“I don’t want my baby anymore”It is a difficult thought to have, and one that is likely accompanied by a complex mix of emotions.

Whether you are pregnant but don’t want the baby, or even if your baby has already been born, these thoughts can make you feel very lonely — but you are not alone. Even if you were initially elated to find out you were expecting, pregnancy and childbirth can be overwhelming, emotional, frightening and exhausting, and it is normal to have doubts. You are not the first to struggle with negative thoughts and feelings about your pregnancy and your baby, and there is help available.

First, it is crucial that you speak with a doctor, counselor, therapist, adoption specialist or other mental health professional to address your concerns and rule out physical or mental health conditions. Pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood are emotionally charged experiences, and these professionals are all very familiar with the associated stresses and difficulties. They have likely spoken with hundreds of women who don’t want to be pregnant or feel unprepared, overwhelmed or uninterested in being mothers.

Work with your chosen professional as you examine your emotions and determine where they are coming from. Are these feelings permanent or temporary? Could you be suffering from post-partum depression? Are you ready to be a parent? What is the best thing for you and your child? Your professional can answer these questions and more. They may be able to reassure you that your stress, sadness, anxiety, loneliness or fatigue are normal and will fade with time. Or, if you are like 1 in 7 new mothers, you may be suffering from post-partum depression. This is a highly treatable form of depression that can last for many weeks or months and can interfere with your ability to care for and enjoy your new baby. With treatment, it is possible to overcome your symptoms and begin to appreciate motherhood.

Alternatively, your professional may help you determine that your feelings are more permanent and that parenthood may not be right for you at this time in your life. In these scenarios, your professional can help you come to terms with your thoughts and develop a plan for yourself and your baby.

If you feel strongly that you are not ready or do not want to be a parent, there is no shame in taking a proactive approach and exploring your options. Regardless of where you are in your pregnancy, if you are pregnant and don’t want to be, it is never too late to choose adoption. This choice does not signal that you are weak or “giving up” in any way. In fact, many women who choose adoption are wonderful mothers; by choosing adoption, you can provide your child with loving parents, endless opportunities and a happy life — and that is what great mothers do.

Regardless of what you decide, you should be proud of yourself for having the strength to address these difficult thoughts and for taking the necessary steps to do what is best for yourself and your child.

If you are experiencing feelings of not wanting your baby, please click the following for more information about deciding between parenting or adoption, or you may contact an adoption specialist today.