Having a baby

If you're pregnant and you decide to have the baby, there is a lot of information and support that you'll need to make sure you have a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth.

Your first step will be to talk to your GP or a sexual health clinic. They will help you book all the relevant apointments (for scans and so on) and give you advice and information on how stay healthy while you are pregnant.

Tommy's is a charity which helps people have healthy pregnancies. They have written a Young Woman's Guide to Pregnancy specifically for women under the age of 20 and includes the real pregnancy experiences of young mums. It is available free to teenagers through the Tommy's website.

If you're under the age of 25, our Brook Centres are here to help you. You can contact Ask Brook for information on local services that can help you on 0808 802 1234.

You will get lots of information about being pregnant and being a parent from other organisations, but there are one or two things that we can tell you about here to start you off.

Staying healthy
Midwife
Scans
Antenatal classes
Sex
Being pregnant at school
Being pregnant at work
Being a young parent 

Staying healthy

You need to try and eat and drink healthily and if you are a smoker or take drugs, you should stop as soon as you discover you are pregnant. Your doctor will be able to give you advice about other things you should do to look after yourself while you are pregnant. 

Midwife

A midwife is a specially trained nurse who will help you throughout your pregnancy birth. You will meet your midwife early on in your pregnancy will have regular appointments with her to check on how you are getting on.  

Scans

You will have opportunities to have scans and check the health of your baby throughout the pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife will be able to give you more information. 

Antenatal classes

Antenatal classes are run at your local hospital, birth centre or local community centre and they give you a chance to meet and share information with other parents. They are your opportunity to ask any questions you have about your pregnancy or the birth. 

Sex

It's fine for you to carry on having sex while you are pregnant, if you want to. But if you do, it's still really important to continue using a condom to protect yourself, and your baby, against STIs. You can find more information on STIs here. 

Being pregnant at school

If you are still at school when you get pregnant, you are entitled to an education and allowed to stay on at school. Some schools may have their own policy about what to do when a pupil becomes pregnant whilst at school. Teachers should act within the school's agreed policy.

If someone is being treated unfairly by a school when they're pregnant, you can get advice about how to challenge the school or the school's policy over the telephone by calling the Equality and Human Rights Commission on 0845 604 6610. Or you can visit the Children's Legal Centre website. You can also get advice from your local Citizen's Advice Bureau 

Being pregnant at work

There are laws to protect you if you are working when you get pregnant and your company will have a policy about your rights to maternity leave. You will find more information on your rights at work here. 

Being a young parent

Once the baby is born, you may find it helpful to think about the following things:

  • Is there anyone you know who will help out or babysit on a regular basis? How do they feel about doing this?
  • What sort of things would/could your parents or other adults you know do to help?
  • Is your partner feeling 100% ready to become a mum or dad? What help might they need?
  • It can also be helpful to think about things like finance and housing.

Gingerbread is an organisation which provides information on benefits, money, housing and childcare to single parents or young women who are pregnant and living with a parent.  You can call their helpline on 0800 018 4318.
Connexions provides information on education, careers, housing, money, health and relationships for 13-19 year olds. You can contact Connexions on 080 8001 3219 or have an email service.
AsktheSite also has a useful website section with information about housing and financial rights.
Your local Citizen's Advice Bureau can also let you know your legal rights to housing and financial assistance.

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