Our top tips!
- Seek prenatal care
For your peace of mind and for the health of you and your baby, seeking prenatal care is important. Having scans, blood tests and urine tests is essential in ensuring both you and baby are healthy.
Build a support network
Depending on your circumstances, you may or may not have the support of your parents. Either way, seeking support from friends, nurses, GPs, health visitors and birthing classes is highly beneficial.
Don’t ignore the situation
It may be tempting to pretend the situation doesn’t exist; however, it’s important to face it sooner rather than later. Confiding in your parents, making decisions and seeking prenatal care are all best done early on in the pregnancy.
I've found out that I'm pregnant... what do I do now?
Receiving news that you’re pregnant can trigger a mix of emotions. You may be excited, worried, anxious or angry. All of these feelings are valid, and it can be difficult to process them all.
You may be feeling concerned about telling your parents or friends about your situation, or about your education or job. Take a deep breath and try to stay calm; there are plenty of ways to get help and advice regarding the decision you need to make. Whatever your age, you can get free and confidential advice from:
- Your GP
- A local sexual health clinic
- NHS 111
If you are engaging in sexual activities with your partner or anyone else, and you are not ready for children yet, you should always make sure you are practising safe sex. Speaking to your GP about options is really important for both partners, and can include the use of condoms, the pill and other contraceptive methods. Remember, however, that these methods are often not 100% reliable and things can still go wrong if they aren’t used properly.
What about my education?
You can stay at school during your pregnancy, right up until the birth. You are the entitled to a maximum of 16 weeks of leave to prepare for the arrival of your baby, and then to recover and care for the baby. If you’re under 18, you still have to:
- Stay in full time education;
- Or start an apprenticeship;
- Or work or volunteer for while in part-time education
Colleges, universities, schools and apprenticeship employers aren’t allowed to treat you unfairly if you’re pregnant or have a child. If you have questions about the policies in place at your place of study, you should speak to a member of staff about your situation. You may be able to do so confidentially.
If you’re under 20, the Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study. Always take time to think about your education when you find out that you are pregnant. It is important to factor in whether you think you will be able to continue or whether you will need to defer or end your studies.
How can I find out more about my options?
Talking about your options with a friend or family member that you trust will be beneficial. It’s better to tell your family sooner, rather than later, so that they can help you out right from the start.
If this is your first child, then it’s fine to be scared – but your family have been through this before and will be able to give you support. If you opt to keep the baby, there are many services available to support your during pregnancy and once you’ve had your baby:
- Brook offers confidential advice if you’re under 25
- Family lives offers support for families, including young parents
- Tommy’s gives information during pregnancy
- Family Nurse may visit your home to support you from early pregnancy until your child is 2
- Shelter offers housing options and benefits for young parents
You can also speak to our mentors, who can talk through your options with you and point you towards resources that will help you to make informed decisions.
What are some of my options?
Keep the baby
If you feel like you are prepared and ready, this may be the best option for you. It is a totally reasonable option to go through with the pregnancy and keep the baby. If you choose this option, make sure you surround yourself with supportive people and reach out to them when you need to.
It is also a totally reasonable option to go through with the pregnancy, and review options of giving that child a better home at the end. There are so many prospective parents out there who are unable to have children of their own and would make very loving parents.
You have the right to make the decision to have an abortion, despite what anybody says. You should speak to a consultant as soon as possible. If you fear that you may be pregnant following an encounter, you can also take the morning after pill, which you can get from any pharmacy.
Thinking about the future
Whatever option you choose, you should feel empowered to make that decision for yourself. Try not to let others influence you to do something you don’t want to do, but always make sure you are thinking about the future: both your own future and the future of the baby.
I think I might need some help... what do I do?
Finding out that you are pregnant, especially when you are young, can be an incredibly stressful time and, regardless of how you are feeling, it is really important that you get help. This situation will not go away or get any easier until you reach out to someone who can help you out.
Speak to us
Finding out that you are pregnant can be really scary, and it is totally normal not to know what to do. After all, this is most probably your first time. Reaching out to someone is really important. If you are feeling unsure about who to talk too, come and speak to our friendly mentors.
Speak to family and friends
It is really important to have a support network around you both at the beginning and during your pregnancy. Reach out to your family and friends, inform them of what is going on and let them know how they can best provide you with support.
Speak to your GP
Whatever option you choose, whether you want to keep your baby or you want to have an abortion, it is really important to reach out to your GP. They will be able to tell you about your options in detail and refer you to any services you need.
How can I tell my parents?
Before approaching your parents, it can be helpful to plan what you’re going to say. You will also need to allow your parents time to process the information. Be prepared for their reaction. They may be upset, angry or happy. They may lecture you or use harsh words. It’s important to remember that their initial reaction isn’t necessarily indicative of how they will always feel. Most parents want to support their child, and many young people who find themselves pregnant are surprised by how supportive their parents are. Make sure you tell your parents that you understand their feelings.
Give your parents time to respond. Let them vent or yell if they need too. Share your feelings with your parents. If you’re scared or disappointed in yourself, tell them. If you’re excited, then tell them this too.
If you want, your nurse or GP can be there when you tell your parents. It may be helpful to have a friend or partner there with you too.
I don't want to keep the baby... does that make me a bad person?
The simple answer to this question is no.
You hear many different things on the internet and in the news about how different people view the topic of abortions. It is really important to remember that this is your body and your child, so it is your decision to make.
There are many reasons for people having abortions, and all of them are valid. Some of these reasons include:
- Not being ready for a child yet.
- It wouldn’t be safe to raise a child in the current environment.
- The child was conceived in an non-consensual situation.
- The pregnancy was unplanned despite the measures taken.
Regardless of your reason, if you feel that the best option for you is to have an abortion, this is totally acceptable and you should reach out to a consultant to discuss this further.