Teen Pregnancy

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Teen pregnancy is one of the most difficult experiences a young person might ever face when it interrupts school or other plans. It can create an emotional crisis resulting in feelings of shame and fear, and it may appear that you will crumble under pressures in your environment. The stress of how you are going to break this news to your parents might be even greater, and finding help may seem an impossible task. You might think no one can help you, or you might be too embarrassed to search for help. However, denying the pregnancy or ignoring it can only make things worse for you and your baby. Denial will not take the pregnancy away; instead, you will lose the time you could have invested in prenatal care and counseling. You have options, and making a choice may be simple or difficult, depending on your situation. Check resources carefully and try to give yourself the opportunity to make the best informed decision possible. Despite the fact that the teen birth rate is climbing after slowly falling for years, there are still an estimated one million teen pregnancies in the United States alone. About 85% of these pregnancies are unplanned, which in any population can increase the risk for problems. The biggest risk for teen mothers is delaying prenatal care or worse, 7.2% received no care at all. The reason for lack of prenatal care is usually delayed pregnancy testing, denial or even fear of telling others about the pregnancy. Most states have a health department or university clinic where prenatal care is free or low cost and patient confidentiality is very important, meaning no one can tell the teen mother's family. Because the body of a teen is still growing she will need more nutritional support to meet both her needs and that of her baby. Nutritional counseling can be a large portion of prenatal care, usually done by a doctor or a midwife, sometimes a nutritionist. This counseling will usually include information about prenatal vitamins, folic acid, and the...
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