If you’re a teen who thinks you might be pregnant, you might not know how to get the answers you need. What do you do? Who do you tell? What help is available for teen pregnancy?
In 2017, 194,377 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years old in the U.S. Although higher than many other industrialized countries, the U.S. pregnancy rate, birth rate, and abortion rate have all decreased significantly since the pregnancy rate peaked in 1990. Despite the decline, many young women your age still feel pressure to have sex before they’re ready and consider themselves totally unprepared for pregnancy, parenting…or even making a pregnancy decision.
But right now, you need to know if you’re really pregnant and, if so, what to do once your pregnancy is confirmed.
Here are some possible pregnancy symptoms.
AM I PREGNANT?
If you’ve recently had sex, you may be concerned that you are pregnant. Symptoms can start as soon as your baby is conceived, while some women don’t notice changes for several weeks.
Here are some of the most reported symptoms of early pregnancy:
- Late or missed period
- Tender or swollen breasts
- More frequent urination
- Nausea and vomiting
- Food cravings or aversions
- Darkening of nipples
IF YOU THINK YOU’RE PREGNANT…
What should you do if you notice one or more of those signs? The first thing many women do is buy an over-the-counter home pregnancy test.
If the home pregnancy test shows a positive result, you may feel a range of emotions. Or you may be numb. Most pregnant teens feel scared and uncertain…unsure of who to talk to and what to do next.
In this article, we have some helpful tips for dealing with an unexpected pregnancy.
#1: Slow Down
If your pregnancy is confirmed, you likely already know you have some difficult decisions to make…for yourself and for your baby.
Not all these decisions need to be made immediately. But some need your careful attention now. It’s time to slow down and gather accurate, unbiased information. In the case of an unplanned teenage pregnancy, it is important to give yourself the time and space you need to make an informed decision without pressure. It is not a time for quick decisions.
#2: Identify a Support Person
Seek out a trusted person to talk to. It could be a parent, teacher, friend, or a leader in your faith community. At Legacy Pregnancy Center, we provide free support for teenage mothers and couples, including mentoring to answer your questions and get you the help you need now. How do you decide who to trust?
- Talk to someone who will listen well and keep your situation confidential
- Find someone who will not pressure you into a particular decision
- Seek out someone with unbiased information, or who will refer you to resources for this information
- Turn to someone who has no financial stake in your decision
#3: Confirm Your Pregnancy
A positive home pregnancy test may be accurate, but it must be confirmed to receive helpful pregnancy counseling and prenatal care. So, schedule a free, confidential pregnancy test by contacting Legacy. To confirm the accuracy of your home results, we provide lab-quality tests and ultrasound at no cost.
#4: Tell Your Parents
In the case of an unplanned pregnancy, you may be frightened of what others will think…especially your parents.
If you aren’t sure what to say, or how to respond to their questions and concerns, we will give you accurate information and emotional support to guide you through this difficult conversation.
While scary at first, most pregnant teenagers find that their parents want to help. You need a strong support system as you navigate important decisions and prepare for the short- and long-term effects of your pregnancy. You were probably shocked and disappointed when you first found out (and they may be also) but the intensity of these feelings usually lessens.
WHAT’S YOUR NEXT STEP?
You have three choices when faced with a pregnancy:
To make your decision, you need accurate, unbiased information on all three options. At Legacy, we have many years of experience providing teen pregnancy help. We are here to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide the information you need to make a choice you’ll feel good about.
We understand this is a difficult time in your life, and that’s why we’re here to provide the compassionate support and care you need and deserve.