Are you concerned that you might be pregnant? If you’re a teen coping with a possible unplanned pregnancy, you may not be sure who to talk to or how to get answers to your questions. You might be wondering what to do and who to tell.
Did you know that more than 270,000 babies were born to girls ages 15 to 19 in 2013? Like many young women your age, you were likely encouraged – and even pressured – into having sex before you were ready, with no one willing to talk with you about the many risks involved. As a result, the United States records a much higher rate of teen births than other industrialized nations like Canada and the United Kingdom.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through some of the symptoms that may indicate a possible pregnancy, what to do if you think you’re pregnant, and what to do once your pregnancy is confirmed.
Am I Pregnant?
If you’ve recently had sex, you may be concerned that you might be pregnant. Symptoms can start as soon as your baby is conceived, while some women don’t notice any changes for several weeks.
Here are some of the most commonly reported symptoms of early pregnancy:
Late or missed period
Tender or swollen breasts
More frequent urination
Nausea and vomiting
Lightheadedness or fainting
Food cravings or aversions
Darkening of nipples
If You Think You’re Pregnant
What do you do if you notice one or more of the above symptoms? The first thing many women do is purchase an over-the-counter home pregnancy test from their local drug store, grocery store, or mass retailer.
If your home pregnancy test shows a positive result, you will experience a range of emotions. You may be scared of what comes next for you, unsure who to talk to, and uncertain over what to do next.
Here are some helpful tips for dealing with your situation.
If your pregnancy is confirmed, you likely already know you will have some difficult decisions to make – for yourself and for your baby.
This is the 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 undue 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 Mosaic Health, we also provide free support for teenage mothers, including counseling to answer your questions and provide information. How do you decide who to turn to?
Talk to someone who will listen confidentially
Find someone who will not pressure you into one decision or the other
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 in order to begin receiving pregnancy counseling and prenatal care. You can schedule a free, confidential pregnancy test by contacting Mosaic Health. We provide lab-quality tests that will confirm whether your home test results were accurate.
#4: Tell Your Parents
In the case of an unplanned pregnancy, you are likely afraid 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 are eager 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.
What’s the 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 Mosaic Health, we have many years of experience providing teen pregnancy help. We are here to listen to your concerns, answer all of 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.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). About Teen Pregnancy. Accessed from http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm.