The Importance of Supporting Your Pregnant Teen
If you have a teenage child who is expecting their own baby, then you can do a lot to support their health through all of this. Pregnant teenagers need additional care while carrying a child and during early parenting. Do all you can to arrange for support and services experienced in the care of pregnant teenagers.
How You Feel About Your Teen Getting Pregnant
When you first find out your teenage kid is about to become a mother, you might feel many different things. Disappointment, anger, shock, and concern are all normal emotions. You might even feel regret that you didn’t prevent this, and worry over what people will think is certainly understandable.
Alternatively, you might also feel joy. Becoming a grandparent might be something you wanted, even if you were hoping for it years later.
Mixed feelings are typical, and your feelings might change as the birth comes closer on the calendar. Even if your feelings don’t change, they’re important. However, there will be times you need to set your feelings aside so you can focus on your teenage child and support them.
If you want to maintain a good relationship with your kid, then you’ll need to find the right time to talk about your feelings with them. In the end, support for a pregnant teenager will ultimately change their life.
Your Child’s Feelings Regarding Pregnancy
Your child will likely have their own mixed feelings regarding pregnancy and parenthood. Those feelings are likely to also be intense.
If the pregnancy was planned, then your child might actually be excited about parenting. However, an unplanned pregnancy could leave your child concerned about letting you know because of how you might feel. There can also be concerns over what extended family, as well as the community at large, might feel about all of this.
Young individuals who turn into parents earlier than societal norms often go through judgment from many people around them. Your child can cope better if they know they can rely on you for support through all of this.
Your child is unlikely to know what sort of support can help them during pregnancy. However, you can stimulate thinking if you ask ‘What could we do together right now to help you?’ That will get your child talking about what kind of support they need.
Encourage both teen parents to explore the support and wellness options available to them through their health care team, educational system, or house of worship.
Teen Pregnancy Care and Choices
Teen girls 18 and under need extra care while they are pregnant, and this continues into their actual parenting. Since their bodies are still going through growth and development of their own, they have particular health concerns along with fragile emotions.
The faster your pregnant daughter gets prenatal care, the better the odds are for a healthy pregnancy. This starts with seeing her doctor for pregnancy confirmation and routine health checks. She’ll likely need to schedule more appointments and tests in the following months.
Talk to her doctor about specific educational, financial, emotional, and physical needs. Look for specific services and professionals who know how to care for pregnant teens, including other doctors, mental health professionals, midwives, dietitians, social workers, and counselors.
Also, start looking for birth classes. These are useful for parents-to-be of all ages, and they cover early parenting, support services, breastfeeding, birth, and labor. Many hospitals have them, and some run special sessions just for teen parents. Look into private lessons if your child doesn’t feel comfortable going into a class.
Balance Support and Privacy
You’re probably still legally responsible for the welfare of your daughter. Yet, she’s also about to turn into a parent. Anytime your daughter has private conversations with health professionals, that can be good practice for the time when she is responsible for the health of her baby and herself.
It’s also smart for your daughter to have a conversation early on with her partner about their level of involvement, along with their own parents, in terms of prenatal care and birth. Understand what their own needs and boundaries are.
Your pregnant teen is going through quite a few feelings and changes. Always keep in mind that pregnancy is different from one week to the next so you can help her in coping with all of this.
Things Pregnant Teens Need to Do
When your teenager is pregnant, there are a number of do’s and don’ts that need to be followed:
- Eat healthy through both pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Don’t skip meals
- Avoid intense exercise
- Don’t use weight-loss supplements
- Don’t smoke
- Avoid drinking and drug use
The expecting father or partner should also do many of these in order to set a good example for the teen mother and support her healthy lifestyle.
Education Is Important
Even adults who become expecting parents have to learn a lot about all of this. Help your teen learn all they can. Also, make sure they stay in school so this pregnancy doesn’t derail their own education in general.