Before You’re Pregnant

Having a child is a lifetime commitment. The majority of women who drop out of high school do so because they’ve had a baby. It is quite a challenge to finish your homework when you’ve got a crying baby on your lap. A lot of these women work very, very hard and become successful.

Teen boys who are going to become fathers also need the involvement of their parents. Although some boys may welcome the chance to be involved with their children, others feel frightened and guilty and may need to be encouraged to face their responsibilities (the father is legally responsible for child support in every state).

Have you thought about how you will be able to take care of a baby while trying to balance school, work and family commitments?

Are you prepared for a special needs child if you have one?

Are you and your partner committed to becoming parents?

Are you financially able to support a little one?

Prenatal visits are the most important decision you can make for your baby. The very early stages of pregnancy are the most important in receiving the medical care needed for your baby. Young teens’ pregnancies are considered high risk because their bodies haven’t finished growing and are not yet fully mature.

Even though most teen girls are biologically able to produce healthy babies, whether they do often depends on whether they receive adequate medical care.

Teens who receive proper prenatal care and take care of themselves are more likely to have healthy babies. Those who don’t receive prenatal care are at greater risk for:

• fetal death

• high blood pressure

• anemia

• labor and delivery complications (such as premature labor and stillbirth)

• low birth-weight infant