Think You May Be Pregnant? Here Are Four Steps to Take During Early Pregnancy
Are you a teenager who has recently had sex and think you might be pregnant? While this may be a scary and uncertain time in your life, just know that you are not alone. Thousands of teenagers go through this experience every year, and there are resources available which can help support you during this very difficult and tumultuous experience. Before you do anything further or make any decisions about your pregnancy, there are four steps you should take in order to make sure you are in the right frame of mind to take the next step in deciding what path is right for you.
Know How to Identify the Signs of Pregnancy
If you have recently taken a pregnancy test and it turned out to be positive, you may be experiencing a variety of pregnancy symptoms as well. Following are a few common pregnancy symptoms experienced by most people:
- Late period or spotty bleeding
- The urge to urinate more frequently
- Constant nausea or vomiting (sometimes triggered by certain smells)
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Sore or achy back (primarily the lower back)
- Unusual food cravings
Slow Down and Take a Deep Breath
You are likely feeling a range of emotions right now, and that is completely normal. Anger, fear, denial, and numbness towards your situation are all very real and valid ways to feel right now. Maybe you weren’t quite ready to have sex in the first place, and now you are faced with this difficult situation. You may feel as though life as you know it is completely over. Maybe you have a supportive partner, or perhaps they are no longer in your life. Regardless of your situation, just know it is all going to be okay, regardless of the outcome. Before doing anything further, slow down and take a deep breath. Know that whatever your next choice may be in this situation, you are not alone. There are many resources out there which can help you make an informed choice, and decide what your next steps will be in regards to your pregnancy.
Find Someone You Can Trust
You may be tempted to keep your pregnancy to yourself, and not tell anyone for fear of shame and embarrassment. You may worry about losing friends, and people at school not talking to you anymore. Although these are understandable fears to have, you should not go through your situation alone. It is important to find someone you can trust and lean on for support during your time of need. Finding out you are pregnant is life changing news, and it’s crucial to have someone at your side who will help you get through difficult times which may lie ahead. This person could be your best friend, your parent, or even your teacher. It is important that this person is someone you can count on to be there for you through every step of this process. It is also important to make sure the person you choose isn’t someone who will pressure you into making any decision in one way or another, and that they do not any kind of monetary interest or ulterior motives in regards to your situation.
Make Sure You Are Really Pregnant and Get a Secondary Confirmation
If you already believe you are pregnant, you have likely taken a home pregnancy test, or are late for your next period. You should be aware that pregnancy tests are not always accurate, and that a period can be late for many reasons. Therefore, it is important to make sure you are actually pregnant before proceeding any further. Reach out to a pregnancy support center within your community, where your at-home pregnancy test results can be confirmed by lab work and an ultrasound. By getting confirmation you can be sure of your situation, and work towards deciding what your next steps should be.
Be Honest and Tell Your Parents
This is probably the step that you are most worried about. You’re probably worried that your parents will be angry, upset, or disappointed with you. You may even worry about losing certain privileges or freedoms you once had. While these are all valid fears, it’s important to keep in mind that your parents love you very much. They may initially be shocked, angry, or disappointed, however, this will not keep them from loving you. It may take time, but your parents will eventually offer the support and help you need to get through this situation. It may help to write out what you are planning to tell them. so you are able to express your feelings and concerns in case you are having difficulty getting them out.
What Comes Next?
After confirming that you are pregnant and telling your parents, it’s time to start thinking about the options you have for your pregnancy. There are three main options to choose from, and each comes with a variety of things you must consider before making your final decision. These choices are:
- Parenting your child and raising them with support from your family
- Choosing adoption and giving an adoptive family the ability to have a child
- Terminating the pregnancy through an abortion procedure
Before making the decision to commit to any of these options, it is important to gather as much unbiased information as possible. Seek out professional medical advice from your family doctor and other professionals who are trained to help teenagers like you navigate this difficult situation. With the right help and support, you will be able to navigate your way through this time, and make the decision that is right for you and your individual circumstances.