As parents, we want to see our children be in a stable relationship, have sufficient education, and income before they try to bring their own children into this world. It can be difficult to hear when you find out that your 19-year-old daughter is pregnant. This means a lot of changes are coming your way quickly and you may need to take a step back to calm down and examine the situation before you two can have an in-depth conversation about it.
If your daughter is planning to have and raise this baby, your family is going to face some big changes. Most parents don’t expect their teenage daughters to get pregnant but it happens all the time as hundreds of thousands of teenage girls have babies every year in America.
The pregnancy will likely be overwhelming for your young daughter and she is going to need all the support and guidance she can get to have a healthy pregnancy and become a responsible young mother. With that being said, if your 19-year-old daughter is pregnant, here are the steps to take to make this situation the best it can be.
How Should Parents React To The News?
Try not to show too much disappointment, she’s already pregnant so it’s time to be reasonable and deal with it like adults. You are probably feeling shocked and worried about the future and that’s perfectly normal.
Don’t take it out on yourself either or feel guilty. Your 19-year-old daughter getting pregnant doesn’t make you a bad parent. There’s no reason for you to feel bad or that you could have done something to prevent this. Your daughter is in charge and responsible for her own body and her life choices.
Some parents may feel embarrassed that their daughter is pregnant but if she is in a stable relationship and is prepared to care for a newborn, reactions may be a bit different. You could be worrying about what people at work or in the community will think which is very common but at the end of the day, your daughter’s mental health is much more important than the reaction of others.
Other parents are happy to become grandparents at any rate and don’t let the judgment of others affect their feelings about a new baby in the family. This pregnancy might cause some strain on your daughter and your extended family so make sure you are supportive of her and if she lives away from home, keep the lines of communication open at all times.
It is also important to keep her stress levels low to help her have a healthy pregnancy. It is known that mothers who are stressed during pregnancy can cause problems with the baby.
If you are in a way disappointed, you will have to move past your feelings of heartbreak quickly so you can accept what is happening and support your daughter during her pregnancy.
Don’t vent your feelings about this to her, find someone else to talk about it with. Sit down with a close friend and let out your frustrations if you need to.
She is going to feel scared and uncertain about the future while dealing with her doctor appointments, prenatal care, morning sickness, and possible complications. Constantly bringing up the topic with her can make matters worse.
Make sure she knows and understands that you want her and the baby to stay healthy and that she takes the necessary steps to make this situation go smoothly.
Have the Abortion Conversation
Depending on how far along your daughter is, you’ll need to have a very difficult discussion with her. She needs to know her options. Your daughter will be living with the decisions she makes over the next few weeks for the rest of her life.
Depending on your political or religious background, this may or may not be an option. It’s not our job as parents to tell her what to do but simply to help her through this difficult time.
Hopefully, her partner is still in the picture and he can also be a shoulder to lean on. If he is then you might run the risk of him pressuring her into something she does not want to do.
Planned Parenthood has a free online chat to help young women make decisions during this difficult time. Have your daughter reach out to learn about all her options so she can make an informed decision on what’s best for her.
What Should She Be Doing Now?
Don’t pressure your daughter to pursue the baby’s father in a relationship or marry him just because she is pregnant with his child. She will have to make those decisions on her own.
Fathers are responsible for supporting their children financially and emotionally even if the young couple doesn’t stay together. You don’t want to pressure her to stay in a bad relationship and some young fathers can’t handle the news and run in fear of the responsibility.
Don’t try to force your will on your daughter, let her decide what’s best for herself and the baby.
Your daughter having a healthy pregnancy is the important thing. Be sure she takes notes about questions she has for the doctor when you visit.
Offer healthy foods and encourage regular exercise. Take walks together and start sharing some time alone to talk. Her doctor will help teach her how to take care of herself while the little one growing within.
Do some routine tests and make sure you give her some prenatal vitamins. She should also keep her regular appointments throughout the pregnancy to ensure that she and the baby are doing well and monitor progress. The doctor will keep an eye on the baby’s growth and have a more accurate due date.
Check into local resources at your local health department for programs that are designed to benefit women, infants, and children. These programs can help your daughter with nutrition, wellness checks, vaccinations, and dental for the new baby.
They can also help you find local birthing classes, maternity ward tours at the hospital you plan to use, and breastfeeding/parenting classes for young mothers. You want your daughter to be as prepared as possible for parenthood. Knowing what to expect can provide a huge relief.
Help Your Daughter Become a Healthy and Prepared Parent
There are many things to avoid during pregnancy to help lower the risk of complications.
Your daughter should not be smoking, drinking alcohol, or doing drugs. Drinking excess caffeine, poor diet, and stress can also be harmful during pregnancy. If your daughter isn’t taking good care of herself, talk to the doctor about ways she can get help and change any harmful habits.
Encourage her to eat healthy foods and maintain a well-balanced diet. Good nutrition is essential for your daughter to be able to provide enough nourishment for the baby and her own body.
If your daughter is resentful of her pregnancy and doesn’t seem interested in being maternal, adoption is always an option.
Don’t hurt her feelings by suggesting that she would be a bad parent, or that she is incapable of raising her child. Offer her an informational pamphlet or share adoption stories with her about families made whole through adoption.
If your daughter is against the idea entirely, let it go. At least you put the information out there for her to look at if she wants to consider it. There are many aspects of raising this baby for her to consider.
Your daughter will have to come up with a daily schedule and care plan for her baby so she knows who’s going to be caring for the baby and when.
An infant needs constant care day and night so decisions will have to be made about working and/or going to school. A responsible, trustworthy adult has to be available to take care of the baby at all times.
It will also have to be determined whether the baby’s father will play a role in the newborn’s care. Decide how involved you are willing to be in raising the child and set your boundaries. Let your daughter know how much you are willing to help her with housing, childcare, and expenses.
Becoming a mother is the biggest responsibility your daughter has ever faced. She’s going to have to take care of a tiny, helpless human being. She will have to focus on what’s best for the child, rather than what she would like to be doing. Having a crying baby isn’t going to be fun, but she will have to learn to handle it if she’s planning to have and keep this child.
Prepare yourself and your family for the changes that lie ahead by supporting and helping your daughter on the journey to motherhood. Starting on the right foot is important.
Being pregnant doesn’t mean that your daughter can’t still follow her dreams and be successful so make sure you guide her along the way and help her learn and grow throughout the pregnancy.
Finding out your 19-year-old daughter is pregnant can be shocking. You are expecting her to be focused on school and work, not taking care of a newborn.
It is important in this situation not to react in a way that will cause tension with the daughter. The last thing you want to do is add stress to the whole situation because your daughter will already be filled with different emotions.
Make sure you take all the proper necessary steps in ensuring that the pregnancy is safe by having regular visits to the doctor, staying on a healthy diet, and avoiding any drugs or alcohol.
Many parents might think that a 19-year-old should not live with their parents but in this situation, it might be best to see if your daughter would like to stay at your home so you can guide her through the process.