Teenage Pregnancy Support

Teen pregnancy support can be found in a number of different settings. This article has information on where teens can get teenage pregnancy support. Keep reading to find out how to get crisis pregnancy counseling, what education options are available to pregnant teens, and more.

Crisis Pregnancy Counseling

There are a number of organizations who offer crisis pregnancy counseling to teens. Two of the main ones, each with its own perspective, are Birthright and Planned Parenthood.

Birthright International offers assistance to teens through its toll-free number (800-550-4900), through face-to-face counseling at its many lcoations, and through its website http://www.birthright.org/ The goal of the organization is to help any girl or woman who is distressed because of an unplanned pregnancy. They claim to offer an unpressured opportunity to explore options.

Both on the Internet at http://www.plannedparenthood.org/info-for-teens/pregnancy-33811.asp and through local offices, Planned Parenthood also offers information and support for pregnant teens, ranging from pregnancy tests to discussion of options.

Help may also be available through a school nurse or the girl’s pediatrician

Education Opportunities for Pregnant Teens

Pregnant teens may do fine in the school that they are enrolled in, whether it is public or private, but other alternatives are available if necessary. The options for a teen who—because of medical or other reasons—leaves the school at which she was enrolled include:

  • homeschooling through a program set up with the state department of education
  • tutoring with an accredited educator
  • distance learning through an accredited distance learning program

At least on charter school, Toledo, Ohio’s Polly Fox Academy, is designed to educate teens in grades 7 through 12 who are either pregnant or parenting. Parenting instruction is offered in addition to the academic courses a girl takes, as well as subsidized childcare and flexible class scheduling.

Residential Facilities for Pregnant Teens

A pregnant teen who is dealing with an additional serious physical or mental health issue—such as substance abuse, self injury, or a mood disorder—may be served by a therapeutic treatment program that is accredited to handle the co-occurrence of pregnancy and the other issue. A social worker, child welfare agency, health clinic, school, or the juvenile justice system may make the referral. For a girl who is still a teen, continuing her education may be an important issues, although perhaps not the most pressing. Nevertheless, it is worth considering whether an accredited educational program is included.

There are also residential treatment facilities for teens who just need a place to live, whether they’ve been asked to leave home, have come from a foster care situation, are in danger from abuse, or are homeless. Residential facilities for teens in these types of situations may or may not be able to handle therapeutic services (some offer mental health services), but may provide an on-site school, outreach to the baby’s father, parenting classes, and assistance after the child is born.

Support Groups for Pregnant Teens

A pregnant teen may find solace, comfort, information, support, and advice through a support group specially run for pregnant teens. Check your local area or ask a health care provider for a recommendation.

Homes for Pregnant Teens

There are several different types of homes for pregnant teens, each focusing on clients with different needs. This article explains some of the different types of homes for pregnant teens including therapeutic residential facilities. Learn how to select a home for a pregnant teen and more.

Home Away From Home for Pregnant Teen

The first type of home for pregnant teens is a place where the teen and her schooling and preparation for motherhood are the focus. Pregnant teens may come here if they have been given an ultimatum by their parents, to escape an abusive relationship, or because there is no one in their world to support them in their choice to keep and raise their child. A pregnant teen who is having difficulty continuing her education at the school she was in may also seek this type of alternative setting, as may a young woman who is leaving foster care, homeless, or learning disabled.

At a home for pregnant teens, there may be house parents, and the home may be conducted as a family setting residency, in which the teen is presented with role models and mentors in parenting.

The teen continues with her education, either through tutoring or attendance at a facility-run or other local school, but lives in a group home where her nutrition and preparation for motherhood also receive attention, with practical lessons that range from diapering to nutrition to child development.  If the father of the baby is in the picture, he may also receive preparation for his role as a father.

After the baby is born, the teen may be able to stay and receive further guidance in parenting, in which—again—the baby’s father may be able to join.

