Despite good contraceptive measures and education as part of the school curriculum, pregnancies continue to occur in young girls. Some are still very young at the time of conception. Conception is the fertilization of the egg with a sperm. From that moment on, the little life begins to grow and develop very slowly into a human being as we are. If a girl gets pregnant in her teenage years, it brings many a problem. Because young girls are usually overwhelmed with this new situation and can hardly cope with the responsibility that comes with it. By the way, you are considered a teenager as long as you are between 13 and 19 years old. The word has to do with the English numbers. Because the numbers from 13 to 10 in English become ThirTEEN, FourTEEN, etc., children of this age are also called teenagers. Teenagers are in the middle of puberty. This is the time when you mature from a child to an adult. Hormones change and you notice hair sprouting where there was none before. New feelings and needs arise, the first caresses between young couples are exchanged. In our enlightened, modern society, sex between very young teenagers is not uncommon. As long as they know how to use contraception, protect themselves against STDs and are both about the same age, it’s not so bad. However, if they don’t pay attention to adequate protection, then unwanted pregnancies or serious illnesses can occur. Girls who find out about their pregnancy during a consultation with the gynecologist or as a result of a pregnancy test are beside themselves at first. And rightly so: because in the course of the following year, many things will change in the girl’s life. Gynecologists are also called gynecologists and are very knowledgeable about the female body, effective contraceptive methods, pregnancy and childbirth. How best to deal with the news of an existing pregnancy and why you should not panic, we tell you today.
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Girls who find out about their pregnancy can react very differently. Most are shocked and scared at the fact that they will soon be taking care of a baby, even though they are still children themselves. It’s hard to stay calm. But that is exactly the most important thing in this situation. Only with a clear head can you seriously think about how things can continue for you and what steps are necessary next. Our most important and first advice to you is therefore: Please don’t go crazy and don’t take any hasty actions. An unwanted pregnancy is not a reason to consider your life over. Often pregnant girls find more acceptance and support from their relatives than they had expected.
I’m Pregnant: Bad News Or A New Beginning?
You yourself decide what pregnancy means to you. In any case, one thing is certain: if you become pregnant when you are under 18, you are not really old enough to take care of a child on your own. However, no one can take the decision away from you whether you want to have the child. This also means that no one can push or force you to terminate the pregnancy or give the child away. It is true that the Jugendwohlfahrt has a say in this case. If you want to have the child and are concerned about giving it a good start in life, they will not put too many obstacles in your way. Because some mothers are still very young, many are dependent on the support of their parents, grandparents, parents-in-law and, last but not least, their partners.
Even a young relationship can withstand the pressure of starting a family. If you both pull together and decide to live as a small family, you can make it work. However, this is only true if you take advantage of the help that is offered to you. Thinking you are grown up enough to take everything into your own hands is inappropriate and reckless. Take the advice of those people who mean well for you. Also, be aware that what lies ahead is likely to be very different from what you imagine. That is why you should follow the experiences and tips of older mothers. This will help you better prepare for the years ahead. Whether you already know a lot about raising children or not, it’s not just up to you to take good care of the child. Consult with your boyfriend about what you both want. Can he imagine raising the child with you? Or would he not be able to handle it and leave you sooner or later? What do you think of him? What does he say about the current circumstances? It is always better for the child to be raised by two parents. That is why you should talk openly about everything from the beginning and make the upcoming decisions together. If your boyfriend wants to force you to have an abortion even though you don’t want to, you should show your limits. Because as a potential mother, the final decision always remains with you.
In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, there are a number of possible courses of action. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself what you want. Can you see yourself taking care of the child in the long term?
It is better not to decide too quickly or on the basis of your gut feeling what should happen to the child. Give yourself and your partner enough time to make a decision.
In any case, make an appointment with the local family or youth counseling center in your city as soon as possible after you become aware of your pregnancy. There, they can give you confidential information about the options available to you. This can strengthen your courage and reassure your friend to be there for you and the child – from pregnancy to birth and hopefully long after.
What’s In Store For New Moms
Once you have decided to carry the child to term, you should consider the consequences of doing so. Depending on the country you live in and how old you are, the Jugendwohlfahrt may not grant you custody. In most cases, the parents or the father of the child are then awarded custody. In Austria, for example, mothers under 18 are generally not granted custody of the child. Nevertheless, you are the mother of the child and will raise it with the help of your parents or boyfriend.
Separated From The Father? Claim Child Support!
All parents are obliged to support their children as long as they are not yet able to earn their own living. This means that they must provide the child with housing, clothing, food, and anything else he or she needs. If you are a single mother because the child’s father has separated from you, the father must pay his share of the child support. This money is meant for the baby and should be used solely to meet his needs. If the father refuses to pay the child support (alimony), then in most countries you can turn to the court to get an advance on child support until the situation is resolved. In any case, insist on your right and do not allow the child’s father to get out of the way without contributing his share to the child’s support
Even though you should take it easy as the weight of the child increases, there is a lot for you to do.
