Pregnancy is a trying time for anyone – physically,…

photo by radloff via flickr

Pregnancy is a trying time for anyone – physically, mentally, and emotionally. The added pressures of being a teenager, and one who didn’t intend to get pregnant, only seem to make the experience that much more difficult to handle. Ultimately, I don’t have any first-hand experience with teen pregnancy, nor have I had to plan for the life of a child, so I claim no authority on the subject. I only hope to share what I have gleaned from the experiences of others.

As a pregnant teen, you may deal with overwhelming external pressure from others and people will make unfair assumptions about you. It may be that, unfortunately, you will hear everyone’s opinion about your pregnancy and they will question your decisions, tell you what you should do, and how you should do it. As impossible as it may seem at times, finding someone who will support you unconditionally and help you do what you want can make all the difference.

A 17-year-old girl told me that when she got pregnant, she found out who her “real” friends were. During her pregnancy, she said her friends were nowhere to be found when she needed help; suddenly, nearing the due date, her missing friends were back and wanted to see her baby. She was hurt by their self-serving behavior. Through being pregnant, she discovered her best friend to be her mom, who offered her constant support and attention during what proved a very difficult and confusing time.

Not everyone will have a nurturing parent to lean on like this 17-year-old, but support and love can come from anyone. At the National Runaway Switchboard, you can talk with people who will listen to and support you and help you find the resources you’re looking for.

– Colin