“Help! My Teenage Daughter is Pregnant!”
“Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant.”
Shocked. Blindsided. Disappointed.
If you’re the parent of a teenager and have heard these words from your daughter, or you have a son who shared with you that his girlfriend is pregnant, you’re probably dealing with a tidal wave of different emotions as you try to come to terms with a difficult situation. While it might not be what you expected, it does happen every day. Nearly 250,000 teenage girls in the United States give birth every year. (1) Here are a few tips on how you can help your daughter or son navigate an unplanned pregnancy.
Start by Listening
This is going to be tough, as you probably have a million things you want to say. The temptation might be for you to speak in anger but take the time to really listen to your teen as they share their feelings and the details surrounding the pregnancy. The fact that your son or daughter has come to you means they trust you. They are inviting you into the situation, into the pregnancy and the decisions surrounding it. Many teens try to keep their pregnancies from their parents a secret out of fear or shame, much to their physical and emotional detriment. So now that you’re involved, be thankful you know and can help them, but start by listening to what they have to say.
Express Empathy & Offer Reassurance
Your teen is likely feeling very scared and unsure of what to do next. This is the time to reassure your son or daughter that there is nothing they could do to lose your unconditional love. Make sure your child knows that you will walk alongside them providing guidance and support.
Teen boys involved in an unexpected pregnancy need the support of their parents just as desperately as daughters do. Whether your son is ready to be involved or is shying away out of fear, he’s going to need your guidance as together you figure out what his future responsibilities look like and how you can support him and the girl who is pregnant.
Explore Pregnancy Options Alongside them
We are a safe space where you and your daughter or son can explore all the options for this pregnancy. The easiest way to do this is to schedule a no-charge Options Consultation*. Here, your teen will get accurate information about abortion, adoption and parenting, so they can make an informed decision about next steps. We also offer free limited ultrasound to determine how far along the pregnancy is and assess for viability.
Help Your Daughter Seek Medical Care as Soon as Possible
The earlier a pregnant teenage girl receives prenatal care, the better the outcomes for her and her baby (2). At the Fort Worth Pregnancy Center, we provide many resources to help your daughter during her pregnancy, including medical referrals and an ultrasound to see how far along she is. We have information about Medicaid/CHIP Prenatal Enrollment Assistance and offer prenatal and parenting classes – all free of charge.
This is not the end of your teenager’s goals and dreams.
An unplanned pregnancy may seem like a barrier to your teen’s future goals, but it doesn’t have to be! Our client advocates can talk with you and your teen about all their options and help them align their pregnancy decision with their goals. Should your teen decide to parent, we can provide information on resources available for finishing school, childcare assistance, scholarships for pregnant and parenting college students and more.
If you are interested in learning more about the free services offered at the Fort Worth Pregnancy Center or scheduling an appointment, call or text us at 817-924-9110 or email us at [email protected]
* Our services are provided to clients without regard to age, race, income, nationality, religious affiliation, disability, or other arbitrary circumstances. In keeping with our non-profit, pro-woman mission, Fort Worth Pregnancy Center does not provide or refer for abortion services, so we never profit from your pregnancy decision.