Remember that you now have very special needs in terms of your diet. Pregnant women have an increased daily requirement of folic acid and various vitamins and minerals. Therefore, make sure you eat a balanced diet that includes enough milk and dairy products as well as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and meat. Please do not eat raw meat (beef tartare, raw sausage) during pregnancy. Drink plenty of water regularly, as you will need more water than usual. High quality fruit juices will help you meet the increased nutritional needs.
Your baby will need space. Think about the best place to put him and his crib and what else needs to be done for the interior. Together with your parents, parents-in-law or the father of the child, you will buy the first toys for the child, as well as clothes, food and diapers. This way you make sure that everything you need is there after the birth.
The childbirth preparation course is a good way to get an early taste of life as a mother. There you will learn breathing techniques to make the birth itself easier. Depending on the course you choose, you will deal with the everyday things of baby life such as diapering, feeding, etc. Therefore, taking part in the course can also be useful for the father. Unlike you, he has to pay for it himself in most countries.
The closer the birth date gets, the more important it is to prepare a small suitcase or bag for the stay in the hospital. Put it in a place that is easily accessible and in plain view when you leave. Because in the heat of the moment, it can be easy to forget about it. In addition to clothes for you and the baby, you should take documents such as the maternity passport, your health insurance card, an ID card and a cell phone with you as soon as you have to go to the hospital. Also take a camera with you to be able to take first photos of the baby. Your partner will need a pick-me-up every now and then during the birth, because it may well take a while before the baby arrives. Cereal bars and a change of clothes are therefore not a mistake. For yourself, it’s best to take cozy, comfy clothes that you like to wear. Toiletries, a book or magazines also belong in your suitcase, of course.
The Postpartum Period
Pregnancy was an exciting time for you because you had to prepare for life with a baby. After the birth, things really get going. The baby is here and wants to be taken care of. It turns your life upside down. The sudden responsibility can make you feel uncomfortable in the first time after the birth. You have to get used to the fact that your life will be completely different. It’s exhausting when you always have to take care of your baby’s needs. The time when you only had to take care of yourself will be over.
Anxiety about motherhood is completely normal during this time. In addition, there are hormonal changes in your body that can also affect you. The “baby blues” lead to postpartum upsets. Normally, the symptoms disappear sooner or later on their own. If you allow yourself some rest and get good support, you can recover more quickly from the birth. Your mood should also return to normal quite quickly.
The Body Changes
After giving birth, it takes a while for the body to return to its old shape. Special postpartum exercises help the tissues to recover and become tighter again. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of offerings for new moms to regress. Gentle exercise will also get you back into the swing of things and help you get through the postpartum period faster.
When you were a child, you didn’t have to worry about as many things as you do as an expectant mother. One or the other errand can be forgotten. If you think about and plan all the necessary steps before the birth, you will save yourself a lot of stress in the first time with your baby. Involve those around you in your planning as much as possible and get help wherever you can. Don’t forget the following things:
Normally, paternity can be acknowledged from the 6th month of pregnancy. Find out more about this at the registry office or at the youth welfare office.
Claiming Child Support
If you are separated from the child’s father, you can get help with child support at the Jugendwohlfahrt. They have experts who know exactly what to do.
Apply For An Advance On Child Support
Depending on where you live, you can apply for an advance on child support from various agencies. If you live separately from the father of the child, ask at the family counseling center or directly at the youth welfare office how you can get an advance on child support.
Get Support And Take Care Of Yourself
Have a clarifying conversation with your parents about the extent to which they can and will support you. Are there other people who may be eligible for your support? Talk ahead of time about how you envision the time ahead.
Share with them that you need help and look to yourself. It’s nearly impossible to struggle through being a young mom completely on your own. Besides, it doesn’t have to be.
Everything The Baby Needs
Write yourself a list of things you need to get until the baby arrives. With the help of flea markets, flea market apps, and shopping online, you can buy used baby stuff for a lot cheaper than in the store. Don’t buy too many clothes yourself, because you usually get a lot as gifts from friends and relatives anyway. For this purpose, you can organize a baby shower, to which everyone brings you a small gift. Think about who is most likely to drive you to the hospital when the time comes. Also discuss everything necessary with your future baby shuttle service (dad, mom, child’s father, neighbor,…).
Worksheet For The Text
1) Explain the difficult words from the text.
2) What is the postpartum period and what exactly happens during this time?
3) What precautions do expectant mothers need to take to be well prepared for the birth and the first time with the baby?
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