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Helping Your Child through an Unplanned Pregnancy

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 24 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Unplanned Pregnancy Abortion Adoption

Finding out that your child is pregnant should be a joyous occasion, but when a pregnancy is unplanned, the happiness can sometimes be tainted by worries. Parents can offer much help and support to their children, though, making it easier for the younger generation to make sound decisions during this difficult time.

Facing a Major Decision

An unplanned pregnancy puts a young couple in a difficult situation. Sometimes, news of a pregnancy divides couples, leaving young women to shoulder all of the responsibilities for the decisions that must be made. While this is certainly unfortunate, it is a common situation and girls in this position will need all of the support that they can get from their parents and other family members.

In the UK, pregnancies can be legally terminated through 24 weeks, under normal circumstances. While accessing an abortion is not difficult, the decision to terminate a pregnancy is a wrenching one, requiring considerable thought. Some young women choose not to have abortions, yet realise that they are not yet ready for the responsibilities of parenthood. Choosing to put a baby up for adoption provides many girls with the comfort of knowing that their babies will be placed into loving homes with parents who have been well-screened.

Finally, some young women decide to keep their babies, embarking on parenthood sooner than they would have expected. No matter what choice a girl makes, she will be forever changed by the experience and will need the love and support of her family and close friends.

Family Support

All parents want their children's lives to be happy and worry free, but there is no way to really protect them from hardships. While parents cannot guarantee that their children will always choose easy paths, they can offer their help, support, and unconditional love, letting their kids know that there is always someone that they can count on.

An unplanned pregnancy can be a trying time for the entire family, especially if the young woman has not finished her schooling, but with help and support, both she and her baby can fare just fine.

Parents need to take an honest look at just how much help they are able (and willing) to provide, since it is unfair to make promises of assistance that would be impossible to keep. Offering financial aid, housing, or help with childcare are all kind, but only if these are things that could actually be given on a regular basis. In order to make the best decisions for themselves and their babies, young women need honesty and openness from the members of their support system.

A Healthy Pregnancy

Prenatal care is vital for the health of both babies and mothers. Young mothers are more likely than their older counterparts to underestimate the value of good health care, so parents should see that their daughters are well informed about the importance of seeking early care. Additionally, a diet rich in nutrients, combined with a doctor-approved exercise plan, will help to keep expectant mothers in top shape and make their labour easier, when the time comes.

Offering to participate in childbirth classes and to be present at the birth can help young mothers a great deal; a first pregnancy can be a bit frightening, and the support of parents can provide a great sense of comfort.

Preparing for Parenthood

Many young mothers are unfamiliar with the tasks involved in caring for a new baby, so enrolling in parenting classes may be wise. If the new mother and her baby plan to live with her parents, parental expectations should be discussed in advance to minimise the possibility of misunderstanding once the baby is born.

New grandparents will be walking a fine line - trying to be helpful without taking over the care and responsibility for their grandchild. New mums need to know that the have not only the support of their parents, but also that their parents have confidence that the baby will be cared for properly, without any interference from them. When everyone is living under one roof, finding this balance can be tricky, but it is well worth the effort.

Babies bring joy, and while babies don't always come at the most convenient times, each is a special gift. Proud grandparents, even those who approach grandparenting with some hesitation, will surely put aside all of their reservations the very first time that they hold that tiny infant and fall madly in love.

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