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Click on the frequently asked questions below to see the answers and find helpful links and information.

+ Am I Pregnant?

If you have a regular monthly menstrual cycle, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period. However, a missed or late period could be for several reasons (for example, changes in diet or stress levels).

If you have been sexually active and think you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test.

You may feel all kinds of things about the possibility of being pregnant. That’s understandable.

Try to get calmer before you carry on. How you feel today isn’t necessarily how you’ll feel in a day or two.

We are here to listen and provide a space for you to reflect.

+ How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Pregnancy tests are available from pharmacists, some supermarkets and other shops. They are not expensive and are easy and quick to use. Most are reliable from the first day of your missed period if used properly.

If you don't know when your next period is due, you should wait at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex, or after you think you got pregnant.

Your body needs time to develop detectable levels of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin), produced around 6 days after fertilisation, interrupting your normal cycle.

If you need to talk, at Grace Pregnancy we are here to listen and offer information, advice and help.

+ How Do You Count Pregnancy Weeks?

Since your LMP (gestational age)

Medically your pregnancy will be dated from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). This can help estimate your due date.

Full-term pregnancy normally lasts approximately 40 weeks (37–42 weeks).

So in the first 2 weeks, you are not actually pregnant; your body is preparing for ovulation (an ovary releases an egg around day 14 of your monthly cycle).

Fertilisation of the egg by sperm may occur within the next 24 hours or so.

From fertilisation (fetal age)

This is the actual beginning of your pregnancy – your baby's pre-natal age. Full-term is considered to be 38 weeks.

So, when your baby is 3 weeks old, dated from fertilisation, you will be referred to as 5 weeks pregnant – the time of a missed period, when you may just be wondering if you are pregnant.

3 trimesters (since LMP)

Three, 3-month divisions:

1st trimester – 1 to 12 weeks

2nd trimester – 13 to 27 weeks

3rd trimester – 28 to 40+ weeks

+ Where Can I Get Emergency Contraception?

If you're stressed about the possibility of getting pregnant and need someone to talk to, we are here to listen.

At HOPE we don’t offer 'contraception' or give contraceptive advice. We do offer information for you to consider.

No 'contraception' is 100% reliable*, so it's always advisable to take a pregnancy test if you think you might be pregnant, regardless of the type you're currently using or have used in the past.

There are two main types of 'emergency contraception' (also known as 'postcoital contraception'):

  • An Intrauterine Device (IUD): a small plastic/copper coil device is placed in the womb by a doctor or nurse
  • 'Emergency contraceptive' pill: the morning after pill

During the fertile period (before and during ovulation) 'emergency contraception' may stop an egg from being fertilised by the sperm, sometimes stopping or delaying ovulation (release of an egg). However, it is important to know that it can also work by stopping an embryo from implanting in the womb.

At the time of fertilisation, a person with a unique genome (DNA code) is formed. This means 'emergency contraception' can end a human life that has already begun. There is no way to say or control which way it might work in your circumstances.

* 40% of pregnancies in the UK are unplanned, despite the prevalence of contraception. A survey by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) found that 51.2% of abortion clients were using at least one form of 'contraception' in the month they conceived.

+ Why Are You Calling It My Baby?

A clump of cells?

Some may tell you it's just tissue – but, is this true?

Our aim is to gently use honest language with you. Please see our My baby page.

Your baby is unique, with its own genome (DNA code) – they may be a different sex, ethnicity and blood type to you.

Most pregnancy information talks about 'you and your baby' even from 4 weeks (since LMP*). Can we really say 'it'?

What other word is there?

Embryo—the first 8 weeks of human development from fertilisation—most major body systems begin to form.

It means 'growing within' – alive and not one of your body parts.

By the end of 7 weeks they have grown fingers and toes.

Fetus—8 weeks and 1 day after fertilisation, to full term—the body grows and its systems begin to function.

Latin for 'unborn offspring' – a small but human being like you.

By the end of 9 weeks they can sigh, yawn and stretch.

What age did you become you?

Embryo, fetus, newborn, infant, toddler, pre-schooler, child, teenager, adult, mid-lifer, senior.

These all refer to stages of human development – but it’s all the same person, right from the beginning.

Your baby is tiny but a unique, living, precious human being – just like you.

Prenatal development facts from The EHD (Endowment for Human Development).

* LMP – last menstrual period.

+ It's So Tiny, How Can It Already Be a Person?