Therapeutic Treatment in a Home for Pregnant Teens

The second type of home for pregnant teens is a residential treatment facility for a teen who has another important issue besides pregnancy that needs treatment. This could be a mood disorder or other mental health issue, or an emotional or behavioral issue. This type of home for pregnant teens provides therapeutic treatment for the other issue as well as the same kinds of assistance with pregnancy, parenting, and education that the first type of home provides.

This second type of home can be critically important for teens with serious issues like a substance abuse problem, a history of self-injury or suicide attempts, or an eating disorder, all of which can have severe effects for the unborn child, as well as for the teen herself.

Selecting a Home for a Pregnant Teen

In choosing either kind of home for pregnant teens, be sure to put licensing and accreditation at the head of your list of things to check. Therapeutic treatment, educational facilities, and mentoring personnel should each be properly accredited. Besides that, if therapy is being offered,find out what type it is and what the success rate is. Read reviews of the home to find out about others’ experiences and, if possible, visit the home prior to enrolling, to get a sense of the atmosphere. If there is a program philosophy, read it carefully to see what it entails.




Parenting Classes

Parenting classes are an important tool for many young parents especially pregnant teens who have no idea what to expect in raising a child. Taking parenting classes before having the baby will help teens become more confident and capable in raising their baby.

Parenting classes are a great idea for any new parent including pregnant teens. Both the teen mother and father should think about attending the parenting classes to learn the best ways to become a great parent. Many times, new parents don’t feel ready to have a baby.  New teen parents fall into this category even more because they are so young themselves and may have little to no experience in taking care of a baby. The thought of raising another individual can be daunting to any parent at any age. There are always challenges faced by any newly pregnant mother and the baby’s father. Many of these concerns are addressed and answered in parenting classes. Read on to find out more about the different types of parenting classes and how to find the type of parenting class that is right for you.   

Online parenting classes:

  • There are several websites dedicated to online parenting classes. Often with a minimal cost, you can watch live or streaming videos and presentations in these online parenting classes, which cover many positive parenting tips and simple techniques in learning how to take care of a baby. 
  • A simple Google search can help you find a variety of online parenting classes.
  • Many teens who feel intimidated about attending an in-person parenting class, may feel more comfortable in taking a parenting class online. 

Local parenting classes:

  • Many in-person parenting classes are offered at local community centers, high schools and other local spots. Check in your local newspaper to find announcements about these classes You can also ask your doctor who may have a recommendation about a local parenting class to attend. 
  • These types of parenting classes are great ideas for any teen looking for real hands-on experience. In many parenting classes, teens will learn confidence is how to take care of a newborn, like how to hold and dress the baby. How much to feed, how to regulate sleeping, etc. 
  • Parenting classes are also a great place to meet other parents in your same situation and to make friends. It is helpful to have that support group especially if you are a teen.    Pregnant teens might find that their high school friends do not have as much in common with them anymore and can use parenting classes as a way to meet others like you. 

Cost of Parenting Classes:

  • Costs vary from free to a small fee depending on where located and who is offering the class. Many community centers will offer parenting classes free as a service to the community.

In addition to making friends and learning how to be a good parent, you will also learn many helpful hints and tips about how to care for a baby. These tips include how to hold a baby properly with head and neck support. You will also learn how to change the baby’s clothes and swaddle it in a blanket without hurting the baby’s fragile limbs. One of the most important tricks you can learn in any of these parenting classes is how to properly change a babies diaper. The parenting class may also cover hygiene for the baby like how to properly bathe and treat cases of diaper rash. Some parenting classes are geared more toward new parents while others focus on parenting tips for those with young and older children. The classes may go over how to talk to your children about drugs, sex, alcohol and other issues. Many parenting classes for new parents also include information about the financial aspect of being a parent. Because babies cost more money than most new parents can imagine, a clear financial picture is given so these teen parents can learn the realities of the cost of babies. Budgeting tips and other financial advice is also often a subject of parenting classes for new parents. It is best to know the content of the parenting class when trying to find the best parenting class to take.

