16 and Pregnant: How to Deal with Teen Pregnancy in Kansas
Being a teenager is definitely not all sunshine and butterflies. Overwhelming pressure from all sides can take a toll on your mental health. Trying to keep up with school, friends, and family is hard. When you’re young, all you want is to grow up, and when you’re older, you only want to be young again. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. With puberty, growing up, and more freedom comes more options for life to sucker-punch you when you least expect it.
If you’ve found yourself here because you’re 16 and pregnant, take a few deep breaths. Your world probably feels like it’s crashing down around you, and it’s hard to breathe. Unplanned pregnancy at any age can be isolating, and you may feel like you’re all alone. We at Adoption Choices of Kansas understand these feelings. We work with hundreds of women every year, many of them teenagers. Our only goal is to help women. We want to be the sympathetic ear and the shoulder to cry on.
Often when women find themselves in the situation of an unplanned pregnancy, they don’t have anyone to talk to or confide in. We want to be that person for you. No one deserves to feel like they can’t talk to someone when they’re at their most vulnerable and when they need someone there the most. Let us walk with you, and we’ll get through this together.
Before You Do Anything with Your Unplanned Pregnancy
Let yourself feel whatever feelings you have right now. Only you know how you’re feeling and no one can tell you that’s wrong. Yes, you are a teenager, but you are still a person with real emotions and autonomy. Cry, scream into your pillow, and do whatever you need to do to get those feelings out. After that, take a few long, deep breaths. Everything may feel like it sucks now, and it’s unfair, but it won’t be like that forever. You will get through this. Anyone would be emotional in your situation, and you’re not an overly emotional teenager.
Getting Help with Your Teen Pregnancy
- Get Confidential Guidance for an Unplanned Teen Pregnancy
If you’re 16 and pregnant, you probably have a lot of questions. Internet searches can help, but talking to someone who really knows their stuff is better. Adoption Choices of Kansas is here for you 24/7, 365, through pandemics and holidays. You can call or text us for 100% confidential and judgment-free guidance and answers to questions. We’re on your side. We are an adoption agency, but we will never pressure you. We only want to provide you with the information and resources you need to deal with an unplanned pregnancy.
- Confide in Someone You Trust about Your Teen Pregnancy
If telling your parents or guardian still feels too scary, talk to someone you feel safe with. Talking to someone who will stand in your corner and support you may be helpful. Not everyone has a great relationship with their parents, and even if you do, this is probably a bigger deal than failing a class or crashing your car. No one would blame you for not immediately going to your parents. Practice telling someone you know will support you.
- Telling Your Parents You’re Pregnant
We know this might be the ultimate boss fight, but it’s a necessary one. When you’re 16, you’re still not legally allowed to make many decisions on your own, pregnant or not. Practice how you’ll tell them, write a note, or have someone there with you. You may be surprised at how they’ll react. Believe it or not, your parents were once teenagers too. As you get older, your parents tend to share things you may not have ever known about their life. Your mom may have experienced a teenage pregnancy too, or know someone who did. The American sex education system isn’t perfect, and although teen pregnancies have reduced, they are still pretty common. Maybe even more common than you think.
- See a Doctor Immediately about Your Teen Pregnancy
When dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, time is of the essence. At-home pregnancy tests are effective, but getting definitive results from a doctor is better. Set up a doctor appointment as soon as possible to confirm the pregnancy. If you are pregnant, your doctor or gynecologist will walk you through your options and what might be the best based on your health. Teen pregnancies statistically have higher risks of high blood pressure and preterm births. Be sure to ask about the health risks and possible future effects on your body.
Know Your Options for an Unplanned Pregnancy as a Teenager
Even though you’re a teenager, you do have options. It’s crucial that you have all of the information to make informed decisions about your unplanned pregnancy.
If it’s safe to carry your baby to term, parenting may be an option for you. Being a teenage mother is not out of the question, but it’s not as glamorous as popular media might make it seem. Consider who will watch your baby while you’re at school, who will financially support your baby, and who will take care of you while you’re pregnant and post-pregnancy. Babies are a lot of work and cost a lot of money. They are an 18+ year commitment that don’t come with instruction manuals. Just ask your parents.
- Termination of Pregnancy
If it’s unsafe to carry to term, termination of the pregnancy may be your only option. Keep in mind that the abortion process is also very hard on the body. Talk with a doctor about the procedure and recovery. Typically, in the state of Kansas, abortion is only allowed up to 22 weeks into the pregnancy, and some states require waiting periods. If you’re under 18 in Kansas, you do have to have parental consent. Every state has varying laws, and they may differ in your state or city.
If you can carry your baby to term, but parenting isn’t reasonable for you, placing your baby for adoption might be an excellent option. Adoption means that after the baby is born, you get to continue your education and your baby gets to live a full life with a loving adoptive family. You get to decide on the adoptive family your baby goes to and the communication level you want. As an adoption agency, we love adoption and know how beautiful it is, but it’s not for everyone and that’s okay.
Getting Help after an Unplanned Teen Pregnancy
Aftercare is just as important in pregnancy. No matter what you choose, your body and mind will go through a lot. Take time to rest and recover. Do what you need in order to move forward in a healthy way. Seeking help from a therapist or counselor can help. You may also want to try reaching out to support groups or online communities of other teens who’ve experienced pregnancy.
What are You Going to Do First about Being 16 and Pregnant?
If small mistakes and little slip-ups lead to long lectures about throwing away your potential, the idea of facing the facts of an unplanned pregnancy is terrifying. You’ll undoubtedly get a lot of lectures, weird looks, and whispers in the halls as a pregnant teen. Everyone likes to believe that making good choices always assures perfect endings.
The truth is, life just sucks sometimes. No one is perfect, and you don’t deserve to be judged harshly. Accidents and unfortunate circumstances happen to everyone, and you aren’t alone. Teen pregnancy does not define your worth and does not determine your life’s outcome.
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?”