While it might take two to make a baby, going through a pregnancy is something that some women do solo. An increasing number of women are choosing to go it alone when it comes to parenting. If you are one of these brave moms-to-be, consider how your pregnancy experience may differ from those who complete the task as part of a pair.
Prevalence of Single Motherhood
If you are facing pregnancy as a single woman, you are far from alone. Single motherhood continues to increase in prevalence, particularly among 20-something women. In 2008, 1.1 million 20-something women became pregnant while single, reports MSNBC. Not only are the number of pregnancies themselves increasing, the number of women who are choosing to go through with their pregnancies solo is also on the rise. As this same source reports, in 1990, only 41 percent of unmarried women followed through with their pregnancies. In 2008, 54 percent of unmarried women chose to carry their babies to term.
Why the Increase
While there is no hard and fast way to prove why more women are becoming pregnant while single, researchers in the field attribute the rise at least in part to the fact that while women are waiting longer to get married, they are not holding off on sex. Additionally, more women are electing to live with romantic partners before they are married, potentially increasing the likelihood that they become pregnant before they take that walk down the aisle.
Some individuals assume that there is a certain type of woman more prone to single motherhood. Commonly, there is a stigma attached to this partner-less parenting. As such, many people assume that uneducated or impoverished individuals are more likely to become pregnant while single than those who are educated and wealthy. This assumption is often false. In 2008, 4 out of 10 women who gave birth while single had at least some education, reports MSNBC.
The Intentional Single Mom
For some women, single motherhood is not an accident, but instead part of the plan. As “New York Magazine” reports, more women who have found themselves unlucky in love are electing to follow through with their parenthood plans in spite of their single status. While these women will certainly face different challenges than those who enter the world of parenthood with a partner, they often don’t care about these difficulties, as they have motherhood on their mind and can’t be dissuaded from their parental objectives.
While you can certainly survive pregnancy solo, you will likely find the potentially difficult process easier to move through if you dedicate time to planning. Seek a friend to help you through the difficult task of giving birth, and perhaps even the first week or so of solo parenthood. Plan for childcare before your child is even born, as returning to work will likely be a necessity. Once you do reenter the workforce, you will find it easier to keep your attention on business if you know your new baby is in good hands.