In early pregnancy, this can be hard to imagine.

It's so important to be more informed on the developmental facts about your baby. So much happens so early on.

Some agree that human life starts at fertilisation, but question when it starts to matter.

Is your baby valuable from day 1? If not – who decides when?

Is it 12 weeks? At viability? After birth?

Do they only matter if you want them to?

Throughout all the changes in your life (and those to come), would you agree that you have always been you?

Your worth hasn't gone up and down depending on what you can or cannot do. It isn't measured by what others feel about you.

Your baby, though tiny, is a unique, living, precious human being – just like you.

Something to think about...

What makes any human life valuable?

At Grace Pregnancy we believe that all human life is created equal. Whether or not you believe your life was created by God, would you agree that you have value simply by being a member of the human race?

Your life is precious not by what you do, but by who you are.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made... Psalm 139:13-14, the Bible

+ Would My Baby Feel Pain?

Usually, in the UK, no direct anaesthesia or pain relief is given to the baby during an abortion. Sometimes it is given in late-term abortions before 'feticide', where a lethal injection is used to stop your baby's heart.

There are different theories on when (and if) unborn babies can feel pain. Mostly revolving around stages of brain development.

Weeks on this page are all since LMP (last menstrual period) That is, gestational age rather than embryonic/fetal age – the baby's actual age since fertilisation (which is two weeks behind).

Late-term pregnancy:

A baby at 28 weeks reacts to an anaesthetic injection before surgery in the womb. (Note 1)

The question of fetal pain is highly debated. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in 2010 held that it did not begin until 24 weeks. (Note 2) This was reviewed in 2022, and the review concludes 'To date, evidence indicates that the possibility of pain perception before 28 weeks of gestation is unlikely.'


Early pregnancy:

One of the (2010) RCOG authors has since changed his mind:

'Overall, the evidence... points towards an immediate and unreflective pain experience... from as early as 12 weeks.' (Note 3)

Others suggest possibly around 7 to 8 weeks (Note 4). This link includes summary notes.

More pain?

Some even consider ' ...its immature physiology may well make it more sensitive to pain, not less: the body’s mechanisms for inhibiting pain and making it more bearable do not become active until after birth.' (Note 5)

How might you feel afterwards?

Why not be cautious.

If you are asking this question, it sounds like you care about your baby. Will you do all you can to protect them?


(1) A new study has shown that unborn babies undergoing an anaesthetic injection into their thigh before surgery, demonstrate changes in facial expression similar to newborn babies experiencing pain.

(2) Fetal Awareness:Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice, Published by Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, March 2010

(3) Reconsidering fetal pain Journal of Medical Ethics ( Stuart WG Derbyshire*, John C Bockmann. 2020. (*Pro-choice on abortion, and a leading expert on fetal pain)

(4) Fetal Pain in the First Trimester The Linacre Quarterly, Bridget Thill. December 2021.

(5) First Ache Feb 10, 2008, New York Times article. Interviewing fetal pain experts.

+ Can You Help Me Get an Abortion?

If you're asking this question it's likely you are under a lot of stress. We care about women in your kind of situation, we don't refer for abortion but are here to listen and offer help.

Worry can make it difficult to think clearly or see any positives.

It's hard, but try not to focus on the worst possibilities.

If you are under a lot of pressure, we are here to listen.

Are you in the best place to make a big decision yet? If not, perhaps just take a small step:

  • Pause – try to get calm
  • Think – get more facts
  • Speak – to someone else

+ Will You Pressure Me Not to Have an Abortion?

No – our approach is based on kindness and truth.

We are here to listen and offer help – for free. You can leave (and restart) the conversation at any time.

We treat every human being with respect and dignity. This is a death that you can prevent; you can still protect your son or daughter.

However, we cannot make a decision for you – you have the freedom to act according to your own conscience.

Sadly many women tell us they felt pressure to have an abortion. They wanted one positive 'you can do this' voice, offering support.

+ What If I've Already Had Abortions?

You are so welcome to get in touch with us.

We are here to listen without judgement; a safe space to find information and life-affirming help.

HOPE Pregnancy has been shaped by women who have been there, we understand something of the pressures.

A lot of honest and self-aware women ask, 'why did no one warn me?!'

