Help a pregnant teen friend.

It can be frightening to know that your teenage friend is pregnant.There are a lot of ways you can support her.She may need help with things like managing in school or getting a ride to a doctor’s appointment.She might need someone to talk to.She needs people to support her decision about what to do about her baby.Good friends will help her with her physical, emotional, and social health during this difficult time.

Step 1: Explore her choices.

Discuss the options she has with her.Talk about the options without being pressured to choose.She is going to be the one who has to deal with the consequences, not you.She could have an abortion.If this is what your friend wants to do, you should encourage her to go to a family planning clinic as soon as possible because there are laws limiting abortions past a certain number of weeks of pregnancy.If you are located in the United States, there are parental notification requirements for abortion in most states.She could decide to give the baby up for adoption.It is possible that your friend is not ready to be a parent but not comfortable with the idea of abortion.She can get in touch with adoption agencies with the help of her doctor or family planning clinic.She will be assigned a counselor who will help her understand the legal and emotional ramifications of her choice.She can raise the baby on her own.It can be both rewarding and tiring to be a parent.Raising a child is expensive and teen parents are more likely to be poor and have lower levels of education than their older counterparts.The baby’s father needs to be considered.

Step 2: Listen as she makes a decision.

Your friend has an important decision to make about her unborn child.The pros and cons of all three options will have a big impact on her life.This is her decision alone.Don’t pressure her.She should not give her advice unless she asks, like “I really want you to keep the baby because having a baby to play with is going to be so much fun!”You could say, “I think you will make the best decision for you.”If I were in your shoes, I would explain your reasoning based on what you know about your friend’s situation.

Step 3: As she tells her parents, support her.

She will need to tell her parents at some point, regardless of what option she chooses.Help her figure out what she wants to say when she tells them.Ask your friend how she would like to tell them.Maybe she would like you there.If she needs you, offer to be nearby.Suggest to your friend that she should tell her parents with you.She could rehearse what she is going to say with you if you pretended to be her parent.

Step 4: Hold on to your judgement.

It’s possible that your friend chooses a different option than you think she should.Support her by accepting her choice.Even though you may be close and think you know what’s best for her, remember that even close friends may not have the full picture.If your friend is still questioning her decision, don’t try to get her to change her mind.If you’re sure that’s what you want to do, I’m behind you all the way, but do not say, “I can’t believe you are actually going to go through with this!”

Step 5: She needs to take a pregnancy test.

Menstrual cycles can be irregular in teenagers.Your friend needs to take a test to make sure she’s not pregnant by herself.The symptoms of nausea, fatigue, and breast tenderness are not indicative of a pregnant woman.Only a test can tell you if it’s true.Home pregnancy tests can be purchased at any pharmacy.A pregnancy test can be done at a doctor’s office or a family planning clinic.

Step 6: Make sure her needs are being met.

Parents will sometimes kick their pregnant daughter out of the house.Shelter, food, and clothing should be offered if this happens to your friend.You could tell your friend that things are hard.Staying with me for a few days will allow us to get things sorted out.If your parents are okay with her staying with you for a few days, or if another mutual friend’s family will host her, I want you to be safe.Can Rebecca stay with us for a few days?She is having some issues.I promise we will talk about it, but right now I want to make sure she has a place to stay.

Step 7: Encourage her to eat well.

Help your friend make healthy food choices.It is important to make sure she is taking a pregnant vitamins to help fight birth defects.Ask her if she wants to exercise with you.Unless her doctor tells her otherwise, she is encouraged to exercise during her pregnancies.Let’s have a standing date once a week to walk for an hour.If I can do it with you, it will be more enjoyable.

Step 8: She should go to her doctor’s appointments.

Help her get to her appointments.If you can drive, give her a ride.She needs to remember to go to her appointments.Come along to her appointments for moral support.If you would like, I’d be happy to come with you to the doctor next Thursday.If you want me to sit with you in the exam room, you can tell me.

Step 9: Find her a class.

