Teen pregnancy can be a difficult time for teenagers. Many of those who find themselves pregnant panic because they worry about how to tell their friends, parents and peers. There is also still a lot of stigma attached to being a pregnant teenager and, amongst other things, those teenagers who find themselves pregnant will inevitably find their education disrupted to some extent.
The symptoms of teen pregnancy are the same as for any pregnancy, although surprisingly many teenagers don't realise this. Very often a pregnant teenager will try to hide her pregnancy and may even be in denial that she is pregnant at all, putting down the early symptoms of pregnancy and her changing body shape to other things.
If you think a teenager you know may be pregnant it is important you approach the subject carefully. She may become very emotional or withdrawn and may even panic if she feels threatened by someone guessing her secret. Try not to get angry. Anger will not help and will only make the girl who is pregnant withdraw into herself even more. It is important to keep a level head and to consider everything you say very carefully. Try not to make rash judgements or become accusatory. Instead, explain that you will do all you can to help her and be there for her.
Like any pregnant woman, a teenager who is pregnant will need to see her GP or visit her family planning clinic to have her pregnancy confirmed. If she isn't pregnant, she will need to discuss contraception. If she is pregnant, she will need to discuss her antenatal care, nutritional needs and birth options. Many pregnant teenagers are also offered counselling and help with breaking the news to family.
Financially there are benefits available for some pregnant teenagers, although this very much depends on your age.
Pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding support is also available from several government and voluntary organisations.
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