Pregnancy

"I think I might be Pregnant"

 

Are My Feelings Normal?

Thinking you might be pregnant can be a very scary and upsetting experience. You probably thought this could never happen to you, especially if you were careful or didn’t use protection just one time. But as you probably now know, it only takes one act of unprotected sex to get pregnant or even get an STI (sexually transmitted infection). So, this is something to remember for the future. But for now, you need to find out if you are actually pregnant, and if you are, what you can do.

 

Should I Be Worried?

 

If you have had unprotected sex, there is reason to be worried about pregnancy or STI’s. But, the first thing to do is to stay calm and try not to panic. If your period is not yet due, it is too early to tell if you are pregnant. You should wait approximately five days after your period is due to get a pregnancy test, because it can take that long for the pregnancy hormone (hCG) to be detectable by a test.  You can get a pregnancy test from your family doctor, at a walk-in clinic, or at a Peel Healthy Sexuality Clinic; at one of these clinics, the pregnancy test will be free. You can also take a home pregnancy test, but the best way to know for sure is to see a doctor, because home pregnancy tests are not always accurate, especially when you take them too early. You should also talk to your doctor about being tested for STI’s, especially if you don’t know your partner’s sexual history.

 

Some signs of pregnancy to watch out for include:

  • A missed period or unusual period (shorter, lighter, or earlier/later than normal)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • More tender or enlarged breasts
  • More frequent urination
  • Feeling more tired
  • Having aches and pains

 

Keep in mind that having some or even all of these signs does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. The only way to know for sure is to see a doctor for a pregnancy test.

 

I am Pregnant. Now What?

You are probably going through a mix of emotions right now—feeling worried, scared, sad or even angry that this has happened to you. But, you are pregnant and will now need to deal with it. However, you do not need to go through this alone. As scary as this might seem, you should consider telling a parent or a family member you trust about the pregnancy so that they can support you. While they may be shocked, disappointed or angry at first, most parents want to be there for their kids and will in time come to terms with a pregnancy. It may take a while for them to accept the news, but it is usually best to be honest with your family up front, since they are likely to find out over time anyway.

 

Here are some steps to take when you are pregnant:

1.) Talk to a doctor or nurse about your options. He or she will advise you about proper health care and nutrition for pregnancy and who you can talk to about next steps; this may include a referral to a gynecologist for ongoing pregnancy care.

2.) Talk to a parent, family member or trusted adult for advice and support. It is hard to be pregnant but even harder to be pregnant and feel alone.  Just talking about your situation can help you come up with a plan of what to do next. If you are afraid to tell your parent or family member, you can talk to your school social worker or a  counselor first to get some advice and help with telling your family.

3.) Tell your sexual partner what is going on. Even though you might be worried about his reaction, it is important that he is aware of the situation because he is the baby’s father. Whether or not you are in a relationship with each other, it is important to talk about your pregnancy and to make decisions together about next steps. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone.

4.) Check out services in your community (provided by your doctor, Peel Health, Vita Centre) that can help you get the information you need and develop a plan for your pregnancy.

5.) Talk to your school social worker or guidance counselor about programs or options that may be available in your board for pregnant or parenting teens. There may be options for you to consider that would allow you to stay in school while pregnant or raising a child.

 

Tips for Prevention and Wellness

 

If you are pregnant, there is no point in being hard on yourself because this will only make you feel worse. People make mistakes and even if you were careful, sometimes things happen that you didn’t plan for. 

The best thing that you can do now is take care of yourself and get as much information as possible about options and services available to you. Being pregnant does not mean that your life is over. Your life will for sure become very different if you choose to keep your baby, but you can adjust to your new life with help and support. Reach out to someone who cares about you and talk about how you are feeling. You will probably go through many emotions and stages before you feel ready to take on the challenge of a pregnancy and baby. But don’t forget that there is help out there for people your age who are pregnant.

 

 

If you are not pregnant, you are probably relieved, but don’t forget this experience of thinking you might be. Having a child is a life-altering experience that is a life-long commitment. Don’t be fooled into thinking that being a young mom is glamorous or exciting, because if you ask any mother, especially a young mother, you will find that it is not. While having a child is a wonderful thing, it is difficult even for the most prepared and knowledgeable mother. Unlike babysitting, you can’t give the child back at the end of the day, nor can you put your child “on hold” while you finish high school or go to college. Wait until you are older, in a committed relationship or marriage, and feeling financially and emotionally prepared before you even consider getting pregnant. If you want someone to love, try loving yourself first. That includes taking care of yourself and protecting yourself against pregnancy and STI’s. If you have sex, be careful about it. Use protection (i. e. condoms and spermicidal foam) every single time, and talk to your doctor about which form of birth control is best for you. Remember, no form of birth control is 100% effective, other than abstinence.                                                      

 

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