Becoming a mom is scary, but it’s even scarier when you are still a child yourself. If you have recently found out that you are pregnant or you want to support someone else who is pregnant at a young age, here are some of the most important things every teenage mom should have to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.
1. A good support system
All expectant mothers need a good support system, but this is especially true for teenage mothers.
You will face stigmatization and you might lose people you once considered friends. Finishing high school might become a challenge, and you may need to put post-graduation plans on hold.
Luckily, you might find support from the people you least expected it from, and these are the people you will want to keep around. Raising a child is tough but it will be more manageable if you have support cheering you on.
If you don’t have a great family to support you, and you feel like you’re losing touch with friends, look for classes you can take with other moms and local community support groups.
2. Prenatal classes
Prenatal classes will teach you how to take care of your body during pregnancy, like what foods to avoid or supplements to take and the importance of prenatal doctor care.
Additionally, they will prepare you for childbirth and what to expect once the baby arrives. You can also take classes that will teach you about breastfeeding, formula, and typical newborn behavior. Prenatal classes also give you the opportunity to meet other new parents who might become part of your support system later.
3. Access to local resources
Being a teenage mother can feel isolating, so it’s important to keep up to date on local resources in your area. This could include parenting classes, support groups, or in-home visits from a registered nurse.
If money is a concern, there might be resources available to help offset the cost of formula, diapers, or childcare, so you can control some of the stress that comes with raising a baby at a young age.
4. A baby monitor and other essentials
As a teenage mom, you will experience a wide-range of emotions and anxiety as you prepare to be responsible for another human being. A baby monitor can help reduce some of this anxiety by keeping a constant connection to your baby without needing to be right next to them.
You can choose from audio-only monitors or monitors that include video, but either type will work to alert you to your baby’s needs. There are a lot of products available for babies that you don’t need, but a baby monitor is one you shouldn’t pass on.
Of course, there are plenty of other things you’ll need like a stroller, bottles and formula, and so on… but a baby monitor isn’t as obvious to everyone, yet it can come in very useful. If you can’t afford a new one right now, don’t be shy to ask around or to check out second hand stores. People don’t need to hold onto their old baby monitors once their children are older, and might be happy to help you out.
Perspective is important when you’re a teenage mom. You might have people tell you that you are making a big mistake or ruining your life by having a baby at a young age. You might even start believing these things yourself.
The truth is, your life will be changed forever, and you might need to adjust plans to accommodate caring for a baby, but your life isn’t over. You can still finish high school, go to college, and start a career. You will have additional hurdles to overcome, but it is possible to be a teenage mom while accomplishing your goals.