy pregnancy. Encourage her to nap when possible and help to keep the distractions at a minimum.

6. Clean up. A pregnant woman is always munching on food or going to the bathroom. Your helping with clean up in the kitchen and bathroom will really be important to her. Cleaning the toilet is the last thing she wants to do when she feels nauseous. She will greatly appreciate you when she finds a sparkling clean toilet and bathroom sink.

7. Date night. Spend some adult time together NOT talking about the baby, parenting or adoption plans. Go to dinner and a movie just to get to know each other again. Remember to open the door for her and give her lots of courteous and special treatment.

8. Fuel up her car. Gas fumes are absolutely nauseating to a pregnant woman. Take the extra minute to fill her car up with gas. She will appreciate you for doing it.

9. Research. If she is talking about adoption, help her research it so you can be part of the decision making process. You can go to and to get more information and to view adoptive parent profiles even before you make a decision.

10. Rub her feet. Having a big belly makes it impossible to see your own feet, let alone rub them. Offer to give her a foot massage. It can relieve a lot of tension.

You can participate in this pregnancy by showing her that you are trying to help. You don’t have to do everything perfectly, and you don’t have to have all the answers. Make an honest effort at the ten items above and she will see your sincerity. You can do it and you will be her knight in shining armor.

If you would like more information or need someone to talk to about your options, call the adoption answer line at 1 800 923-6784. Or visit or for more details on adoption as an option if you are not ready to be a parent.

Learning all you can about pregnancy, parenting and adoption will help you make the right decision for you, for your baby and for the best future for you all.

Author's Bio: 

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. is the founder of Lifetime Adoption. She is an award-winning author of and Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide and radio talk show host of “Let’s Talk Adoption…with Mardie Caldwell”. Mardie has written and spoken on parenting, adoption, infertility, and women’s concerns, writing in all areas of the media. She speaks nationwide to groups on issues such as this one. Contact Mardie at through her radio site at