Your head started spinning the moment she told you she was pregnant. So many questions. So much uncertainty. She’s always been your little girl, and now she’s pregnant. While no parent is every truly prepared for this, studies show nearly 750,000 teenage American girls get pregnant each year, and the vast majority are unplanned. So, now that it’s a reality for your family, how can you best support your daughter and the child she’s carrying?
1. Listen Without Judgment
The news likely came as a big shock, so your immediate reaction may be to express disappointment, frustration or shame. But that does no one any good. If you want your daughter to talk honestly and keep the lines of communication open, you must to be ready to listen patiently, respect her views and engage on her terms. She needs you more than ever, and she’s likely pretty fragile. Lending a caring, judgment-free ear will help establish you as a trusted ally.
2. Help Her Explore Options
It’s easy to get tunnel vision when dealing with such a life-changing event. Too often, a teen mom may zero in on a single option for her pregnancy without fully considering what’s best for her and her baby. It’s a good idea to talk with a trained pregnancy counselor to explore all the options available. You may be surprised to learn just how feasible it is for a young mom to raise a child today while staying on track with her life, education and career goals. Or, you may want to consider the various types of adoption that are available.
3. Find Quality Prenatal Care
Moments after she became pregnant, your daughter’s body began to change. Keeping up with those changes while ensuring both your daughter and the baby she’s carrying remain healthy requires early and consistent prenatal medical care. If you do not already have access to a licensed obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) physician, or you don’t have health insurance, an advocate can likely connect your daughter with the care she needs.
4. Connect Her with Resources
Numerous government agencies and community organizations exist to offer young pregnant women resources and support. In Gainesville, Sira offers free medical pregnancy tests, pregnancy options counseling and access to a broad network of community partners. We can help connect you to the resources your daughter and her baby need in order to be healthy and well taken care of throughout the pregnancy and beyond.
5. Hugs, Hugs, Hugs
Sure, it sounds cliché, but never underestimate the power of a sincere and loving embrace. Throughout her life, you’ve likely given her hundreds of calming, reinforcing hugs. She needs them now more than ever. Through the questions, the doubts and the times when she feels overwhelmed, she needs to know that you are on her side. Often, a hug demonstrates that more clearly than words possibly could.
Remember, above all else, to love your daughter throughout this challenging time. In every pregnancy – even the unexpected ones – there is a miracle. If you embrace it, and empower your daughter with the hope and inspiration to do the same, a beautiful addition to your family awaits.
Contact Sira in Gainesville today at 352-377-4947 to talk to one of our pregnancy options counselors.