13 and Pregnant: Navigating Pregnancy as a Young Teen
An unplanned pregnancy at any age can be scary, but being a young teenager and pregnant can feel earth-shattering. Pregnancy at such a young age brings its own unique challenges. Right now, the important thing is to take a few deep breaths and know that you are not alone. The teenage years are brutal and can feel incredibly unfair at times, and throwing a pregnancy into that mix can be a recipe for disaster and a lot of mental breakdowns. While yes, you may feel like you’re still too young to make such big life decisions, the fact of the matter is that you have choices, and they are yours to make. This is why it is detrimental that you fully understand those options and what they mean for you and your baby.
We understand that you’re scared and don’t know what to do. Adoption Choices of Kansas is here for you to answer all of your questions, 100% confidential and judgment-free. Even though adoption is in our name, our primary goal is to provide women with information and resources to do what is best for them. We never pressure or push anyone into choosing adoption. We only want to help women. We want to be a source you can trust. If you’re 13 and pregnant or an early teen and pregnant, we want to help you.
Tell an Adult You Trust about Your Teenage Pregnancy
Unfortunately, pregnancy isn’t like a bad zit. It won’t go away on its own. Before you do anything, talk to an adult that you trust. Whether you think you might be pregnant or you’ve taken a pregnancy test, it’s crucial to confirm the pregnancy to get help as soon as possible. If you don’t know if you can tell your parents, talk to a teacher, nurse, or an older sibling. No one should shame you or make you feel amoral. No one is perfect, and sometimes our mistakes come back to bite us in a big way. If you don’t have anyone you think you can tell, our counselors are here for you. We will help you figure out the next steps and how to get you the help you need.
Get Medical Help for Your Teenage Pregnancy
There can be a lot of complications with being 13 and pregnant. Getting medical help as soon as possible is so important. Just a few complications that can come from a young teen pregnancy are:
- Premature and low birth weight
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension or high blood pressure
- Greater risk of cephalopelvic disproportion (the baby’s head is wider than the pelvic
Teens and young teens can also be at risk for not getting the right nutrients and access to prenatal vitamins. Make sure you understand the effects pregnancy can have on your body, especially as a young teen.
Know Your Options regarding Your Teenage Pregnancy
Being 13 and pregnant, you may think you aren’t entitled to the options that most pregnant women have. Adults in your life may want to decide for you, and it might be hard to push back. The truth is that you have options, and no one can make you do anything against your will. Know and understand each option as it pertains to you and your situation.
- Parenting Your Child
Trying to parent as a young teen can be almost impossible. If you’re under 14, you cannot legally work to support a baby. Therefore, you’d be relying on your parents or guardian to support you and your baby financially. Keeping up with school and social life can also be a big factor.
- Pregnancy Termination
Termination of the pregnancy may be a reasonable option. However, keep in mind that if you are under 18, you have to have parental consent in most states, and abortion is only available up through 22 weeks. Some states have additional waiting periods, guidelines, or laws. Be sure to talk with a specialist about the abortion process and its effects on your body.
- Placing Your Baby for Adoption
Adoption allows you to give you and your baby the best chance at life. If a doctor has determined it is safe to carry a baby to full term, adoption may be a good option for you. You get to choose a hopeful adoptive family for your baby to go to and know they will be safe, loved, and taken care of.
Counseling and Emotional Support for Your Teenage Pregnancy
No matter which option you choose, consider finding a counselor to talk with. Having someone to talk to is so important, no matter what age you are. Unplanned and unexpected pregnancies can be terrifying and isolating. Having someone that can provide emotional support can be so helpful in these trying times.
13 and Pregnant
We know this sucks. It’s probably going to suck for a long time. There are no time machines or wizards to rewind the clock; so, unfortunately, you will have to deal with the elephant in the room. The good news is you can get through this! You are strong, and just think of how much stronger you’ll be on the other side of this, regardless of what you choose. The even better news is you don’t have to do this alone.
No matter how alone you feel, you could not be more wrong. Adoption Choices of Kansas is always here on your team, cheering for you. Pregnancy is not a road you have to walk by yourself. Now take one more big ol’ deep breath, and let’s conquer this, together!
Meet the Author: Michelle Brugioni is a practiced, well-versed college-educated writer and avid coffee drinker. She has ten years’ experience as a freelance writer, and has written for an alarmingly wide range of clients and publications. She has written on topics like: life science, biopharmaceutical company acquisitions, dealing with anxiety, and creative drinking games.
As a fearless writer and masterful researcher, each time Michelle is approached with the question, “Can you write this?” she responds confidently with, “When do you need it?”