How to Have a Bonus Baby

How People Accidentally Get Pregnant

Newborn Baby on the Scale
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The bonus baby, sometimes called an oops baby, is a surprise baby born after your plans to have more children are decided to stop reproducing. There are a few reasons that people have a bonus baby. By looking at how the bonus baby happens, perhaps you can prevent your family from receiving this bonus.

  1. Every day birth control failure. This can be a user error, which many birth control failures are in practice. While you think of a failure of birth control to function as something rare, it can be, statistically, but in practice, the failures are more common than what most people are quoted as the effectiveness of a particular birth control method. This means sometimes it really is something that you did wrong. This might be something like taking a medication that nullifies your oral contraceptive, or not using enough foam, or taking the diaphragm out too soon. Occasionally it is a normal failure of birth control because nothing is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy except not having sex.
  1. Permanent birth control failure. We think of vasectomies and tubal ligation as fool proof, and to a large extent they are, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t failures that can be found, though it is typically less than 1%. A good example here would be having sex without a backup birth control method, but after a vasectomy, before getting the all clear from the surgeon. There may still be active sperm ready and willing to get your pregnant. Remember, it has no idea what your plans are for another pregnancy.
  2. You were not using birth control but sexually active. I hear this one a lot. You assumed that you would be the lucky one who wouldn’t get pregnant. Or you had a lot of trouble conceiving the first time around and didn’t consider birth control as necessary because you assumed that you would need to use medical help to get pregnant. It happens.
  3. Weird cycles or thought you were menopausal. This is one that used to happen more frequently, but as women get better at tracking their cycles through apps or via traditional methods, they may notice more of the symptoms of perimenopause or other cycle irregularities for what they are and know that ovulation can still occur.
  1. But I was… This category has a lot of things that go into it. Some mothers believe that if they are breastfeeding they won’t get pregnant, well, that only works if you’re following the rules of the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). You were taking a specific medication.

It can be really frustrating when you weren’t expecting to have another baby and you do.

The truth is there are many a bonus baby out there. Most families haves adjusted well and can’t imagine life without the bonus. That said, be gentle with yourself if it happens. Sometimes there is simply nothing you did wrong and it happened. Be sure to seek help from a trained professional if you need to talk to someone. An unplanned pregnancy can be very upsetting for a whole host of reasons.

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