Take a deep breath. Stay calm. Being pregnant as a teen doesn't mean your life is over. It just means you'll have to make some adjustments.
Tell your parents
It's a scary conversation, but the sooner you do it, the easier it'll be. Your parents will be able to give you advice on what you should be doing during your pregnancy to keep your baby safe, help you find a doctor, and help get you ready to be a parent. If your parents are abusive or not supportive, try to find a family friend or trusted adult that can be your ally.
- Tips for the Talk
Talk to a friend
If you're afraid to tell your parents, try telling another family member or a friend first. It can be helpful to have an ally for difficult conversations.
Take your time
This is going to be a long talk. Don't tell your parents right before you leave for school or work. Make sure you have a chance to sit down with them and really talk about what's going on and how you feel about it.
Bring your partner
If you're both there when you talk to your parents, you'll be able to support each other. It'll also reassure your parents that you both understand that the baby is your responsibility.
It's your baby
Remember, it's your baby. That means it's your choice whether you decide to parent your child or whether you decide to go the adoption route. Give everyone some time to calm down before you start to talk about what you want to do.
This isn't a one-time conversation. Keep talking to your parents about how you're feeling, what you're thinking, and what kind of support you might need. Even if they were angry or disappointed in you when you first told them, most parents do want to support their daughter or son during a pregnancy.
The most important thing you can do for your baby right now is to stay healthy.
Find a doctor
You're going to see your doctor a lot during your pregnancy – and we mean a lot. So it's important to find someone you like and trust. You can ask your parents, friends, and family for recommendations. Or you can visit our health center locator to find a low-cost health center near you.
Your doctor will probably suggest you start taking some vitamins, and she'll give you a lot of other advice on what to do and what not to do during your pregnancy. If you have any questions make sure you ask. They've seen and heard everything, so don't feel embarrassed!
Text4baby is a great resource for you and for your family. These free text messages remind you about your doctor's appointments, give you tips on how to deal with things like morning sickness, and keep you updated on how your baby's growing. Your friends and family can even sign up and get messages that will help them understand what you're going through and how to support you.
It doesn't matter if it's your first pregnancy or if you already have kids, every parent needs some help to succeed.
You don't have to do it alone.
There are a lot of programs out there to help you succeed.
- Temporary Assistances for Need Families
- SNAP/Food Stamp Program
- Women and Infant Care (WIC)
- Daycare vouchers
Know your rights
There are laws that help pregnant teens stay in school and get access to resources to help them.
- Your Rights
Stay in school
No one can make you go to a special school or do home-school just because you're pregnant. You can choose to do a different program, but make sure the classes and other activities are just as good as they were in your old school.
Stay in your class
You can stay in all your regular classes while you're pregnant. If a teacher tries to tell you you can't be there, talk to your principal, your parents, or another trusted adult. Remember, your education is even more important now that you have a baby on the way and there are people who will help you reach your goals.
Take time off for your health
You're going to have to take some time off while you're pregnant and after you deliver your baby. If your doctor says you have to stay home, those days should be excused. Your school has to let you make up all the work you missed when you were out.
You can still join any clubs or other activities you want. The school can't ask you for a doctor's note before you join unless they have the same rules for everyone. For example, lots of schools ask students to get a note from a doctor before they play sports.
Lots of schools have special services for students with a temporary disability. You have the right to those services as long as you're pregnant. Ask your guidance counselor or another trusted adult what you can expect.
Just because you're pregnant or are a parent doesn't mean anyone has the right to bully you. If you feel like you're being bullied or threated, talk to your principal, guidance counselor, or another trusted adult.
Looking for an easy way to learn about your pregnancy and how to care for your baby? Text4baby is a free text messaging service that will give you updates on your pregnancy, remind you about your doctor's appointments and more.