Teenage Pregnancy

Baby Chaos offers a wealth of information about having a baby, but what if you are a teenager and were not planning on getting pregnant? Here is some specific advice.

Finding out you are pregnant

Where to get a pregnancy test

  • At your GP’s surgery.
  • Brook advisory clinic or similar sexual health clinic.
  • Chemists offer a pregnancy testing service.
  • Home tests are available at chemists, supermarkets and other stores.

Who to contact for support and information

  • Your GP.
  • Brook Advisory Clinic, to contact them call 0800 0185023 or go to www.brook.org.uk.

Some issues you may be facing

Low self esteem/lack of self confidence

You need to find ways to improve the way you see yourself. Gaining qualifications can boost your self confidence. Also developing parenting skills can be helpful, organisations such as Barnado’s can offer to educate in childcare and domestic skills. They also provide sex and health education. See Barnado’s website www.barnados.org.uk .

Little respect from others

The YWCA Respect Young Mums Initiative, campaigns for respect teenage mothers. You can get involved in their campaign by visiting their website www.ywca.org.uk . Talk to your health visitor about finding a young mums group in your area, to meet people who are in similar situations and can understand your feelings.

Low income

To find out about maternity rights and benefits contact the Maternity Alliance on 020 74907638, www.maternityalliance.org.uk .

Housing

For advice and information on housing issues phone Shelter on 0808 8004444. To obtain a copy of Shelter’s “Wise Up Housing Guide” ring 020 75054699. Barnado’s run a homeless service. You can also get help from social services.

Childcare

Quality of care given to babies and children is very important. The Child Care Approval Scheme lists approved carers who aren’t required to register legally, who provide a good standard of care. They have a website www.childcareapprovalscheme.co.uk , or a phone line 0845 7678111. Sure Start www.surestart.gov.uk , telephone 0870 0002288 aims to improve the quality of child care.

Education and career

The Care to Learn Scheme is available to mums and dads under 19 years of age, to enable them continue in their education and training. It pays for childcare and travelling costs and will not affect any benefits. You do not have to be receiving benefits to claim this. To find out more see www.dfes.gov.uk/caretolearn , 0845 6002809.

The Springboard Programme gives career advice, helps to find work placements. It also gives information on jobs, training and education, for more details go to www.springboard.co.uk . Connexions are a service for 13-19 year olds, which covers subjects including learning, working and managing money, www.connexions.gov.uk . Barnado’s supports young mums and dads in continuing with their education.

Remember young parents can be good parents too. You can finish your education and get the job that you want to do. Listen to positive comments; there are plenty of services out there that want to help you.