About teenage pregnancy
Your feelings about being pregnant in your teens
- telling your parents or carers, family and friends about the pregnancy
- being judged for being pregnant in your teens
- staying healthy during pregnancy and keeping your baby growing well
- continuing your education or work
- having enough money and finding a home
- being a good parent.
Or you might not be sure whether you want to have a baby and be a parent at all.
No matter what and how you’re feeling, it might help to know that many pregnant teenagers feel the same way.
You can get guidance and information from pregnancy and early parenting support services. These services include Brave Foundation, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, Core of Life, Parenting helplines and hotlines and Healthdirect Australia.
Telling your parents or carers about your pregnancy
It’s a good idea to tell your parents or carers or another trusted adult like an aunt that you’re pregnant. These people can give you emotional and practical support. For example, they can help you:
- work through any strong or new emotions
- get the pregnancy information you need
- find out about and organise your pregnancy care.
They can also come with you to antenatal appointments if you’d like this.
It’s natural to feel worried about telling your parents or carers about the pregnancy. Here are tips to help things go well:
- Ask someone you trust to be there when you tell your parents. This person could be a close friend or the father of your baby.
- Try to pick a time when you and your parent have time to talk without being interrupted.
- Organise to talk in a safe, comfortable place. This might be at home or in a public space like a park or café.
The news of your pregnancy might be unexpected. So try to stay calm even if your parents are surprised or upset or don’t react the way you’d like them to. And you might need to take a break from the conversation, so your parents have time to think about your news. You can talk more when you’re both ready.
Telling the father of your baby about your pregnancy
It’s a good idea to tell the father of your baby that you’re pregnant, but this is always your choice.
If it’s what you both want, the father can help you get information and resources and be your support person at antenatal appointments. The father can also help you plan for parenthood, find somewhere to live, get financial support and so on.
If you’re in a relationship with the father of your baby, you might feel comfortable sharing the news of your pregnancy by yourself.
If you’re not in a relationship with the father of your baby, you might feel worried about talking to the father alone. In this situation, it can be good to have a trusted person, like a parent, with you when you talk to the father.
If you’ve experienced sexual assault or you’ve been forced into pregnancy, talk to trusted health professionals or the police. They can help you find specialist support services. You can also call the National Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 (1800RESPECT), Full Stop Australia on 1800 385 578, or Lifeline on 131 114.
Talking to other people about your pregnancy
If you tell people you trust that you’re pregnant and share your pregnancy experiences with them, they can support you emotionally and practically during pregnancy. They might also be able to help you understand and grow into your new responsibilities as a young parent.
- Trusted friends can listen, encourage and support you and help you feel less alone.
- Your midwife or GP is someone you can talk to about how you’re going. They can reassure and encourage you and help you get extra support if you need it.
- A school teacher or school counsellor can help you develop a plan for your education during pregnancy and early parenting.
- A social worker can help you get housing and financial support and sort out education and employment issues.
- A counsellor or psychologist can give you emotional support and help you cope with challenges.
There are many young parents and young mothers programs. You can use some programs during pregnancy. Others can help you after birth. These programs can help you get housing and financial support and continue your education or employment. They can also give you parenting support and connect you to parents groups. Search online to find a program near you or ask your doctor or midwife.