How To Have a Healthy Teen Pregnancy
Finding out that you’re pregnant sometimes comes as a surprise. Getting the news while you’re still a teenager (or the parent of one) can be downright shocking. While it may not be ideal timing, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure a healthy teen pregnancy.
I’m a Teenager and Just Found Out I’m Pregnant
- Take A Moment To Yourself. First of all, breathe. Yes, you’re probably feeling scared and anxious. Nervous about telling your parents, your significant other, and about what’s to come. These feelings are completely normal and you’re not alone. So if you’re feeling a little freaked out, take a moment to process the news.
- Get Prenatal Care. If you’re still not sure about what to do, that’s ok too. This is a big moment and it may take a while to wrap your head around the news. But regardless of how you decide to move forward, you need to schedule an appointment with an OB-GYN as soon as possible.
- Rehearse How You’re Going To Tell Your Parents. Yes, they may be upset, but at the end of the day, they are your parents and will still love you. They may even be more understanding than you think. Or they may be as shocked as you are. Either way, they will also need time to process the news. Give them time to let it sink in. If you think that due to their personality, religious beliefs, or propensity for violence, they may react in an unfavorable way, speak first with a trusted loved one (like an aunt, sister, or cousin) and ask them to be present for moral support. Or ask your OB-GYN for referrals to a support group or counselor who can help you.
- Tell Your Boyfriend. Talk to him about the news. And just as with yourself and your parents, he may need time to let it sink in. Even if his initial reaction is not what you hoped for, give it time. Once he gets used to the idea, he may have a different response. If you’re no longer together or if he wants nothing to do with the baby, legally speaking, he can still be held financially responsible.
- Take Prenatal Vitamins. Prenatal vitamins (such as folic acid and iron) are designed to help prevent birth defects as well as to keep you healthy throughout your pregnancy. Even if you’ve been taking vitamins, now your body needs enough for you and your baby. So take those designed to promote the proper development of your baby.
- Eat Healthy. Yes, nachos and tacos are great, and you can continue eating them. However, if you’ve been living on a diet consisting mostly of processed foods, now is the time to incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. There are plenty of recipes online to try. Look for meals that appeal to you and that you’ll look forward to eating long-term. Also, keep in mind that even though you’re eating for two, you don’t need to double the number of calories you’re eating. An additional 300 calories per day should be enough. 10 Foods to Avoid While Pregnant »
- Drink Lots Of Water. Healthy foods are nutrient dense, yet your body needs to stay hydrated to absorb them. If water gets boring, find creative ways to get enough fluids, such as eating more fruit, soup, or drinking tea.
- Attend Childbirth Classes. Attending childbirth classes will help ease some fears related to the big day, when you go into labor. You’ll learn about how to deal with the discomforts of pregnancy, what to expect during childbirth, as well as the realities of breastfeeding and being the mother of a baby. You’ll also meet other mothers-to-be who are experiencing the same things you are.
Medical Risks from Teenage Pregnancy
While there are many teenagers who have a successful, healthy pregnancy, it’s important to be aware that there are several risks associated with being a pregnant teen. These include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Premature Birth
- Low Birth Weight
- Postpartum Depression
- Difficulty forming a bond with the baby
Postpartum depression is even more likely for teenagers who live in low-income families or who have a history of child abuse.
The best way to prevent these risks from becoming a reality is to see your gynecologist on a regular basis.
What to Expect from a Teenage Pregnancy
Once you get used to the idea of having a baby, here are some of the things you can expect throughout your pregnancy:
- Morning Sickness. Nausea and vomiting are very common during pregnancy, especially at the beginning. And despite its name, it could occur at any time of the day. Some women feel it all the time, while for others it is triggered by certain smells. 5 Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness »
- Exhaustion. If you think you’ve experienced extreme fatigue before, get ready to feel it on a whole new level. Due to fluctuating hormones and the fact that your body is now working to nourish two people, you’ll feel more tired more often. Add to this the fact that as your belly grows, most sleeping positions become uncomfortable (sleep your side).
- Breast Tenderness. You know how your breasts can feel really sensitive right before your period? Pregnancy makes them even more tender. However, this gets better after the first trimester.
- Frequent Urination. Besides your body processing the extra water you are drinking to retain nutrients, your growing baby will put pressure on your bladder. So wherever you go, it’s good to know where the nearest restroom is located.
- Mood Swings. Fluctuating moods are a normal part of any teenager’s life. They are also a hallmark of pregnancy, so get ready for some intense emotional roller coaster rides. Getting enough sleep, exercising, and finding relaxing things to do will help alleviate some of these intense feelings. Go for a walk, learn how to meditate, read your favorite books, or take a nap. Prioritizing your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Try these: Six Deep Breathing Exercises to Reduce Anxiety »
Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for More Information
At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of services for all women. No matter your age, we’ll help you feel comfortable and answer all of your reproductive health-related questions.
Call us today to schedule an appointment.