You've heard it your whole life: Enjoy your teenage years because they will be gone before you know it.
For some young women, those teenage years may already seem over because of an unplanned teenage pregnancy. If this describes your situation, understand that being a pregnant teenager is more common than you might think, and there is plenty of help out there.
The following are some ideas to help you during this time and to understand your options of handling a teenage pregnancy.
1. Make Good Choices for Yourself and the Baby
As a pregnant teenager, you likely haven’t ever had to deal with this amount of responsibility. So, moving forward, it is important to realize that your choices affect not just yourself but also your baby.
Whether those choices involve drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, using drugs, eating unhealthy, not getting enough exercise or taking certain risks, it might be necessary for you to evaluate your current lifestyle and eliminate any activities or habits that don’t promote a healthy pregnancy.
This also includes making sure you are surrounded by positive friends and family members who will be a support and provide help during your teenage pregnancy.
2. Build a Support System to Help with Your Pregnancy
A good friend who listens to you and truly tries to understand what you are going through can be an essential component to a healthy teenage pregnancy.
What does this person look like? He or she will…
The more people you know who exude these qualities, the better. They can be friends, parents, grandparents, siblings, fellow students, school counselors, teachers, pastors or anyone else who brings positivity to your life and your pregnancy.
3. Continue Your Education
Just because you are a pregnant teenager doesn’t mean your education is any less important. You actually have several options to continue your education while pregnant.
4. Know Your Options for a Teenage Pregnancy
While the previous steps are necessary for all pregnant teenagers, this step is only applicable to women who are unsure if they are ready to parent.
Raising a child is one of the most important and challenging jobs around. An unplanned pregnancy is particularly challenging for young women because they don’t always have the resources to care for the child.
You must ask yourself: Am I ready for this responsibility? Do I have the necessary support of the father of my baby? Do I have the necessary support from my family? Do I even want to be a mother at this stage in my life?
These are questions that only you know the answers to.
If you are unsure about parenting as a teenager, or if you have already decided that you are not ready for this responsibility, know that adoption is always an option for a teenage pregnancy. Some women even consider abortion, but many choose adoption after they weigh the benefits of adoption over abortion.
Be sure to fully educate yourself about the challenges and benefits of both parenting and adoption before making a decision. And remember, this is your decision, and yours alone.
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