Home » Misc » What to do if your a teenager and pregnant
What to do if your a teenager and pregnant
Signs, Effects, Diagnosis, and Prevention
How common is teenage pregnancy?
Teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in a woman 19 years of age or younger. A woman can get pregnant if she has vaginal sex with a man at any age after she’s begun having regular monthly periods.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, around 194,000 babies were born to American girls between the ages of 15 to 19.
While the number of teenage pregnancies in the United States has been in decline, it still remains higher than in other industrialized countries.
Teens are at a higher risk for pregnancy-related high blood pressure (preeclampsia) and its complications than average age mothers. Risks for the baby include premature birth and low birth weight. Preeclampsia can also harm the kidneys or even be fatal for mother or baby.
Pregnant teens also have a higher chance of becoming anemic. Anemia is a reduction in the number of red blood cells (RBCs). This can make you feel weak and tired and can affect your baby’s development.
Giving birth in the United States is safer than ever, but it’s still more dangerous for a teen than for a woman 20 or older. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source, complications during pregnancy or childbirth are the leading cause of death globally for girls ages 15 to 19.
If you get pregnant as a teen, you might feel frightened and worried about telling your family and friends. Not talking to someone and not getting the help and support you need, can make you feel more isolated and depressed. This can lead to problems in home and at school.
Many pregnant teens drop out of school, and some never complete their education. That means a lot of mothers who get pregnant as teenagers live in poverty.
Women who first got pregnant as teens are more likely to have more than one child. About one in fiveTrusted Source births to a teen mother is a repeat birth. A woman with little education and multiple children to care for will find it very difficult to earn a living.
A healthy pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. A baby that’s delivered before 37 weeks of pregnancy is
premature. Teen mothers are more likelyTrusted Source to give birth to premature babies.
Sometimes, these babies lack complete development in their bodies and brains. Depending on how premature the baby is, this can lead to lifelong difficulties with health and development.
Premature babies also tend to be underweight. Underweight babies might have trouble breathing and feeding as infants. As adults, underweight babies are more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Low birth weight also affects brain development. Children who were born underweight have been observed to have learning difficulties.
In addition to having an increased risk of being underweight, infants born to teenage mothers are also at a higher risk of infant mortality.
Fathering a child as a teenager can be a frightening and life-changing event. Teen fathers don’t have to worry about the health implications of pregnancy and childbirth, but they could face similar difficulties staying in school and earning a living.
State laws vary on the legal age for people to have sexual intercourse.
Arrest or legal action against teens who are sexually active can have devastating effects. A young man may be required to register as a sex offender if he has reached the legal age (age 18 in some states) and his partner has not (age 17 or under).
Most supermarkets and drugstores sell home pregnancy tests. These tests are designed to detect pregnancy hormones in your urine. They’re most accurate if you use them more than a week after your missed period.
If a home pregnancy test indicates you’re not pregnant, wait a week, and take another test to make sure.
If a home test shows you’re pregnant, you need to make an appointment with your doctor. They’ll confirm your pregnancy with a blood test and maybe a physical exam.
Teens who become pregnant may be afraid to see a doctor, but it’s extremely important for the safety of the mother and the unborn child.
Your doctor should discuss all options with you regarding your pregnancy, including:
abortion, or ending the pregnancy medically
adoption, or giving birth and legally permitting someone else to raise your child
giving birth and raising the child yourself
Ideally, the future father and family members of both mother and father will be involved in making the best decisions. However, this isn’t always possible.
Birth control clinics and public health offices can provide counseling information to help you make the right choices for you and your baby.
Teen moms can have healthy babies. Make sure you see your doctor as soon as you know you’re pregnant, and attend all your scheduled appointments.
Proper obstetrical care throughout your pregnancy is so important to the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby. Eat well, exercise, and confide in supportive friends and family members.
Cigarette smoking during pregnancy has been shown to lower birth weight and cause babies to be born prematurely. You shouldn’t smoke during pregnancy.
Drugs and alcohol can have very damaging effects on a mother and her unborn child. Don’t drink alcohol or use illicit drugs during pregnancy. If you think you might be addicted to drugs or alcohol, ask your doctor about counseling and treatment programs to help you quit.
Only take the medicines your doctor prescribes. Make sure your doctor knows about any over-the-counter (OTC) medicines you are taking.
It’s important for all pregnant women to get proper medical care regardless of how old they are. But because teens’ bodies are still developing, seeing a doctor regularly is especially important for teen mothers.
