Finding out that your teenage daughter has gotten pregnant can create a scary situation for both you and her. Don’t overreact when you get the news; you need to stay calm and be supportive so that she doesn’t get the urge to run away from the situation.
Knowing what to do when you get the news can make handling things properly a bit easier. Here are a few key tips to ensure that your daughter’s teenage pregnancy is as easy as possible for both of you to handle.
Take Your Daughter to the Doctor
You first need to make sure that your daughter really is pregnant. There are times when stress, hormones, body changes, or even an eating disorder can cause teenagers to not have a period. If your daughter simply thinks that she’s pregnant because she hasn’t gotten her period, there’s a chance that she isn’t and simply has a different health issue going on that needs to be addressed.
When you’re at the doctor, be sure to let him or her know what the situation is and ask for your daughter to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, as well as pregnancy. If she thinks there’s a chance that she’s pregnant, there’s also a chance that she may have contracted a disease when she had unprotected sex.
Many sexually transmitted diseases can cause a baby to become ill, birth defects, and even death. Treating the diseases as quickly as possible is important.
Make Sure Your Daughter Isn’t Doing Drugs
The next thing you need to do is to have your daughter take a drug test. You can ask the doctor to administer one to her or even buy one over the counter if you want it to be a more discreet situation. You need to let your daughter know that using drugs while pregnant could jeopardize her and her baby’s health. If she is using drugs, get her professional help to help her stop using the drugs as quickly as possible.
Discuss What Options Are Available
It’s ultimately up to your daughter to decide what steps she wants to take if she’s pregnant. You can’t force her to do anything that she isn’t comfortable with doing, but it’s important to help make sure that she’s properly informed before she decides about which option she feels is best.
You may want to offer to take her to an adoption center to learn more about adoption. If abortion is an idea she is mulling over, you may want to take her to an abortion clinic so that she can talk to a doctor about what the procedure really entails; there are some teens who are uninformed about what really takes place during an abortion. Impress upon her that whatever decision she makes, she is the person who has to live with the decision.
Be Calm and Supportive at All Times
If your daughter chooses to have the baby, you need to be calm and try to be as supportive as you can be at all times. Going through pregnancy during her teenage years presents unique issues for your daughter to handle. She will more than likely be ridiculed at school, have friends turn their back on her, and there is a good chance that the father may claim that the baby isn’t his.
These are all difficult things for someone to go through as adults, and as a teenager, it can be even more difficult. Standing by your daughter and loving her as much as you can during a hard time is important. She needs to know that you love and support her no matter what.
Regular conversations with your daughter about what is going on in her life are important. She needs to be able to express what she is feeling and how everything is impacting her. This provides you with the opportunity to give advice that can make handling the craziness a bit easier for her.
Take Parenting Classes with Your Daughter
If your daughter wants to keep the baby and raise it, parenting classes are important. Consider taking them with her so that she feels more comfortable and at ease about the situation. Going into a parenting class as a teen will be intimidating and being having someone they’re comfortable with during the class will give her peace of mind. She will feel comfortable that she’s doing things properly when she tries the techniques taught by the instructor.
Ensure Your Daughter Goes to Birthing Classes
Being prepared to give birth is essential. Going to birthing classes will help her learn what to expect when she gives birth. She needs to know that it’s not like what she sees in the movies. When she goes into the birthing classes, she’ll need a coach to support her—you can be that coach to her. This can serve as a great bonding experience between you and your daughter, as well.
Help Your Daughter Make Healthy Food Choices
Cravings are common during pregnancy, but in order to have the best pregnancy health that she can possibly have, your daughter needs to make sure that she eats foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and avoid food that she shouldn’t eat while pregnant.
There are often some foods that she won’t be able to eat because they’ll make her nauseous; try to find other foods that have the same vitamins and minerals in them for her to eat. This way she still gets the nutrition that she and the baby need, without having to eat food that doesn’t taste good to her at the moment.
Pregnancy is hard regardless of how old or young someone is. There are so many changes that take place during this time that it can be overwhelming for many people. Knowing that she has a family who supports her can make the journey into motherhood a bit easier for your daughter.
No matter which option she chooses in the end, you need to be supportive of her decision so that she can feel at peace that she is making the best decision for her and her unborn child.