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Help for Pregnant Teens
There is a lot of available help for pregnant teens, learn how to find help for pregnant teens in your area. Read more about other issues pregnant teenagers face such as health, education, parenting skills, and other life skills that are unique to pregnant teens.
Pregnant teens have to make decisions that will create a good life for themselves and their baby, and they can find help in making those decisions. A teen who is pregnant or thinks she may be pregnant should see a doctor as soon as possible. She should also see a social worker or other professional counselor to talk about the emotional aspects of teen pregnancy and the options for her future. When possible, teens should talk to their parents about getting help for pregnant teens and their situation.
Pregnant teen health
Help for pregnant teens starts with taking good care of their health. This includes:
It is very important for pregnant teens to find someone they trust to talk to about their situation because they have many decisions to make. If possible, pregnant teens should tell their parents that they are pregnant. Parents of pregnant teens should talk calmly to their teens about their situation, and express their feelings about the choices the teen has to make.
Education and decision making skills
Teens will need to make a decision about what to do with their future and their baby’s future. Most pregnant teens choose to raise their baby themselves, though this is challenging for many teens. Parents, doctors, social workers, religious leaders, and other trusted adults can help teens in this important decision. In addition to the people above, a marriage counselor can help pregnant teens who choose to marry the baby’s father, and an adoption agency can help a teen who wants to put her baby up for adoption.
Getting education and training in parenting skills, job skills, and life skills such as managing money are an important part of getting help for pregnant teens, as well as to the well being of a pregnant teen and her baby.
Some high schools will allow pregnant teens and teen parents to continue their regular education, or offer special classes for pregnant teens or teen parents. Teen parents can also take classes for their GED, or adult education or job training classes. Local school districts or school administrators can help pregnant teens find out what their educational options are. Getting an education greatly improves a teen’s chances of getting a good job, and opens up opportunities for the teen and her baby to have a better life.
In addition to an education, pregnant teens need other types of training:
These skills help pregnant teens be good parents and manage their lives better. Many government and community groups provide programs to help teens complete their education, get their GED, or be involved in life and job skills training courses. The classes that are available and who offers them varies by location, but a social worker or contact in the city or county offices can help teen parents find out what classes and programs are available in their area.
Teens need affordable, reliable childcare to continue their education or enter the work force. If parents are not supportive of pregnant teens or are unable to help with childcare, a school counselor or social worker may be able to help teens find a local program to help them with child care while they pursue their education and life and job training skills.
Teen parents often live with other family members, but in some cases this is not safe for the teen or her baby. In these situations, there are group homes that provide a safe place for pregnant teens and teen parents. A counselor or social worker can help teens find a safe place to stay in their area if they cannot live in a family member’s home. Teen mothers escaping abusive relationships at home or with a boyfriend may need to live at a special safe location set up for abused women. Police officers can help find a safe place to stay for teens who think that they or their babies may be in danger. Teens who feel they are in danger should not hesitate to ask for help.
U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, Adolescent Pregnancy [online]
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, A National Strategy to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Annual Report 1997-1998, June 1998 [online]
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Medical Library, Tool Kit for Teen Care: Pregnancy Options for Adolescents [online]
Nemours Foundation, KidsHealth for Parents, When Your Teen is Having a Baby [online]
Ithaca Pregnancy Center, Information and FAQs [online]
WebMD.com, Women’s Health: Abortion
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