You’re 15, pregnant, and alone. The next nine months is just the beginning of the biggest challenge in your teenage life. It’s already hard being a teen and now with a baby along the way and with no one to help you; you may feel like it’s hard to bear it all. But losing hope is the last thing that you need. Learn how to turn your life for the good even if you got into early teen pregnancy.
Teen pregnancy is a harsh reality in the society today. Aside from the physical burden that comes along with being pregnant, there are still so much hardships that a teen pregnant mom will go through. Among these is the emotional roller coaster during and after giving birth; the financial challenge all throughout the pre-natal, post-natal and child-rearing period; and the social stigma that the teenage mom may face from same-age kids, adults, and the society as a whole.
The Many Challenges of Teenage Pregnancy
- Health Risks to Teenage Mom: Pregnant teens may face a lot of complications and risks. They may have problems with being under nourished because of insufficient nutrients and supplement vitamins. They may also still engage in unhealthy and dangerous habits such as smoking, drinking, and substance abuse. Giving birth may also be a problem such as enduring longer hours of labor, premature labor, and even death.
- Health Risks to The Baby: Babies born by teen mothers are most likely to be underweight. Along with low birth weight, the baby may also have underdeveloped organs such as the lungs and the heart. They may also have problems with controlling body functions such as body temperature and blood sugar. There is also risk of developing mental retardation. There is also a greater risk of infancy death with babies born of young, teenage mothers.
- Emotional Haywire: From the day that a 15 year old girl confirms her pregnancy until the day she gives birth, her emotions will be in unpredictable and uncontrollable. Depression may set in as the teenage mom deals with all the emotions all at the same time. Especially when a teenage mom has to deal with being left by the baby daddy to face the pregnancy alone or where there are totally unsupportive parents, the emotions of a teenage mom may be at its lowest for most of the time.
- Financial Incapability: A pregnant teen is not of the right age to secure a stable job thus is yet another setback and challenge that she has to face. The cost of monthly check-ups, healthy food, and supplemental pre-natal medications is just a few of the financial concerns during pregnancy. The cost of giving birth and ultimately raising the child and provide for his or her basic needs is the bigger challenge to a financially incapable teen mom.
- Social Pressure: A pregnant teen mom may have to shy away from High School friends who are continuing their teenage life of parties, proms, dates, and more while the teen mom has to start growing up. She may have to need to quit school entirely because of the fear of being unaccepted in general.
But you will always have the choice and the power to make your pregnancy bearable and raising a child alone the best experience of your life instead. Know that there are more positive things that can come out of your teen pregnancy. It will surely be a hard road ahead of you but you can pull it through if you just believe in yourself and set all your priorities straight not only for yourself but for that little one coming along.
How to Move Forward with Your Early Pregnancy
- Own up to your pregnancy and the responsibility that comes along with it: Going on with the pregnancy and dealing with all the consequences of it may just be a task that falls in your own hands especially when your boyfriend leaves you or your family disowns you. You made your choice of keeping the baby now and it is all up to you to face every little responsibility that comes along with your pregnancy.
- Take good care of your health and your unborn baby’s health, too: To ensure a safe pregnancy, go for regular monthly check ups during your pregnancy. Eat right and stay out of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. By making yourself healthy, you are also keeping the baby healthy. You don’t really want to end up dead in the hospital room nor would you want to lose your baby.
- Don’t let your negative emotions get to you: It is hard to deal with the confusing emotions that you may have about being pregnant. But remember that you need to draw strength from within you and also through the unborn child in you. Facing the pregnancy with feelings of helplessness and depression is not going to help you during your pregnancy.
- Seek professional assistance and help: Should there really be no boyfriend, friends, or family to support you through the pregnancy, check your local community centers for shelter or programs which support pregnant teens. Ask help from your church leader or even non-government agencies which can help you during and after pregnancy.
- Believe that getting pregnant and giving birth at a young age is a huge preparation for even tougher days of your life: Your pregnancy is the start of a whole new life for you and your little one. It is not an easy road and most of the times you may feel like giving up. But have faith in yourself that no matter how hard and challenging teenage pregnancy is, you will be able to make it through with a more positive attitude, confidence in yourself, and your dreams for yourself and your baby.
Teenage pregnancy is not as easy and glamorous as what other teen moms (especially on reality TV) may imply it to be. It is a scary and tough happening in a teen’s life. But you have the biggest choice to make between causing destruction to yourself and the baby even more or being sensible enough this time around to turn this pregnancy into something more favorable and easier for you. You made the choice of keeping the baby, alone or not, the task of keeping the baby healthy and alive will come naturally to mothers, no matter what age they may be. But it all begins with one good choice and a set of feasible plans for yourself and your little one.