Getting Real about Teenage Pregnancies
I am given to flippancy, or fun light-heartedness. But the topic of teenage pregnancies is difficult to approach from that viewpoint. As a doula and prenatal educator, I have had many close encounters with teen pregnancy stories.
Let me tell you, this really can rock the very foundation of family relationships, and creates heartbreak and upheaval. Yet, teenage pregnancies are the beginning of a life, not the end of it.
How can you help, really help a teen mom find her way? see also :Discussing the Effects of Teen Pregnancy
Getting Past Morals of Teenage Pregnancies
It is not my job to pass judgment. I am not here to debate the various virtues of chastity before marriage, or the distribution of one contraceptive or another. When a teenage girl finds out she is pregnant the time for this debate has passed anyway, so why muddy the waters?
That being said, it is not really your job to stand on your soap box and preach morals either.
What you can do as a teen’s mom, the grandparent to be, a friend or a concerned neighbor is get the facts and lend a listening ear to offer real and much needed guidance and hands on help.
Teen moms need compassion, good advice and a solid support system working to ensure their success!
The Teen Mom
As a teen mom you probably feel scared, alone, uncertain and perhaps even a little bit angry. This is normal. The best thing you can do is to tell someone.
Telling someone can be difficult. There is no way to predict how your baby’s father will react. And most teens have envisioned the horrific scene of hysterics that they think will erupt after telling mom or dad.
Yet, you can’t keep this a secret. The choice of whom you tell first is yours alone to make, but here is a bit of advice: Tell someone who is in a position to really help.
Your BFF probably isn’t that person and neither is your boyfriend. Neither of these individuals have had any more experience with pregnancy than you have.
What you need is an adult you can trust to get you real answers and support.
Hopefully, your parents fit this bill. If they don’t, or you just can’t force yourself to face them alone, think about other adults in your life who will be there for you: a teacher and the school counselor are both trained to help girls in your situation. Other adults that can help are a trusted neighbor, a church minister, an aunt or an uncle.
You may not choose to tell your parents or another adult first, but if you do they will be able to help guide you through the process of telling everyone else, including the father for example.
Beyond the immediate challenges of letting the proverbial cat out of the bag there are more challenges ahead like pregnancy, childbirth, getting an education while caring for a baby, parenthood and so on.
The Teen Dad
The biggest bomb anyone could drop on a teenaged boy is the untimely announcement of his impending fatherhood.
He may not react well to the news at first. Teen boys can react in a variety of ways, each being normal. The first is denial. The level of denial can be so deep that this father to be will deny paternity, blaming other boys, insulting the girl and demanding proof of fatherhood.
It is up to the teen mother, hopefully with the guidance of her parents, as to how she will handle this eventuality.
Give him time to digest the news, and chances are he will come around.
In the end, most teen fathers get over the shock and try to support their babies. The support a teen father has to offer is often very limited. As a teen himself, the daddy to be is without an established career, a higher education or the prospect of gaining these things any time soon.
You are however, now tied genetically together for the baby’s sake. In the end all that matters is that the mom and dad to be are able to get along together to make the most beneficial decisions for the baby, whatever those decisions might be. see also :Teen Pregnancy Rates on the Rise!