Many tell us, even if they felt some immediate relief:

  • With more of the facts – they would have not gone ahead with an abortion
  • Abortion didn't help them – instead they suffered significant physical, emotional and spiritual pain

Under pressure to act quickly, many say they didn't see another way forward. Just one loving 'you can do this' supportive voice could have made a big difference to their decision.

Some also say that they felt silenced – unable to speak up to protect their baby.

Of course, lots of women who have been through abortion still advocate for it. Many others experience bereavement – see Hope for you for some of their stories.

We have compassion and hope for those who suffer distress and struggle to recover after abortion.

If you are interested we can connect you with further support: find friendship with others recovering, and peace and hope in Jesus: Post Abortion Support for Everyone – PASE

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18, the Bible

+ Is There Hope For Fathers?

Fathers – you play such an important role in the life of your partner and baby during the pregnancy.

You may be feeling worried too. If you are unsure how you can best help your partner, our male HOPE Advocates are here to help you start to talk about it.

They can offer information, answer questions and help you think through your responsibilities and the help available.

If you feel that you have no say, that is very difficult. However often a partner wants you to be involved.

When relationships are difficult, it's easy to pull away and not talk. We can guess what the other thinks or feels, and get it wrong.

Where possible:

  • Listen to each other – do you know her thoughts and feelings? She may assume what yours are.

  • Get more informed – on abortion and your baby, to reflect on how a decision might impact you all.

  • Find support – perhaps someone can help you both talk it through. (We offer to help find some local support.)

God is a Heavenly Father to all those who come to Him. He is full of patience, love and forgiveness.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14, the Bible

+ Can I Take Both Abortion Pills At Home?

In England and Wales, since March 2020, abortion providers can post the two pills that induce medical abortion to women under 10 weeks pregnant (since LMP*). If over 9 weeks and 6 days the pills must be taken in a clinic or hospital.

This temporary measure was made permanent in March 2022. The requirement for a face-to-face medical assessment was removed.

For more information see the FAQ below, 'Are at-home abortion pills safe?' and our medical abortion page.

How would you find this?

Many women go through this alone and say they weren't warned enough about common side effects and risks.

Very common physical side-effects include:
  • Bleeding – a normal function of the pill.
  • Pain – typically begins within 3 hours of taking the 2nd pill, once your womb starts contracting (but cramps and pain are possible after the 1st pill). The pain can be very severe.
  • Nausea – can start after the 1st pill itself; the 2nd pill may (in some cases) make it worse.

BPAS's Treatment Guide states the second pill Misoprostol:

'...Causes strong, painful cramps and heavy bleeding... heavy, more than a period, and you may see blood clots (usually smaller than a lemon) or other tissue when you pass the pregnancy.'

It advises:

' ...Pregnancy remains... can be flushed down the lavatory or wrapped in tissue, placed in a small plastic bag and put in the dustbin.'

  • How might you feel about doing this?
  • How might you feel about your own home afterwards?

* LMP – last menstrual period.

+ Are At Home Abortion Pills Safe?

Many say they are – is this true?

Instructions have to be followed exactly – for example, the order and timing of the two different pills.

Usually, there is:

  • No ultrasound scan before – to check your baby's gestational age (legal limit) and position (ectopic pregnancy*).
  • No follow-up clinic after – to check the abortion is 'complete' (count that all baby body parts are expelled).

Sometimes, the medication may not work exactly as planned. If a medical abortion is 'incomplete' then a surgical abortion might be required to complete the process. Other complications might also require hospital admission.


It is thought that less than 1-in-5 complications are being reported.

Some UK doctors have warned it's not safe for women.

What do you think about this?

See Care for Women for more information and stories.


* When the baby develops outside the womb. In extreme circumstances, undiagnosed fallopian tube rupture can put the mother's life at risk.

+ Would Abortion Change Me?

Being a mother brings real change.

Is abortion consequence-free; would your life get back on track?

Many women have immediate relief. Some don't report negative short or long term struggles. Yet, we have met so many women who do.

It's hard to imagine details, but important to think about how you may feel after an abortion.

For example, have you thought about how you might:

  • See yourself?
  • Relate to others?
  • Respond to God?

Some women struggle to make sense of their decision afterwards, for example, ' ...I have always loved children'.

Others find some relationships are impacted negatively. A partner that encouraged them to have an abortion they later regretted. Or friends with babies the same age.

Some women find it difficult to accept God's love and forgiveness, offered to all of us.