You’ll see a lot of your doctor during your pregnancy.
During the first six months, you’ll probably have an appointment at least once every month. In the last months of your pregnancy, you may see your doctor every other week, ending with weekly visits in your final month. These visits are to make sure you and your baby are healthy.
At the doctor’s office, you’ll be weighed, your blood pressure will be taken, and your stomach will be measured. As your baby develops, the doctor will feel its position and listen for its heartbeat.
Your doctor will ask how you’re feeling and if you have any questions. They’ll usually then explain what you can expect during the upcoming weeks of your pregnancy.
It’s a good idea to write down any questions or concerns you have so that you can remember to ask them during your appointment. Make sure you talk to your doctor about your health, the baby’s health, and any emotional or family concerns you have.
See your doctor right away if you have:
any vaginal bleeding
severe or continuous headache
dimness or blurring of vision
chills or fever
pain or burning during urination
leaking of fluid from your vagina
swelling or pain in your legs
The only way to be sure you won’t get pregnant is to not have sexual intercourse. However, there are many methods to reduce your chances of becoming pregnant if you’re sexually active.
According to a study published in the journal PLoS One, an abstinence-only sex education was positively correlated with an increase in teen pregnancies.
Many communities offer counseling and support programs that help prevent teen pregnancy.
These groups can provide information on birth control and help teens understand their own sexual limits so they don’t get into situations where they might have unprotected sex and get pregnant.
Some programs offer peer counseling, since it might feel more comfortable talking to someone your own age. Contact your health department for information on programs in your area.
Prescription birth control is available through your doctor or a women’s health clinic.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a device a doctor implants in your uterus. The procedure is well tolerated, and hospitalization isn’t required. The IUD prevents pregnancy by various mechanisms. It has a 99 percent rate of effectiveness, according to Planned Parenthood.
IUDs are sold under the following brand names:
Birth control implant
Several birth control methods affect hormone levels in your body, so you’re less likely to get pregnant. The most effective is a birth control implant, also called Nexplanon.
This is a very small plastic stick that’s inserted under the skin of your arm. Implants stay in place for up to three years. They have a 99 percent rate of effectiveness.
Birth control pills, shots, and patches also affect your hormone levels. They have an effectiveness rate of 91 to 94 percent. Examples of available brands include:
Alesse, Apri, Enpresse, Loestrin, Ortho-Novum, Yasmin, and many more (pills)
Ortho Evra (patch)
The diaphragm and cervical cap (FemCap) are devices you place in your vagina when you’re going to have sex. They block sperm from entering your uterus. The effectiveness of these devices is 71 to 88 percent.
You can also buy over-the-counter (OTC) birth control at a drugstore and some supermarkets. These methods are not as effective as prescription birth control, but they do reduce your chance of getting pregnant.
Teen pregnancy rates have been dropping in the United States for at least 25 years. Experts think this is because more sexually active teens use condoms.
Proper use of a condom can keep you from getting pregnant. When used correctly, condoms also protect you from many sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The effectiveness of condoms is 85 percent.
Birth control sponge
Sponges treated with spermicide also block sperm from entering your uterus. Used properly, these methods prevent pregnancy with an effectiveness of 76 to 88 percent. The brand of sponge sold in the United States is called the Today Sponge.
Available from the brands Plan B One-Step, Ella, and Next Choice, this medicine contains hormones that prevent your body from releasing eggs into your uterus and cause the lining of the uterus to shed, inhibiting implantation.
Eggs have to come into contact with sperm for you to get pregnant and need to implant in order to start developing properly.
The morning-after pill might be a good choice for you if you think your regular birth control didn’t work or you weren’t using birth control. Women 17 and older do not need a prescription for the morning-after pill.
The effectiveness of the morning-after pills such as Plan B One-Step and Next Choice is 75 to 89 percent if taken within three days of having unprotected sex, according to Planned Parenthood. The effectiveness of the Ella morning-after pill is 85 percent if you take it within five days of having unprotected sex.
Although teens can often safely deliver healthy babies, there are possible health concerns for both mother and child. If you become pregnant, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to discuss your pregnancy.
There are many methods available to help prevent pregnancy, including IUDs, birth control pills, and condoms.
Additionally, many groups, such as SHIFT NC in North Carolina and Planned Parenthood, offer support or counseling programs for teens. You should also be sure to look for regional groups in your state or city.
I'm Pregnant, Now What? | Pregnancy Options For Teens
In This Section
STDs, Birth Control, and Pregnancy
What do I need to know about STDs?
