You are not a failure.
No matter what anyone says or what you decide to do, you can still get your life together, finish school on time, achieve your goals and become whoever you want to be.
There is a lot of caring help available. You can get through this.
Who Can I Turn to for Help?
- Pregnancy and parenting counseling: There are caring counselors who can help you understand all of your options, sign up for helpful programs and be there with you when you decide to tell your parents the news. Call 2-1-1 to reach the free 24/7 information line for help finding free pregnancy and parenting counseling near you. You can also call (800) – 311 – BABY (2229) for free pregnancy information or help finding free or low-cost pregnancy and baby services (including counseling).
- Your doctor or health care provider: He/she can confirm your pregnancy, give you complete health checkups and refer you to a caring social worker who can guide you and share with you many helpful resources, services and programs available to you in your community. If you don’t have a doctor or health insurance, you can go to your nearest health center.
- School counseling: If you’re in school, you can make an appointment to speak with a guidance counselor at your school for more information about help finishing school, going to college and getting a job or job training.
- A place to live: If your parents threw you out or you don’t have a place to stay, there are a lot of safe places to stay and programs that can help you get back on your feet and eventually get a place of your own. Call 2-1-1 to reach the free 24/7 information line for help finding safe emergency housing for homeless teen moms.
- Money, food and job help: There are programs that can give you help with food, paying bills and getting a job. Call 2-1-1 to reach the free 24/7 information line. You can also call (800) – 311 – BABY (2229) for free pregnancy information or help finding free or low-cost pregnancy and baby services.
- Free baby clothes, food and other things: Check with your local hospital or charity, WIC clinic, Cribs for Kids, Goodwill, Freecycle (under “Offers”) and Craigslist for free new and used baby items. You can also sign up for free product samples from your favorite baby companies. For more information about the safety of baby items like cribs and toys, visit the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. For more on car seat safety and to find someone near you who can help you check your car seat, visit Parents Central.
Know Your Options
Think carefully about your options and talk about them with your parents and people you trust. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help when you need it.
- Abortion: You can choose not to keep the baby and safely end your pregnancy under the care of your doctor or health care provider by taking medications or going through surgery. Common Questions and Myths
- Adoption: You can choose to give the baby up for adoption to someone else to take care of and have as their own child. Are You Pregnant and Thinking About Adoption?
- Becoming a parent: You can choose to have the baby and take care of him/her yourself, maybe with the help of your family and/or boyfriend.
If you decide to have the baby, it’s important that you see your doctor for regular checkups, eat healthy and stay away from alcohol and drugs from the very beginning in order to protect your health and the health of your baby.
Getting Through School
You can finish school on time just like the rest of your friends. Speak with one of your school guidance counselors or advisors to find out about programs that are available to you.
If you choose to keep the baby and you are still in school, you will be able to work out a plan to take a temporary break after having the baby. You will also be able to make up any missed work when you return.
If you are in school or working full-time after you’ve had the baby, you can get free or discounted child care or day care help through our government. Speak with your parenting and pregnancy counselor or call 2-1-1 to reach the free 24/7 information line and get information on how to sign up. The sooner you sign up, the better.
Preventing Another Pregnancy
- Talk to your doctor or health care provider about getting on birth control. If you don’t have a doctor or health insurance, find a health center near you. To learn more about birth control, visit StayTeen or Bedsider.
Taking Care of Yourself
Don’t forget about taking care of You. Your life matters and you are very important.
- Find some time to still do the things you enjoy doing like spending time with those you love, reading, drawing, watching your favorite shows or movies, getting your hair or nails done, sports, riding your bike or playing video games.
- Continue to keep in touch with the people who support you and make you feel good about yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need help sometimes.
Guides: Girl’s Health, ACOG Patients (women’s health and pregnancy), Text 4 Baby (pregnancy), Baby Safety Checklist (also in Spanish), Depression During and After Pregnancy: A Resource for Women, Their Families & Friends (also in Spanish), Common Questions and Myths (abortion), Are You Pregnant and Thinking About Adoption? (also in Spanish), Impact of Adoption on Birth Parents (also in Spanish), Stay Teen (birth control), Bedsider (birth control) and Reproductive Health: Teen Pregnancy
Support groups: Administration for Children and Families, Planned Parenthood, National Runaway Safeline (runaway and home help), Love Is Respect (dating abuse), Nurse Family Partnership (first-time moms), Young Moms MeetUp, Medicaid & CHIP (free or low-cost health insurance), WIC (food and health care help), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and SNAP (grocery and food help)
Keep in mind that if you decide to have the baby, it’s important that you see your doctor for regular checkups, eat healthy and stay away from alcohol and drugs from the very beginning in order to protect your health and the health of your baby.
Talk to your doctor or health care provider for more information.
Call (800) – 273 – TALK (8255) for 24/7 caring support and emergency help with difficult feelings, emotions or thoughts of suicide.
Call (800) – 448 – 3000 for 24/7 caring support and help with any crisis when you’re feeling worried, stressed or hopeless.
Call 2-1-1 for 24/7 help finding programs, services and all kinds of help near you.
Call (800) – 772 – 9100 to learn all about your abortion options and get help paying for it.
Call (877) – 257 – 0012 to get help finding quality abortion providers near you.
Call (800) – 311 – BABY (2229) for help finding free or low-cost pregnancy and baby services near you.
Call (800) – 4 – A – CHILD (422-4453) for parenting help and encouragement.
Call (866) – 331 – 9474 or text LOVEIS to 22522 for help with dating abuse.
Call (800) – 799 – SAFE (7233) for 24/7 caring help with relationship violence and abuse at home.
Call (800) – 786 – 2929 for 24/7 caring help with running away, being bullied, talking to your parents, and help getting home.
Call (800) – 656 – 4673 for 24/7 caring help and support with rape and sexual abuse.
Call (800) – 366 – 8288 for help and support with cutting or hurting yourself.
Call (800) – 662 – HELP (4357) for 24/7 caring support and help with alcohol or drugs.
Page last reviewed: July 13, 2016 Page last updated: July 13, 2016