LIFE AFTER TEENAGE PREGNANCY

•    LIFE AFTER TEENAGE PREGNANCY

Teenage Pregnancy – The Reality
Although it is an extremely difficult situation for a teen to deal with a teenage pregnancy, current statistics reveal that approximately 10% of girls 19 and under do get pregnant. 

It is a beautiful and exciting thing for a baby to be created, yet it can be a frightening and uncertain time for a teen who was not planning to become pregnant. Many girls are terrified to tell their parents they are pregnant, while others have highly irresponsible or abusive parents who are absolutely not a refuge or resource for their pregnant teenager. 

There have been numerous cases, where the teenage couple thought they were in love and believed they would get married someday. Before the pregnancy, the boy may tell her he loves her and seemed like a like a great guy the whole time they were dating, but he wouldn’t have anything more to do with her after she told him she was pregnant and, to make matters even worse, he will sometimes deny that he is the father of the child. 

Unfortunately, most times the biological father is often uninterested in marriage or fatherhood, and the teen mother-to-be is abandoned, while he continues to enjoy life as nothing happened.
Teenage girls have the most to lose during that time. If as a teenage girl you become pregnant, the following are some options that are available to you

(i) abortion;

(ii) adoption;

(iii) carrying the child to term.

Whatever option you choose, it should be done with great care.
For tonight’s program we will be concentrating on option

(iii) carrying the child to term.

Once you realize that you are pregnant whether you have already made your decision, or are still considering what to do about your teenage pregnancy and the child you are carrying, you may be feeling angry, depressed, guilty, ashamed, or hopeless. You may also feel that your innocence is gone and there is no way for your life to be made whole again. If you are experiencing any of these feelings, please know that there is hope:
Should you decide to keep the baby:

Seek Assistance

Many organizations help pregnant teenagers with everything from education to prenatal care. You can start with your local Department of Health or Department of Human Services for assistance. Many local churches also offer services to teenagers who become pregnant. For example, each state has the WIC (Women, Infants, Children) program for low income families. The WIC program provides supplemental foods designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk. WIC food packages and nutrition education are the chief means by which WIC affects the dietary quality and habits of participants. http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/default.htm

Get Proper Prenatal Care

The increased risk for complications makes prenatal care a priority for pregnant teens. Routine prenatal appointments allow the health care provider to monitor the baby’s progress. Potential problems in the pregnancy are diagnosed earlier when they are easier to manage. Taking care of your body through proper nutrition, prenatal vitamins and exercise increases your chances of a healthy baby.
Take Classes
Childbirth and parenting classes prepare teen mothers for the challenges they will face. Childbirth classes teach teen moms what to expect during the process. The classes teach basic baby care, which is essential to help the baby grow properly. Parenting classes provide strategies for handling the baby at various stages. Classes are often offered free at hospitals and other birthing facilities.
Accept Help
Accepting help from parents, family members and friends eases the struggles of being a teenage parent. A break from caring for your baby gives you a chance to rest or spend a little time by yourself. The break is often refreshing and allows you to be a better parent for your baby.
Being a teenage mother does not mean that you have to be a dropout from school. While it is very tough, there are lots of programs that take care of teenage moms.

Here is an example:

http://journalism.nyu.edu/publishing/archives/pavement/in/high-school-haven-gives-teen-mothers-a-fighting-chance/index.html

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