Birth classes teach a woman and her birth support team how to handle labor and delivery.They teach you how to manage labor pain, as well as discuss hospital procedures.Find out which hospital your friend is going to deliver at.The classes are usually available at the hospital.These classes will allow you to visit the maternity ward and see the delivery room where your friend will give birth.Hospitals offer breastfeeding classes.To increase the likelihood of success, it is helpful to learn more about breastfeeding and get professional guidance.

Step 10: You can find a parenting class.

Taking care of babies isn’t easy.Your friend may not have burped a baby or changed a diaper.A parenting class can help teach your friend how to care for a baby, as well as give her realistic expectations for life with a child.Hospitals, health departments, and community centers offer parenting classes.When the baby is older, you may be able to find classes for taking care of older children.The stress of having a child can be addressed in parenting classes.

Step 11: Help her get baby supplies.

If she is going to keep the baby, help her get ready by researching and procuring baby supplies, like clothes, a crib, and diapers.Baby supplies add up fast.Help your friend find bargains that will save money.Most things are in good shape because babies grow so quickly.She needs diaper and formula coupons.You could throw a baby shower for her.It will make her feel good to know that people are behind her.

Step 12: She should be connected to school.

She may not be as focused on her education as she would have been had she not been pregnant.She may not want to be noticed at school because of her growing belly.Help her continue her education even though she is pregnant.Title IX makes it illegal for schools to exclude pregnant teens and teen parents from school.Many schools find ways to circumvent the law and increase the risk of students dropping out.Your friend has the right to stay at her current school and not have to go to an alternative school or a GED program.Help her get in touch with her school administration to find out how they can accommodate her.She may want to find an alternative school while she’s pregnant.She has the right to get other services.

Step 13: She can talk to adults.

She might want to find other adults with whom she can talk about her feelings, even though her parents are upset.She may be more comfortable sharing her feelings with people other than her parents.Help her make a list of people in her life.People who might be included are extended family members, favorite teachers, coaches, or clergy.Help her reach out to these people.Maybe we could talk to Mrs. Miller after school.Do you want to meet me at my locker?

Step 14: You should look for a counselor.

It’s possible that your friend needs more support than a trusted adult can provide.She may need the help of a mental health care professional to deal with her feelings around her unborn child.Help her get in touch with these services.To find a counselor, connect with your local health department or youth and family service center.Referral services can be offered by family planning clinics.If your friend is depressed and talking about taking her life, call a suicide hotline.There is a national suicide prevention hotline.You can talk to someone at 1-800-SUICIDE.Threats of suicide need to be taken very seriously.

Step 15: Talk to your friend.

Check in with her to see how she’s feeling.You can help make things easier for her.Listen if she needs to vent.Help her deal with her emotions by acknowledging her pain.If you were in her shoes, try to figure out what she would want to hear.It could be something like, “I am so sorry you are going through this right now.”I am aware that you are scared and hurt.She will probably be emotional, but she will be with you every step of the way.The hormones in her body change when she is pregnant, making her more vulnerable to mood swings, crying, and anxiety.She is pregnant and dealing with a lot of stress.As her emotions change, be patient with her.

Step 16: Stand up for her.

gossip about your friend or spread rumors about her baby.Speak up for her if someone talks about her when she’s not there.It’s not right to be talking about Monica when she isn’t here.Don’t judge her choices.Find out from your friend if it’s okay to share what you’re going through.It’s possible that your friend wants to keep her pregnancy a secret, or that she only wants people to know about it.You should respect her wishes.If someone asks you about your friend, you could say, “I think it’s probably best that you either talk to her yourself about it or don’t bring it up at all.”If one of us were in the same situation, we would want to have some privacy and respect our decisions.

Step 17: Stay close to her.

Don’t abandon her.She needs friends and family more than ever.You can check in with her by text or phone.She can get her mind off her problems by having fun.To show your support for her, rally your friends around her and figure out some fun ways to support her.You could pool your money to help her out with the baby, or you could encourage her with encouraging notes in her locker.