Any parent can benefit from taking parenting classes, but especially new parents and pregnant teens can find many useful tools and helpful tips from these parenting classes to help them feel better and become more prepared to be parents. Teens who are more prepared to become parents often have an easier time in finishing school as a mom as well as completing other life goals like getting a job and making a good income to support a baby.

sources: livestrong.com

Telling Your Parents You’re Pregnant

Telling your parents you are expecting can be difficult at any age.  However, if you are a teenager telling them about an unplanned pregnancy, the situation can be down right terrifying.  A sense of shame, embarrassment, frustration, and fear may be felt by both you and your mom and dad.  Therefore, many teens hesitate and are reluctant to break the news.  Nevertheless, it is important that you don’t wait. 

Discovering that you are pregnant means some decisions will have to be made about your baby, your future, and your prenatal care. Ultimately, your parents have your best interest at heart and will want to be there to help you through this, even if they don’t necessarily want to get the news.  If you plan to keep the baby or find a loving family to adopt him/her, it is important to begin prenatal care as soon as possible to reduce the risks of birth defects and improve the the health of the pregnancy and the fetus.  Plus, pregnancy can pose extra risks to teens, as their bodies may not be fully developed.  Therefore, it is imperative that you come clean in a timely manner and consult with a medical professional for appropriate care. 

The worst part about telling your parents may be the fear of the unknown.  How will they respond?  Don’t wait for the perfect time to talk to your parents about your pregnancy.  Instead, just bite the bullet and tell them as soon as possible.  It is likely that you know your parents well, but still have no idea how they will react to the news.  However, preparing yourself for what to expect may make the stress of the experience easier to manage.  “Freaking out” is a normal reaction from any mom and dad.  There may be screaming and crying, as well as questions with regards to what you were thinking, who the father is, and how this happened.  The best thing you can do is take a deep breath and give them some time to settle down. 

After the storm has settled, there will likely be numerous questions about the pregnancy, the baby, and the future.  They don’t all have to be decided at that exact moment.  Both you and your parents need some time to process the information and think things through.  Should you have the baby?  Are you planning to keep it or place the baby up for adoption?  How will it affect your future with school and work?  Have you considered marrying the father?  How can you take care of a child?  These are all questions that need to be addressed.  However, it can be difficult to know what the best choices are for your situation.  Therefore, opening up to your parents and enlisting their help and support can make it easier to make these life altering decisions. 

Telling your parents that you are pregnant is not a fun conversation to endure.  They may have some mixed feelings about how this will effect your life and theirs.  However, when the initial shock is over, most parents are willing to offer their guidance and support at a time when you need it the most. 

If by chance, you are legitimately fearful of talking to your parents, due to an abusive or dysfunctional home life, you may want to turn to another adult for support.  A  family member,  neighbor, or school counselor should be able to help you with your tough decisions and assist you in finding the appropriate teen help resources that you need.

Residential Facilities for Pregnant Teens

Home is not always the optimal environment for a pregnant teen, and in cases in which this is so, a residential facility may provide a better situation. This article provides an introduction to residential facilities for pregnant teens.

Residential Facilities for Pregnant Teen Basics

There are a number of residential facilities for pregnant teens in the US, some of which accept only the pregnant mother and some of which accept the whole new family. These facilities may be appropriate when there is no one to care for the teen, when the home situation is not a healthy setting for the pregnant teen, or when her education is being interrupted by issues around her pregnancy.

All residential facilities for pregnant teens are designed for special populations by definition, and some are explicitly designed to deal with pregnant teens who have additional issues, such as a diagnosis of a mental health issue, a chemical dependency, or emotional or behavioral issues. Treatment facilities with these specialties should be licensed for all the treatments they provide. One place to find them is on the website of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs http://www.natsap.org/programsearch.asp

Eligibility For Residential Facilities for Pregnant Teens

Other than having a diagnosable condition in addition to pregnancy in specifically targeted therapeutic facilities, homes with a focus on pregnancy also have criteria for admittance. These criteria include age, whether the teen is pregnant or parenting. Some accept young people up to age 29. Other criteria may include the lack of another available setting with adult supervision, eligibility for Medicaid, parental consent (if under 18), in the foster care system of a particular jurisdiction, homelessness, and being in the child welfare system. In facilities without a specific therapeutic bent, young women with a history of drug use, teen violence, and/or mental health issues may be excluded.