What do I need to know about birth control?
What’s the best kind of birth control?
How do I talk to my parents about birth control and STDs?
I think I’m pregnant. Now what?
Parental Consent and Notification Laws
A surprise pregnancy can be stressful and scary. You’re the only one who can decide what to do, but there are people who can give you info and support. You’re not alone.
How do I know if I’m pregnant?
Pregnancy can only happen if semen (cum) gets in your vagina or on your vulva. So if you haven’t had penis-in-vagina sex or had any semen (cum) near your vulva since your last period, you’re not pregnant.
Also keep in mind that it takes up to a few weeks for pregnancy to happen after sex. So if the sex happened a few days ago, you can’t be pregnant yet — in fact, you can still use emergency contraception (like the morning-after pill) to help prevent pregnancy if it’s been less than 5 days since you’ve had unprotected sex.
If you’ve had penis-in-vagina sex and miss your period, it’s possible that you’re pregnant. But keep in mind that lots of things besides pregnancy can mess with the timing of your period, like stress, diet, changes in your weight, and being sick. It’s also really common to have irregular periods when you’re a teenager.
The first thing to do if you think you’re pregnant is take a pregnancy test — it’s the only way to know for sure. A pregnancy test can tell you if you’re pregnant as soon as your period is late. Read more about pregnancy tests.
Early pregnancy symptoms include bloating, sore breasts, upset stomach, and feeling tired. But these symptoms can also be caused by other things, like PMS or being sick. And some people don’t have symptoms at all in early pregnancy. So symptoms alone can’t tell you what’s going on — only a pregnancy test can.
If your pregnancy test is positive, make an appointment with your doctor or local Planned Parenthood Health Center right away so you can talk about your pregnancy options and make sure you stay healthy — no matter what you decide to do about your pregnancy. But be careful to go to a real health center and not a crisis pregnancy center — these are fake clinics that often say they offer pregnancy tests and counseling, but they don’t actually provide a full range of real health care. They won’t give you honest information about your pregnancy options, and they don’t have to follow privacy laws. Planned Parenthood can help you find somewhere trustworthy.
I’m pregnant — what do I do now?
Finding out you’re pregnant can feel overwhelming, but try to stay calm. You’re going to be okay, and there are people who can help you.
If you’re pregnant you have 3 options:
Parenting — giving birth and raising the child.
Abortion — ending the pregnancy.
Adoption — giving birth and placing the child with another person or family, forever.
If you think you might choose parenting or adoption, you need prenatal care to make sure you stay healthy during the pregnancy.
If you’re thinking about getting an abortion, try to make an appointment as soon as you can. It can be harder to get an abortion as time goes by. If you live in a state where abortion is illegal, you may have to go to another state to get an abortion and it can take time to arrange travel. Whatever you decide to do, go to a doctor right away so they can help you stay healthy.
The staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center can give you accurate information about all your options, answer your questions, and offer support. You can also find a trustworthy abortion provider at AbortionFinder.org.
You can also get information and health care from other family planning centers or your family doctor. Be careful when looking for a reliable health center — there are fake clinics that say they have pregnancy services, but they don’t offer a full range of health care, and they may not even have real nurses and doctors on staff. These are called Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and they’re run by people who won’t give you truthful or accurate information about pregnancy, abortion, birth control, or sexual health. Read more about Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
Talking with someone about your feelings can be helpful, too. If you can, it’s a really good idea to talk with a parent or caregiver about it — chances are they care about you and want to help you. You could also talk with another family member, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, school counselor, religious advisor, or another adult that you trust. Choose someone who will listen to you, be supportive, respect your privacy, and won’t be judgmental or try to pressure you into anything.
If you’re having a hard time finding someone in your life to talk with, check out All-Options. All-Options has a free, private hotline where you can talk about your pregnancy and get support, no matter how you’re feeling.
No one should pressure you into making any decision about your pregnancy, no matter what. Only you know what’s right for you.
How do I tell my parents that I’m pregnant?
Even though it might feel scary, talking with a parent or caregiver can really help. They can talk through your options with you, and help you get the health care you need.
Many people worry that their parents/caregivers will freak out, but that’s not always what happens. If you can, try to be open and honest. Start by saying that you trust them and need their help and support. Most of the time, they just want to make sure you’re healthy and safe. If your parents/caregivers do get upset, they may just need some time to calm down.
