Teenage pregnancy: Helping your teen cope

Teenage pregnancy can have a profound impact on a teen's life. Help your child understand the options, health risks and challenges ahead.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Pregnancy can be one of the most difficult experiences a teenager faces. Understand how to help your teen address the challenges ahead.

Provide support

Teenage pregnancy can be a crisis for your teen and your family. Common reactions might include anger, guilt and denial. Your teen might also experience anxiety, fear, shock and depression. Ask what your teen is feeling and talk about what's ahead. Your teen needs your love, guidance and support now more than ever.

Discuss the options

A pregnant teen has a variety of options to consider:

  • Keep the baby. Many pregnant teens keep their babies. Some choose to marry their partners and raise the baby together. Others rely on family support to raise the baby. Although completing school and getting a good job can be challenging, it can be accomplished with hard work and help. If your teen plans to keep the baby, discuss the challenges and responsibilities involved.
  • Give the baby up for adoption. Some pregnant teens give their babies up for adoption. If your teen is considering adoption, explore the different types available. Also, discuss the emotional impact on everyone involved.
  • End the pregnancy. Some pregnant teens choose to end their pregnancies. If your teen is considering an elective abortion, discuss the risks and emotional impact. Be aware that some states require parental notification for an elective abortion.

In addition to talking to you, encourage your teen to discuss the options with your teen's partner, health care provider or a specialist in pregnancy counseling. Talking to a psychologist or social worker also might be helpful.

Nov. 14, 2017 See more In-depth