Referrers for Residential Facilities for Pregnant Teens

Pregnant teens get matched to programs or residential facilities through a variety of methods. Websites like NATSAP may be searched by parents, guardians, and social workers. Other referrals may come from child welfare agencies, hospitals, schools, shelters, the juvenile justice system, foster care, hotlines, health clinics, and social service organizations.

Residential Facilities for Pregnant Teens Services

Different residential facilities for pregnant teens provide different services. Some may allow them a way to continue their education, through an on-site school, for example, or tutoring. Almost all provide case management. Most provide 24-hour supervision and guarantee to have staff awake at all hours of all days. Many offer life skills classes, and some offer mental health counseling. Outreach to the father of the young woman’s child or children is another service in some cases.  Additional services may include transportation for medical appointments and more, childcare for residents, and screening of children for intervention services such as Early Head Start.




Shelters for Pregnant Teens

Many pregnant teens find themselves homeless or living in dangerous situations, and for some of these teens a shelter for pregnant teens may be able to provide a safe environment and support as they strive to care for themselves and their babies.

Shelters for pregnant teens offer a place to live when teens are pregnant and find themselves homeless, in a dangerous environment, or in need of extra support and care. In addition to food and a place to live, pregnant teen shelters may offer a variety of services:

Medical care

  • Mental and emotional health counseling
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Religious instruction
  • Supervision by a trained and licensed staff
  • Educational help
  • Work and life skills training
  • Parenting skills classes
  • Adoption placement or counseling
  • Education on avoiding another pregnancy during the teen years
  • Help in locating housing after leaving the shelter
  • Classes for the baby’s father on life and parenting skills

Not all shelters offer all of these services, but most offer some. Most pregnant teen shelters are run by city or state governments or by non-profit groups, especially religious organizations. The services they are able to offer, as well as the rules for living at the shelter and the criteria for admission vary by shelter.

The living situation at teen shelters is usually somewhat communal. Pregnant teen shelters may offer girls their own room or require them to share. They usually have shared spaces for eating and for activities, which gives pregnant teens a chance to make friends with others who understand their situation. The staff members usually function as surrogate parents and counselors for the girls, and may be single moms themselves.

The rules at most shelters provide a lot of structure. Some pregnant teen shelters allow girls to leave the facility during their stay while others require them to remain on the grounds. Girls may be required to follow strict health rules, though they may have to get their own medical care. This also applies to schooling. Religious homes or pregnant teen shelters usually require girls to attend services. Shelters for pregnant teens may keep their location a secret to protect pregnant teens who may be in danger from family members or the baby’s father.

The level of help provided by shelters for pregnant teens depends on the focus and the resources of the shelter. Some shelters for pregnat teens can only offer help while a girl is pregnant, while others provide continuing shelter or support for up to the first two years of the baby’s life, including ongoing counseling and education or child care. Helping the teen finish school as a mom.

Girls who seek pregnant teen shelters may come from a variety of backgrounds. Many of the teens who use shelters have a history of early  teen sexual activity, and often of sexual abuse. They are almost always single. Many come from the foster care program or from low income families who cannot not or will not support them during their pregnancies. Most keep their babies rather than put them up for adoption.

Teens who go to a pregnant teen shelter may have better outcomes than those who don’t thanks to the shelter’s counseling, health, and education programs, and removing girls from dangerous situations.

Homes and shelters for pregnant teens used to be common, but there are now fewer of them, with perhaps only a couple in each state. With budget cuts, many state programs have been cut back even more. This means that teens who need a shelter may not have many options about which one they go to, and it may be hard to get in to a shelter for pregnant teens.