Sometimes parents/caregivers are shocked or angry, and sometimes they're understanding. There’s really no way to know how yours will feel unless you talk with them about it. It might help to find a time when you can talk in private and there are no distractions. If you’re feeling really nervous or scared, you can always ask a friend or other family member to be there with you during the conversation. That way, you’ll have support no matter what happens.
If you really feel like you can’t talk to your parents/caregivers, try talking to another adult who you trust (like an aunt or uncle, grandparent, older sibling, school nurse, or counselor). If you’re worried that telling your parents/caregivers you’re pregnant may put you in danger, tell a teacher, nurse or doctor, or other adult you trust.
Was this page helpful?
Help us improve - how could this information be more helpful?
How did this information help you?
Please answer below.
Are you human? (Sorry, we have to ask!)
Please don't check this box if you are a human.
You’re the best! Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks for your feedback.
Teenage daughter seems to be pregnant: how to talk to her about it
It is good when the relationship between mother and daughter is close and trusting, but this is not always the case. What if the mother suspects that the daughter could become pregnant, but they do not talk about intimate topics? We deal with the clinical psychologist, candidate of psychological sciences, Gestalt therapist Marina Durneva.
Question. Daughter 13 years old, I buy pads for both of us. Two weeks ago I noticed that she was supposed to start her period, but the number of pads does not decrease. She also began to refuse food. I asked her if everything was in order with her health, she answered yes. In principle, she does not particularly trust me, we do not communicate much. But I suspect she could have gotten pregnant. I'm scared to think about it. How to talk to her, understand what is happening, and how to react correctly?
Answer. Adolescence is very vulnerable. Adolescents can perceive the loss of freedom and any encroachment on personal boundaries quite aggressively, withdrawing into themselves. Therefore, it is important for a mother to share some responsibility and freedom with her teenage daughter: to allow her to buy hygiene products herself, to determine what she wants to use.
Also, adolescents may change taste preferences and eating behavior - this is also normal.
Does your daughter not use the pads that you bought (maybe she decided to buy tampons this time?), or has she stopped eating something that she did not refuse before? Globally, there is nothing terrible in this, it may well be just part of a teenage rebellion.
Pregnancy is a very delicate subject. How to protect yourself, what rules to follow so as not to get pregnant, what consequences unprotected sex can have - it is important to talk about all this with your daughter in advance. Ask directly "Are you by any chance pregnant?" can. But if before that the parent did not have confidential conversations with the child, the teenager may not tell the truth, react aggressively, become even more withdrawn into himself.
In this situation, the parent needs to show sincere interest. It is important to make it clear to the daughter that she will not be scolded, shamed, that they will not turn away from her, but on the contrary, they will support and help in any case.
If the daughter answers that everything is fine, you should try to believe her and not bother with questions. Well, or at least postpone this conversation and, if suspicions persist, return to it after a while. It is important that the parent says: "I'm worried about you, if something is wrong, I'm always ready to talk to you."
Also, such a conversation can become an occasion for a confidential conversation about contraception: you can tell your daughter about condoms and show where they are (making it clear that she can take them when she needs to), and at the same time tell where tests for pregnancy, and explain how to use them (at the same time it will be possible to conduct an experiment and check their work). You can also offer your daughter the number of a doctor, to whom she can always turn for advice.
If you find it difficult to talk to your child about such topics, you can offer one of these books:
Yulia Yarmolenko and Maryana Gilevich, "Intimate Educational Program";
Robert Winston, How to Help a Child Grow Up.
If the daughter is still pregnant, the reaction of each parent will be individual. In most cases, these are strong feelings (anxiety, fear) that begin to dictate behavior to parents, and they, in turn, panic and intimidate children. Therefore, the most important step in such a situation is to deal with your emotions.
Then you need to help the teenager get through it. We cannot even imagine how hard it is for a 13-year-old girl to accept and digest such a fact. It is she who needs support now, and you, as an adult, must provide it.
Then you should consult a doctor, find out the gestational age, consult about the health of the child and decide at the family council whether to terminate or keep the pregnancy.
Ask your question to Mel, and the editors will find someone who can answer it. Write to our social networks - we read all the messages on the pages in VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. Answers will be published in order of priority in the "Question - Answer" section. By the way, we do not disclose names, so questions can be anything (feel free!).
The material was prepared by the trainee Lilia Mordasova.
A rare teenage pregnancy is planned and desired. More than half of the pregnancies end in childbirth. In other cases, girls have an abortion, about one in six miscarriages occur.
But it doesn't matter when exactly your daughter says to you, "I think I'm pregnant." How to react to these words to parents, what to say to the girl, and most importantly, what to do? Advice from Child Sexuality Specialist Debra Haffner.