Just look up 'I regret my abortion' or 'shout your abortion-regret' online and you will see thousands of women supporting each other.

Her Truth shares the untold stories of women (and occasionally men) in their own words.

If you are suffering distress after abortion, find friendship with others recovering, and peace and hope in Jesus: Post Abortion Support for Everyone – PASE

+ What Evidence Is There About Health Risks?

As with all medical procedures, there are risks involved. The videos of doctors describing abortion procedures they have performed mention some.

Many promoting abortion advise that it is safe with only small risks (especially in early pregnancy).

We are not qualified nor do we intend to give you medical advice on the risks for you personally, but we do encourage you to look into this.

Studies – were you aware?

Many studies raise significant concerns for women (see other FAQ for links). We do not give an opinion as to whether they are medically conclusive or not.

Often they are dismissed, criticised or ignored. However, what is clear is that they highlight serious concerns.

Stories – have you heard?

Additionally, the claims and concerns of post-abortive women are often quickly dismissed.

We have met so many and are deeply concerned about the impact of abortion on mothers (and fathers).

We encourage you to keep asking questions and make up your own mind.

+ Would Abortion Impact My Mental Health?

Many women report no issues. Yet, we have met so many women who have linked their abortions to subsequent mental health problems, breakdowns and self-destructive behaviours. (Often not until years later).

However, we are not qualified or able to say that you personally would necessarily recognise any significant mental health problems.

We encourage you to:

i. Reflect generally – would abortion change me? How would I feel?

ii. Ask a friend or relative – how abortion impacted them?

iii. Consider studies linking abortion to changes in mental health – were you aware of them?

Published by The British Journal of Psychiatry, one major review* of 22 studies reporting on more than 800,000 women, concludes that the results revealed:

' ...quite consistently that abortion is associated with moderate to highly increased risks of psychological problems subsequent to the procedure.'

'Overall, the results revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was shown to be directly attributable to abortion.'

Such studies are fiercely debated. (For example, other factors – lack of support, existing mental health and other life issues.) Yet clearly they highlight real concerns.

Her Truth shares the untold stories of women (and occasionally men) in their own words.

If you are suffering distress after abortion, find friendship with others recovering, and peace and hope in Jesus: Post Abortion Support for Everyone – PASE

* Professor Coleman et al, Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009.The British Journal of Psychiatry, Cambridge Core (Emphases added.)

+ What Practical Help Do You Offer?

Perhaps a chance to talk things through will help you order your thoughts. You may soon see that there is hope for you and your baby.

There will be challenges, but you might find:

  • Some positives – in what seemed a disaster.
  • Some structure – in what felt chaotic.

Often mothers find that they have their own support networks, but not everyone does. If that is you, we can help as you start to think through your individual needs and to make a plan for the future.

This might include:

  • Help to see how you could continue your studies or job
  • Help to find local support. For example maternity clothing, baby items and encouragement during your pregnancy and beyond.

+ I Already Have Children - How Can I Do This?

Whatever ages your children are, if you feel at full capacity it's natural to be overwhelmed by the news that you are pregnant again.

We are here to listen if you need to offload and process your thoughts and find information and support.

Is there some excitement mixed in with all the worries? Have you thought about how you (and all the family) may feel next year or even in 10 years' time?

Your love protects your children. What about this little one? They are part of the family, on the journey with you. Will you soon be unable to imagine life without them?

Every pregnancy and every child is different. You might have less energy and there will be challenges.

There are also benefits of already having children:

  • Older siblings (and wider family) might mean you can take a break when needed
  • You know so much about how to care for your baby
  • You have already come through many challenges as a parent

Can you list:

  • Your concerns (for example finances, stress, housing and health)
  • Those you trust to talk with about this?
  • People who may be able to help you with your challenges?

We understand that all your thoughts may be on the impact of another child on you and your family. Have you considered what the impact of ending the life of this son or daughter might be on you all?

Once complete that is a decision you can never undo.

+ What About My Education?

Some mothers do continue with their education during pregnancy and after giving birth. It would be a challenge, but schools, colleges and universities are now set up to be more flexible and offer support.

We cannot guarantee what you personally would be entitled to, but we hope this general information makes clear there is help out there. We could help you find out what support might be available for you in your local area.

Support at school

You should be able to have an agreed:

  • Designated adult
  • Student buddy

You should be entitled to up to 18 weeks of absence for the time immediately before and after the birth of your baby

There may be flexibility for you if returning to your school doesn't seem good for you. Some study at home or attend a young mother and baby school.

