Tips for Pregnant Teenagers
Advice for Teenaged Moms-to-Be
As a pregnant teenager, you need to know how to take care of yourself and your developing fetus. In addition to going for regular checkups and getting proper prenatal care, there are many other areas you'll need to stay on top of. Pregnancy is a demanding phase for any new mom (albeit a very exciting period), and being pregnant during adolescence comes with its unique set of challenges, trials, and tribulations. To help you out, here is some advice from the experts on teenaged pregnancies.
Expert Tips for Expecting Teens
•1) Let the Secret Out: Tell your parents and the father-to-be as soon as possible that you are pregnant. The sooner they know, the longer they have to get used to the idea, and the sooner you can get the support you need to go through your pregnancy. If your family is not supportive, turn to a friend or other family member who can support you emotionally and help you get prenatal care ASAP.
•2) Self-Education: Learn all you can about pregnancy and parenting. There is a wealth of free online information about pregnancy (what to expect before, during, and after birth, nutrition and exercise regiments, lifestyle tips, advice on how to be a good and/or single parent, etc.), however be sure to visit only reliable medical websites where the information is accurate and up to date. You can also read parenting books and magazines or get free information pamphlets/ booklets from your local health clinic or hospital.
•3) Working/Finishing High School: If you are legally old enough to work, bring in and save as much money as possible before the baby is born. You might also want to explore the increasing number of alternative education programs for pregnant teens and teen moms, designed to cater to the needs of pregnant young women who want to complete their high school education while fulfilling their parental responsibilities.
•4) Accepting Help: Expecting women of all ages need help! Accept offers of support and help generously and graciously. Whether this means appreciating the love and encouragement of the people closest to you or accepting the kindness of strangers and their offers of clothes, baby items, childcare, and even cash, remember that you too would want to lend a helping hand if the tables were reversed.
Diet Tips for Pregnant Teens
Second in importance to proper prenatal care for pregnant teens is proper nutrition. Your body and the fetus are in a state of growth during pregnancy, and without the proper nutrients and appropriate weight gain, all kinds of pregnancy complications can arise - during pregnancy, during delivery, and after the baby's birth. Here are some nutrition tips from the experts for pregnant teenagers:
•- A teenage pregnancy diet should include essential minerals such as calcium, folic acid, iron, and more
•- A teenage pregnancy diet should include plenty of water, whole grains, iron-fortified cereals, fresh fruit, and green, leafy vegetables
•- A teenage pregnancy diet should include protein-rich foods such as fish, egg whites, poultry, lean meat, bean and lentils, peanut butter
•- A teenage pregnancy diet should include many sources of dietary calcium, including milk, soy milk, cheese, yogurt, and fresh orange juice
•- Pregnant women of all ages should take a nutritional supplement/prenatal vitamins as prescribed by their physician, providing proper amounts of essential nutrients (i.e., folic acid and iron) that pregnant women often don't get enough of from diet alone.
•- Pregnant teens should minimize their consumption junk food and soft drinks and avoid crash diets and weight loss programs
By following this expert advice, consulting regularly with your healthcare provider, and keeping yourself informed about being an expecting mom, you can prevent complications with your pregnancy and hopefully enjoy your healthy "bundle of joy" when the big day arrives and for many years to come.