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Parents of Pregnant Teens
Parents of pregnant teens may find themselves facing as much stress and concern as their own child. Parents of pregnant teens might think they are facing one of their worst nightmares. As a parent you understand the responsibility it is to raise a child.
One of the first steps parents of pregnant teens need to tackle is getting a handle on your emotions. You might already be passed this point, but many have an entire range of emotions to handle from rage and anger to sadness and despair. Reach out to family members and friends during this time to find that level of support you will need emotionally to be able to handle this. As the parent of a pregnant teen, you will most likely be experiencing some, if not most, of the emotional burden here. Your child will come to you for help and assistance during this time as most teens are in no way financially or emotionally ready to be a parent. From this experience, you know you will need to be their pillar of strength throughout the pregnancy. At this point, the primary role you will play is helping your pregnant teen prepare for child birth and to become a new mom. This is a huge burden to be given, which is why it is important to have a well of support during this time to help you out as well.
Tips for parents of pregnant teens:
The next step parents of pregnant teens have to face is to to help your teen examine their options. There are a couple different ways your teen could take their pregnancy including adoption, abortion or they could choose to have the baby and raise it. If they choose to go with the third option, they are going to need to know that you will be there to help them along the way. In some instances this may require financial support for both the mother and the baby. As a parent, you know and understand how expensive it can be to raise a baby. This is a burden you have to be willing to take on financially. If you cannot, it might be a good idea to help your teen look for resources like welfare, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and child support to help pay for the baby. For some teens, the father of the baby may not want to play a role in the baby's life. However, they are still legally financially responsible. This is something you should help your teen understand so they know their rights and know what kind of support they should expect to receive. However, many fathers have no problem being an active and willing participant in the birth and pregnancy process. It might be a good idea to include the father in these conversations.
Prepare for the baby:
There are so many steps you and your teen will have to take to prepare for this baby. The first step is to get medical treatment. Teen mothers are more likely to have high risk pregnancies so it is important to get the medical side taken care of first and foremost to ensure both the mother and the baby are healthy. Next, taking parenting classes or prenatal classes are a great idea as well. You can opt to take these with your teen for emotional support. These classes will help her learn to change, feed, burp, clothe, wrap and hold her baby. There are also lifestyle changes your teen is going to have to make including how they plan to finish school if they are still in high school or college. Unfortunately many teens drop out of school after giving birth. However, as a parent of a pregnant teen, you might be able to offer enough physical support so your teen can finish school. There are also many options that some schools have like daycare centers. Finishing school through online programs is also an option. Spend time with your teen looking at some of these options.
Another aspect to make sure and consider is that your teen will need to eat well and get an appropriate amount of vitamins. This goes along with getting quality and regularly scheduled prenatal care. Keeping your teen healthy is the best way to ensure a healthy delivery and a healthy baby and new mother. While your teen getting pregnant is obviously not an idea situation, being there for them as best you can is an invaluable resource in helping them to prepare to be a good parent to their new baby.
Sources: kidshealth.org, livestrong.com
Related Article: Parental Support of Pregnant Teens >>