Support at 6th form/college

After GCSEs up to 18, you can either:

  • Continue in school or college full-time.
  • Do an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • Work or volunteer (20+ hours weekly) alongside part-time education or training.

Support at university

Being pregnant while studying at university would be a challenge and might seem impossible. For some it is, for others it isn’t. Having a baby doesn't always mean you can't delay or finish your studies.

Your university is likely to offer specific help and some flexibility. We cannot guarantee what you personally would be entitled to, but we could help you find out about national grants/financial support that you might be eligible for.

Wider support

Making a plan would help you to return to education once your baby is born.

For example, these are some possibilities:

+ How Can I Afford A Baby?

Having a baby can bring financial demands. Not everyone is aware of the support that might be available.

We cannot guarantee what you personally would be entitled to, but there are different benefits or grants to explore. Whether or not you can claim a benefit depends on your individual situation, for example: whether you are a single parent, employed or unemployed, living alone or with your parents or continuing in education.

Here are some of the benefits and grants that you might be entitled to:

Sure Start Maternity Grant: a one-off payment of £500 which helps towards the cost of having a baby.

Healthy Start: help to buy healthy food and milk.

Child Benefit: a monthly payment as you bring up your child.

Universal Credit: a monthly payment that helps with living costs.

We can try to connect you to a local church offering practical support if you would like that.

Also, we can direct you to some of the many organisations that are set up to provide resources, support and helpful information (such as help to plan your budget and to access support).

+ I'm Not Ready to Be a Parent, What Can I Do?

We know that this is a very sensitive time, with so many questions like this and no one is saying it will be easy.

We are here to listen and one of the best things will be to talk about how you feel with a close friend or family member. You might be surprised by how supportive they are.

Can you think of someone you know who had a baby young?

No one can tell you exactly how things will work out, and circumstances change. It's so important to start with what you can know – what are the facts?

Kindness includes giving information to mothers about their baby and abortion in the decision-making process.

We encourage you to reflect below – what is your decision really between?


To protect your baby may be a very hard decision. Being a parent is a gift and a wonderful adventure but it can also feel overwhelming.

You may need some creative problem-solving and support, but many come to embrace the joy and the challenge.

If you feel unable to parent your baby after birth, you can arrange for them to be cared for by a loving family. Adoption takes courage. We can help you find out about this process.


Abortion is often spoken about as a normal, natural decision. What do you think – does that seem right?

Many women tell us that abortion didn't help them. Some say they have thought about their baby every day since.

We are here to help you access all the support available to you in this difficult time as you protect your little son or daughter.

+ How Can I Help a Friend Find Practical Support?

An unexpected pregnancy can be hard to face alone.

Family and friends to encourage can make a huge difference. Who else can you bring in to help? Often she may just want to talk through with you her own networks of support.

You could ask if she has heard of a helpful organisation and encourage her to make contact. Be realistic with her; we can’t promise what is available for her personally. However, she might be surprised by what help is out there.

We are here to talk and help signpost to a local church or project.

Here are some helpful organisations and links if you want to research online with her. (See also our other FAQ on practical help.)

Has she heard of any local projects?

Nationally some churches run practical projects, for example:

Baby itemsOur locations | Baby Basics and Growkids

FoodbanksFind a Food Bank - The Trussell Trust

Money adviceCAP UK | Get help near you Christians Against Poverty

ParentingBabies Matter - Building a strong foundation for families

Supported housingLifehouses | The Salvation Army help vulnerable women. Hope into Action might have a mother and baby placement. For emergency housing see below.

Other helpful organisations/links:

Benefits/work, Maternity Action,

General adviceContact us - Citizens Advice. Includes assistance with applications.

Health issues (baby) is a support network for parents whose child has a diagnosis that means they may not live long after birth – 24hour helpline (01) 879 2382

Housing Help from your council if you’re homeless or at risk of homelessness - GOV.UK She should be considered a priority need for emergency housing if she is pregnant.

In an emergency Find your closest housing adviser - Shelter England

Some organisations have non-emergency housing: Pregnant & nowhere to live? - Life

Legal advice –, University of Westminster Legal Advice Clinic

Single parentsHelpline | Gingerbread 0808 802 0925, Alma Mater Fund: Call, Text or WhatsApp: 07849 088 244