Strengthen your support system of friends and family.,
Reach out to your school or community for support.,
Identify someone you trust who can guide you through the pregnancy.,
Consider the responsibilities of child care.,
Assess whether to keep your baby.,
Keep active in school.,
Determine options for financial assistance as a teen mom.,
Get regular prenatal care.,
Reduce your stress.,
Stay healthy and active.,
Identify family members that may be able to provide you with advice and guidance regarding pregnancy. Find friends and family that you trust, and that you know can help you during a difficult time.
Spend more time with relatives and family that believe in you and support you.
Avoid people who make you feel bad about yourself or your pregnancy. This may include avoiding your baby’s father if he is hurtful, negative, and unsupportive.
Seek advice from adult relatives such as parents, grandparents, or aunts that have been through pregnancy before.;
, Avoid feeling alone or isolated. Even if school has been difficult for you, identify a teacher or school counselor who you can trust with what you’re facing. Consider other supports in your community where you can go to feel safe and understood. Consider these:
School counselors who can provide information about teen pregnancy resources and options
Community centers that support the needs of pregnant teens. You can find resource centers in your area through Option Line: http://optionline.org/ or call 1-800-712-435.
Counseling centers to help you cope with feeling alone
Church groups or organizations that provide pregnancy resources
Health clinics that provide health education regarding pregnancy, such as Planned Parenthood. See the variety of health services they offer: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/ or call 1-800-230-PLAN
Online supports and hotlines for pregnant teens, such as American Pregnancy Helpline. Contact them online or via phone: http://www.thehelpline.org/ or 1-866-942-6466
Peer groups or support groups for pregnant teens
, Make sure to have a best friend, parent, or close relative who can be present when you make decisions about your pregnancy, as well as when you go to doctor’s appointments. Even if your baby’s father isn’t there, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t others who will step in and give you the support and love you need.Talk with a relative or close friend to request that they attend important doctor’s visits or health appointments with you.
See if they are willing to attend other meetings such as those at community centers or support groups that provide you with additional pregnancy information.
Choose someone who is consistently reliable and dependable, and makes sure to prioritize your needs.
, Pregnancy is a big step toward more responsibility. Raising a child requires maturity. If you are planning to have the child, and the baby’s father is not involved, think about what child care may look like in the future.Do you plan to raise your child? Where will you live? Who will you live with? Are the people who you’re planning to stay with responsible and willing to participate in child care? How do you plan to support your child?
Talk with your relatives about the challenges that they may have faced with child care. Understand what supports will be available for you after a child’s birth.
Go to a community center for pregnant teens or talk a school counselor about child care.
There may be low or no-cost childcare assistance options in your area for teen mothers. Many states offer financial aid and childcare care assistance while you are attending school. It is an incentive to continue school while caring for your baby.
, As a pregnant teen, you may be unsure about whether to move forward with the pregnancy and to keep your baby. If your baby’s father is not in the picture, you may want to see guidance from other trusted family members and friends. Find supports that you can trust to consider these options:Go forward the pregnancy. Decide to keep the baby and raise the child.
Consider placing your baby for adoption. Give your baby to a loving home, possibly to couples who may be struggling to have children.
Consider terminating the pregnancy. There are many different reasons why this may be a viable option when you are pregnant and a teenager. Talk with counselor or healthcare provider about what this may involve.
, Though surviving school while pregnant may be difficult, in the long run it is both beneficial to you and your baby’s future. It can be overwhelming and stressful to feel alone and pregnant. Use to your time in school as a way to focus on your future, and to believe that you can be stronger, happier, and smarter.Talk with your school counselor or a trusted teacher to help you through this difficult time of being pregnant.
Consider ways to continue your studies even if it’s not in the regular classroom. See if your school district has programs for pregnant teens to help them stay focused on being healthy and staying in school.
Pregnant teens who drop out of school are more likely to have difficulty with finding work or supporting themselves in the future. Make your education and your pregnancy both a priority.
, If you decide to move forward and raise the child, you may be faced with increased expenses to care for your baby. For lower income families, there are a number of options for financial assistance.Teen mothers are generally eligible for cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Bureau. Contact your state’s local benefits office regarding TANF support.
Many pregnant teens qualify for Medicaid which can help you to get prenatal and postnatal care for your child. You can apply through your state’s local benefits office or go to https://www.medicaid.gov/apply-for-coverage/apply-for-coverage.html
There is a federal program called Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) that supplies food and baby care items for free to low income families. Find out about your eligibility: http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-eligibility-requirements
, Go to your regular prenatal visits with your obstetrician. Follow the instructions of your doctor to keep yourself and your baby safe and healthy. Have a trusted friend or family member present to help ask questions.Discuss any medication questions with your healthcare provider.
Talk about recommendations such as prenatal vitamins and other things to keep healthy.
Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. This puts your baby at high risk for birth defects or developmental problems. If you are having trouble with quitting, talk with a counselor or healthcare provider for treatment or referrals for support.
, Being pregnant can be tough. Learn to cope with the stressors of pregnancy and feeling alone. If you’re depressed and anxious, find ways to relax and reduce your stress. Give time to focus on staying calm each day.
Take a shower or warm bath.
Listen to soothing music.
Write in a journal about the stressors. Focus on at least one positive thing each time.
Talk with friends or family when you’re feeling down.
Read something you enjoy.
Do an activity that lets out your creative side.
, Eating healthy and staying active are important whether your pregnant or not. But when you’re feeling particularly sad or down, it can be even more important to stay active and get moving. Focus on the positive things that you can do to make your body healthier and happier:
Choose foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Avoid high fat or high sugar foods.
Exercise. Consult your doctor about an exercise plan that may work best while pregnant. Consider walking, hiking a nature trail, or swimming.
Do activities that make you feel more connected to your friends and family. Attend outings with your relatives. Go to the mall with friends. Do things that keep your mind and body active.
Don’t feel stuck at home. Try new things and find new ways to enjoy yourself with supportive friends and family.
, When you find out that you’re pregnant, you may feel shame, stress, or anxiety about what to do. If your baby’s father has pulled away from you, you may feel upset that he’s not there. Remember that you can’t control his behavior. But you can find ways to love and respect yourself.
Remind yourself of three things that you love about yourself. It could be something about the way you look, your personality, or something good you’ve done recently.
Avoid relying on your partner to determine your worth. You deserve to be loved and respected. You determine your worth.
When you’re feeling sad or alone, close your eyes and imagine a place that fills you with joy and happiness.
Find places where you can go that make you feel safe and loved.