Teens who need a shelter while they are pregnant can talk to a doctor, counselor, social worker, or religious leader to find out about pregnant teen shelters in their area. They can also search in the phone book for shelters or for teen help hotlines. Girls who need special help, like protection from someone who wants to hurt them, may be able to get help with transportation to a particular shelter by talking to a doctor, police officer, or social worker.


Tracey Dewart and Donna Zaengle, Lamaze International’s Journal of Perinatal Education, “The Door’s Perinatal Program for Pregnant and Parenting Teens” [online]
Michael D. Clark, Cincinnati Enquirer, “Home offers refuge for pregnant teens” [online]
Edward J. Saunders, Children Today, “Residential program services pregnant teens and young mothers in Iowa – Adolescent Pregnancy Program of Central Iowa” [online]
Tovia Smith, NPR, “For Teen Moms, Just a Start” [online]

Prenatal Care for Pregnant Teens

Getting proper prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy is helpful in having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. If unplanned pregnancy or unexpected pregnancy occurs teens are less likely to get prenatal care. Keep reading for tips on getting prenatal care for pregnant teens.

One of the biggest challenges involved with newborn health when mothers are teenagers is prenatal care. Some estimates find that 1/3 of pregnant teens do not get the prenatal care that they need. This is a problem, since inadequate prenatal care can lead to a host of problems. Babies with low birth weights can have health problems that last their whole lives. Other issues, such as not eating right or being involved in dangerous activities, can result in miscarriage or in permanent damage to the unborn baby.

While improper prenatal care doesn’t always lead to problems for the developing fetus, the chances that a baby will have problems when not properly cared for in utero are increased. And, even though some who get good prenatal care have babies born with health problems, your baby’s health stands a better chance when you get the right prenatal care.

Getting proper prenatal care for pregnant teens

The first thing that should be done once you know you are pregnant is to call a health care provider. Pregnant teens need to get in contact with a health provider and make an appointment. If you don’t know where to turn, there are a number of community services and organizations that can help you. Visit your local Health Department, Women’s Center or Planned Parenthood to help you find access to prenatal health care. Many of these organizations can also help you navigate public assistance programs like Medicaid that can help you get the care you need, even if you are low on funds.

Next, you need to stop do things that are likely to harm the fetus. If you want to increase the chances that you have a healthy baby, you need to stop some habits. Smoking, alcohol use, and drug use can all harm an unborn child. These practices can result in low birth rate, and can even cause some problems in utero, including stroke. Consider that once you are pregnant, you are no longer only affecting your body; there is a developing fetus that is affected by all that you do.

After you begin working on quitting your bad habits, you need to cultivate good health habits. Consult with your health care provider about an appropriate diet for prenatal care. You will need plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy. Your health care provider can help you work out a meal plan that can result in a healthier pregnancy. Also, consider starting an exercise program, if you haven’t already. You will need to ask your health care provider which exercises are appropriate for pregnant women to do, and make sure that you are following the guidelines for prenatal physical activity.

While dieting is not always a bad thing, it is not something you can do while you are pregnant. If you want your baby to get the proper nourishment, it is vital that you eat well each day. This doesn’t mean that you go wild and eat everything. However, you do need to recognize that a healthy weight gain for most is between 15 pounds and 30 pounds over the course of a teen pregnancy. Make sure that check with your health care provider, and get some solid information on what is most likely to be healthy for you.

In the end, having a healthy baby depends a great deal on what you do as a mom. Prenatal care for pregnant teens is very important. Pregnant teenagers may not know what they need to do in order to take good care of an unborn child. However, if you are a smart teen, you will get in touch with a health care provider as soon as possible in order to increase the chances that fetal development will move forward in a normal and healthy manner.

Alternative Schools for Pregnant Teens

Not all public schools are equipped to handle teenage pregnancy, although some have special programs to assist pregnant teens finish their education, and even provide daycare. This article discusses alternative schools for pregnant teens such as homeschool, distance learning, and more.  

Some public schools, like Sidney Lanier High School, a public high school in San Antonio, Texas, are prepared to deal with student teen pregnancy and parenting requirements. They have, for example, a program to help students find free daycare. But not every public school is prepared for this situation, and when this is the case, it may be time to find an alternative school for a pregnant teen. This article explains some basics.

