Signs you might be pregnant
You might be pregnant if you’ve had sex and you have one or more of the following signs:
- a missed or delayed period
- breast soreness or tenderness
- nausea or vomiting that isn’t caused by a virus or other illness
- the feeling that you’ll be sick if you smell or taste certain food or drinks
- new cravings for certain foods
- mood changes
- the need to urinate more often
- light blood spotting.
You can buy a pregnancy test kit from your local pharmacy or supermarket to find out whether you’re pregnant. You might even be able to get a free pregnancy test kit from a youth-focused health service near you, like a headspace sexual health clinic. If your test is positive, it’s important to see a GP.
You’re pregnant: next steps
Becoming pregnant at a young age might mean that you need extra care and support. This is because your body is still growing and developing. You might also need extra support to manage your thoughts and feelings about your pregnancy.
There’s plenty of support available, and you don’t have to go through pregnancy alone.
The GP will organise routine tests, including a blood test. They’ll also do some basic health checks. For example, the GP will check your blood pressure. They’ll also arrange an ultrasound scan to confirm the expected due date for your baby.
If you’re not sure about your pregnancy options, you can talk to the GP about this. And you can ask the GP about getting pregnancy counselling from a family planning clinic, sexual and reproductive health service, or community health service.
2. Decide who to tell about your pregnancy
It’s a good idea to tell people you trust that you’re pregnant. These people might include parents or other family members, carers, school teachers and counsellors, and close friends. These people can help you get early support and pregnancy information.
It’s also good to tell the father of your baby. You might want your parents or a trusted adult to help you do this.
3. Choose pregnancy care and places to give birth
You can ask your GP about local pregnancy care options. You can also ask about which hospitals offer special pregnancy care for teenagers. And if you want to go to a specific hospital or service, you can ask your GP for a referral.
Pregnancy health care professionals include doctors and midwives. They’ll care for your health and your baby’s health and help you organise antenatal tests. They can also help you get extra support from other health professionals like social workers, counsellors, psychologists , physiotherapists and dietitians.
Here are things to think about when choosing your pregnancy care:
- Distance: it’s good to choose a service that’s close to home or easy to get to.
- Cost: some services are free, including pregnancy services in public hospitals.
- Safety and trust: look for a service with doctors or midwives that you feel comfortable with and have confidence in.
- Continuity of care: look for a service that lets you see the same doctor or midwife throughout your pregnancy.
- Places to give birth: you can give birth in a public hospital, private hospital or birth centre or at home. The place where you plan to give birth will probably be the same place where you have your pregnancy care.
You’ll have several antenatal appointments with your doctor or midwife throughout your pregnancy.
4. Look into antenatal classes
Antenatal classes are for all parents-to-be, but there are also special classes for pregnant teenagers.
Antenatal classes help you learn about what to expect:
- during pregnancy, labour and birth
- after you’ve had your baby
- when you’re caring for your newborn.
At antenatal classes you can meet and share your experiences with other pregnant teenagers.
You can find out about antenatal classes by talking to your doctor or midwife or by searching online.
Understanding pregnancy changes from week to week can help you manage the emotions and physical changes that you’re experiencing. And it can be exciting to know how your baby is developing. It can also help you bond with your baby.
Your pregnancy care: balancing support and privacy
You might want the father of your child or a trusted family member, adult or friend to attend antenatal appointments with you. Or you might want to talk privately to your doctor or midwife. Sometimes the doctor or midwife might want to speak privately to you.
Choosing to talk privately to health professionals can be good practice for being responsible for your baby’s health later on.
It might be a good idea for you to talk early with the father of your child, your parents or carers, or your friends about how involved you’d like them to be in your pregnancy care, labour and birth. This way you can help them understand your needs and boundaries.
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.