Breaking the News to Your Parents
Perhaps one of the hardest parts of getting pregnant as a teen is telling your parents (and you will have to tell them at some point). Speak with the father of your child to see if he is willing to be there with you when you tell your parents. Be willing to do the same for him when he tells his parents. If you think it will be easier, you might want to tell one parent first and then let them tell the other or be there with you when you break the news.
You could also write your parents a letter. Tell them you really want and need their support right now. Obviously, you don't want your parents to freak out, but understand that they probably will. Give them a chance to absorb the news and then talk with them calmly. Explain what happened, whether you made the mistake of not using birth control or you used birth control but it didn't work. If you've made a choice about your pregnancy, tell them about your decision and explain how you came to that conclusion. Listen to any objections that they might have. They might raise a point that you hadn't thought of.
If you have decided to become a parent, your parents will probably be very concerned since you are still a child yourself (at least to them). They do have a right to be concerned. It is well known that teen mothers are at a significant disadvantage in society compared with women who become mothers later in life.
Babies born to teen mothers tend to have a lower birth weight, have a higher risk of suffering from abuse or neglect and tend to perform poorly in school. Only a small number of teen mothers are likely to complete high school and even fewer will go on to higher education. Teen mothers are also more likely to end up on welfare.
But just because these statistics exist, doesn't mean you have to become part of it. There are teen mothers who have gone on to success, through hard work, determination, and a strong support system. And it's not only your parents who can offer you support. Other family members might be able to help you out along with some of your friends.
Also, check out what your community has to offer. There may be special organizations or services designed to help out teen mothers. Check to see if any high schools near you offer daycare services that would allow you to go to school and have your baby nearby. You could also check to see if there are any schools that are specifically geared towards teen mothers.
Being pregnant when you are a teenager can be very scary. Don't be afraid to ask for help whether it is from your parents, your friends, your partner, or from a community organization. Remember, there's a reason for the saying "It takes a village to raise a child."
Helpful Phone Resources
In the United States:
Planned Parenthood: 1-800-230-PLAN to find the nearest clinic
National Adoption Information Clearinghouse: 1-888-251-0075
Independent Adoption Center: 1-800-877-6736
NARAL Pro-Choice America: www.naral.org for detailed information about state laws regarding abortion
Children's Aid Society: www.childrensaidsociety.org or call (212)949-4800 for more information about adoption and foster care options
Planned Parenthood: www.ppfc.ca to find the nearest Planned Parenthood chapter
Adoption Council of Canada: 1-888-542-3678
International Planned Parenthood Federation: www.ippf.org lists its entire affiliated offices worldwide, on every continent
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