Teen Pregnancy Resources
The Reality of Teenage Pregnancy
Teenage parents-to-be are typically overwhelmed, scared, unsure, and uniformed about their options and where to turn for help. Despite the unfortunate reality that teen pregnancies rates are still rocket-high, that the majority of teenage pregnancies are unplanned, and that most teens are not ready to be parents, there are fortunately many resources and services available to help them, including programs especially designed to meet the needs of teenagers who are pregnant.
Help for Teen Parents-to-Be
If you are a pregnant teenager or a family member/friend of a teenager who is expecting a baby, it's important for you to know that there are professionals who you can turn to for help and multiple resources to assist you. Here are the types of assistance available to help pregnant teens today:
Teen Pregnacy Counseling
A professional counselor is in an ideal best position to remain objective and non-judgmental when talking to pregnant teens, to offer sound, informed advice, to deal with teens' concerns, fears, and worries about being pregnant and the process of having a child, to direct them towards relevant local resources, and to help teen parents-to-be explore their options and make an informed decision about their situation.
Teen Pregnancy Organizations and Websites
There are many organizations and myriads of websites offering specific assistance and guidance for pregnant teens, including: Planned Parenthood, adoption agencies, the American Pregnancy Association, Health Finder, National Women's Health Information Center, Keep Kids Healthy.Com, ABCBirth.Com, ABabyResource.com, Mommy Resources, Pregnancy-Info.net Place, Pregnancy Insurance, Pregnancy Health at Keep Kids Healthy, Beyond Fertility, Teen Pregnancy, Stand Up Girl, Nurse Hotline, and many more.
Online Pregnancy-Related Resources
Go to the American Pregnancy Association's website for an extensive directory of online resources providing valuable information about pregnancy loss, pregnancy complications, prenatal vitamins, prenatal tests, paternity testing, multiple births, midwives, morning sickness, maternity clothes, infant care, government-sponsored health agencies, fetal development, breastfeeding, birthing centers, birth defects, adoption, baby names, baby clothes, contraception, and more.
Financial Assistance for Teen Moms
The two main government-sponsored programs offering financial assistance to pregnant teens are Medicaid and Women, Infant and Children (WIC). Pregnant teens can also turn to local government programs, their state's Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP), local charitable associations, and adoption agencies for help.
Alternative Education for Pregnant and Parent Teenagers
School systems across the nation are developing alternative educational programs for pregnant male and female teenagers who are trying to balance the demands of finishing high school with the demands and pressures of becoming a parent. Although teens are encouraged to continue their studies in the traditional high school setting, the rising rates of pregnant teens dropping out of high school have prompted educators to develop alternative school programs which cater to the scheduling needs of pregnant teen males and females.
Furthermore, many accredited colleges and universities offer students online training options, allowing pregnant teens and other students to continue to work as they simultaneously earn their degree and progress along their chosen career path. Upon completion of a bachelor's degree (typically taking two years of online training) students are eligible for entry level positions in numerous career areas, and online learning options are available all the way to the doctoral level of study.
While pregnancy websites are no substitute for the proper prenatal care teenage girls require or for the sound advice that a professional can offer, pregnancy related websites can serve as an invaluable source of information and confidential forum for a young woman dealing with the reality of being pregnant. Pregnancy websites allow pregnant teens to interact on a message board or chat room with other teenagers in their same predicament, to submit anonymous questions, and to learn all about the process of becoming a new parent. Some of the vital information pregnancy websites offer to young men and women includes:
•- Early signs of pregnancy
•- Month-by-month depiction of how the fetus develops and what physical changes pregnant moms-to-be should expect to experience in their bodies
•- How to deal with morning sickness
•- Prenatal care
•- Links to other resources for new and expecting moms and parents-to-be
•- Due date calendars
•- Breastfeeding information
•- Articles about postpartum depression
•- Pregnancy complication signs, symptoms, and treatment options
•- Natural childbirth methods
•- Multiple Births
•- Labor pain medications
•- Baby name finders