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DEAR HARRIETTE: I found out that I was pregnant about three months ago. This will be my first child, and I’m extremely happy about it.

I’ve told a few immediate family members and my very best friends about my pregnancy, but for some reason, I’m feeling embarrassed about telling anyone outside of that.

I’m not sure what exactly I’m feeling embarrassed about. I think it might be the fact that I’m not married or in a relationship with the person I am having a baby with. How do I get over this feeling?

— Expecting

DEAR EXPECTING: It is understandable that you are feeling a bit uneasy, given that you seem to subscribe to traditional family values that call for a woman to be married before having a child. Since that is not your story now, you have to let go of that narrative.

The blessing is that you are pregnant and have decided to have this child. Next steps for you should include creating your village of family, friends and loved ones who will want to help you in whatever ways you need. Rearing a child on your own will be challenging. You will need all kinds of help.

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