What Is an Alternative School for Pregnant Teens?

Often an alternative school is thought of as any school that is not a standard college preparatory public or private school. In this case, though, an alternative school would likely be thought of as any school that had adaptations built-in not only to accommodate the needs of a pregnant student body but also to cater to the pregnant teen and specifically address her situation. This being the case, an alternative school for pregnant teens may turn out to be:

 Examples of Alternative Schools for Pregnant Teens

  • Homeschool: Because a homeschool is set up by agreement with the state the student’s family lives in, laws differ, but it may often be possible to set up a homeschool situation for a pregnant teen if this is a desirable and effective way to address the issue of teen pregnancy and education. Check with your state department of education for more information about requirements and for advice about curriculum and other essentials.
  • Distance Learning: If there is no one in the home who is equipped to or otherwise able to educate a pregnant teen, home-based education may still take place through a distance learning arrangement. There are a variety of accredited organizations that offer courses of study for teens in a variety of formats. There are correspondence courses, video instruction units, and interactive computer learning modules, as well as opportunities to meet in classes with other students via webinar.
  • Charter School: The Polly Fox Academy in Toledo, Ohio is a charter school for pregnant and parenting teens in grades 7 through 12. It is run by the Toledo Public Schools and opened in August, 2003. The school deals with the issues its students face as students, as mothers, as girlfriends, and as sexually active individuals. A nurse and midwife visit the school weekly, and day care is available, as are online courses. Of course, this choice is only useful if there is an appropriate charter school in your area.
  •  Residential Treatment Center or Program: “The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) lists two programs for pregnant teens in its directory:
  1.  Florence Crittenton Center for Pregnant and Parenting Teens: This small residential program in Helena, Montana accepts girls 12 to 20 and their babies, with only 16 slots available at any time. The program has been in existence since 1900 and accepts only teens who not only are pregnant or parenting but also have another risk factor, including chemical dependency or a mental health diagnosis. 
  2.  Youth Care: This coeducational residential treatment center in Draper, Utah accepts children age 12 to 19 (grades 7 to 12) who live in homes in groups of 14 to 16. In this case, pregnancy is only one of the issues that are the focus, and treatment addresses physical and sexual abuse, self-injuring behavior, learning disabilities, mood disorders, substance abuse, running away, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The therapies include specific substance abuse therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and available Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings.

Other schools may accept pregnant teens, but not necessarily with any particular program or supports in place.

 Choosing an Alternative School for a Pregnant Teen

In considering any alternative school for a pregnant teen, review not only its accreditation and teacher qualifications, but also its appropriateness for the girl in question and its abilities to address her particular needs. Helping a teen through her teenage pregnancy and education is important to not only her success but her childs as well.



Pregnant Teen Help

There are many options available in the United States for pregnant teens. This article offer tips on where to get pregnant teen help.  Keep reading to learn the statistics on teen mothers and education. Learn how you can help a pregnant teen make the best choices.

We recommend finding classes in your area to help in deciding if having a child is right for you.  These classes on pregnancy and parenting are held at community centers and hospitals throughout the U.S.

You will find that there are many options available to teens today. Adoption, Abortion, Transition Programs, and keeping the child are all options. We will discuss each of these in depth in this section on the site.  We feel all of these need some attention, but we do not believe abortion should be considered.  At PregnantTeenHelp.org we promote many other options. Abortion is included because we aim to educate people on all options, give teen pregnancy statistics, etc.

Why do we want to help people find options? Some more information :

Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school (only one-third receive a high school diploma) and only 1.5% have a college degree by age 30. There is a direct correlation between teenage pregnancy and poverty. Teen mothers are more likely to end up on welfare (nearly 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare).

The children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect.

The sons of teen mothers are 13 percent more likely to end up in prison while teen daughters are 22 percent more likely to become teen mothers themselves.

This information is reason enough to make us want to help the situation.