Take a deep breath and try to calm down. First of all, the daughter must be listened to. You can say, for example, "Tell me why you think you might be pregnant" or "Tell me what happened" or "Tell me what you're going to do. " Maybe your daughter just missed her period and doesn't know for sure she's pregnant.
You can check with a home test, which is about 85% accurate, but a clinic test is more reliable.
In the event of an unplanned pregnancy, your daughter has three main options.
Save the pregnancy, give birth and raise a child, alone or with a partner.
Save the pregnancy and give the child up for adoption.
Have an abortion.
Note that the choice is your daughter's to make. No matter how much you want to decide everything for her, the final decision remains with her. Before the age of 15, your consent will be required for your daughter to have an abortion. But for the preservation of pregnancy, as well as for the abandonment of the born child, the consent of only young parents is required.
Interestingly, unlike the girl's parents, the child's father does not legally have the right to prevent the girl from having an abortion, but he may not give his consent to give the child up for adoption.
This does not mean that you should withdraw yourself. Your daughter will need your help
After all, she needs to decide what decision to make and what its consequences will be. If possible, try to involve the father of the child in the discussion, no matter how angry you are with him now. Remind yourself that your daughter is also responsible for what happened.
Ideally, the parents of both teenagers should be involved in the discussion. Decisions should not be hasty, but still make a decision as quickly as possible. Abortion is safest in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Medical abortion, by taking certain drugs, without surgery, can be done within the first 7 weeks.
If there is a possibility that the girl decides to keep the pregnancy, she should register for pregnancy as soon as possible and take care of herself and the unborn child. Talking to a psychologist can also be helpful.
Make a choice
Here are some questions for you and your teenager to consider:
Which of these options - to give birth and raise a child, to give birth and abandon him, to have an abortion - is acceptable to me?
Which of these options is not possible for me?
How will each of these decisions affect my life? For the life of the child's father? For my parents' lives?
What are my plans and hopes for the future? How can a child change these plans?
What do my religion, my beliefs say about possible solutions?
What is best for me in the long run?
Will I be able to provide a family for my child now?
More than half of pregnant teenage girls decide to keep their child
Of course, his birth has an impact on their future lives. Studies show that girls who have had a child in their teens have lower incomes, are more likely to live in poverty and receive financial assistance, and are less likely to get married than women who have had a child after 20 years.
Children of teenage mothers are more likely to do poorly in school and often become parents themselves during adolescence. Girls under the age of 18 are more likely to have premature babies.
On the other hand, a teenage girl can safely bear a child and become a good mother if she is given the necessary support, if her pregnancy and childbirth are managed by qualified doctors. It is important that she still get a secondary education.
Your daughter needs to consider whether she will send her child to preschool, how she will deal with financial issues, health care issues, whether she will attend classes for expectant mothers where she can receive emotional support.
Questions about the future
Before deciding to leave and raise a child, either alone or together, teens may ask themselves the following questions: our education?
Will our family members support us and help us take care of the child?
Will someone be able to take care of the child when I am at school or at work, or if I am sick?
Do we have enough money to provide the child with everything he needs?
Am I willing to put my child's interests ahead of my own interests?
Are we ready to give up meeting friends, dating, dancing and other entertainment?
Are we being pressured to leave a child?
What role will my partner play in raising my child?
Should we talk about getting married? Would we get married if I wasn't pregnant? Am I ready to be a single mom if our relationship doesn't work out?
Unlike previous generations, most teenagers today don't get married when they know they're expecting a baby. And most of the marriages concluded in adolescence due to the girl's pregnancy end in divorce. Most teenagers are simply not ready for the responsibilities that come with family life.
Of course, you will have to convey to your daughter the position of your family regarding marriage and raising children. Try to help her determine if her love relationship is strong enough to consider marriage.
The last option your daughter has to consider is abortion. 75% of pregnant girls from high-income families and less than half of girls from low-income families decide on it. Most teenagers are worried that having a child will change their life. They do not feel mature enough and are not sure that they will be able to provide for the child financially.
Here are some questions your daughter should think about before deciding to have an abortion:
Is anyone putting pressure on me to have an abortion?
Do I respect women who have had an abortion?
Will I be able to live on after having an abortion?
What do my partner and my parents think about abortion?
Am I sure that I want to get rid of the pregnancy?
Is abortion consistent with my religious beliefs?
If your daughter decides to have an abortion, it is safest to have it during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.