Teen Pregnancy in Missouri
Finding out you’re pregnant when you’re a teenager can be daunting, especially if the pregnancy wasn’t planned, but help and support is available in Missouri. First, if you think you might be pregnant but you’re not sure, it’s important to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible to find out.
I’m pregnant and don’t want to parent – what should I do next?
If your pregnancy test is positive, it’s understandable to feel mixed emotions: excitement about having a child, worry about telling your parents, and anxiety about pregnancy and childbirth. You may also be feeling worried or frightened if you’re not sure that you want to be pregnant.
Make sure to talk through your options and think carefully before you make any decisions. Try talking to a family member, friend or someone you trust. Whatever your age, you can also ask for confidential advice from:
- your family doctor or nurse
- a contraception or sexual health clinic
It’s your decision, but don’t ignore the situation, hoping it will go away.
Your options are:
- continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the baby
- having an abortion
- continuing with the pregnancy and placing the baby for adoption
If you decide to continue your pregnancy, the next step is to start your prenatal care. If you decide not to continue with your pregnancy, you can talk to a doctor or visit a sexual health clinic to discuss your options. They can refer you for an assessment at a clinic or hospital if you choose to have an abortion.
What support is there for pregnant teenagers?
If you decide to continue with your pregnancy, there are a wide range of services to support you during pregnancy and after you have had your baby. If you have considered adoption, you can work with Adoption Choices of Missouri. We will discuss your options and help create an adoption plan.
Can I carry on with my education while I’m pregnant?
Yes, you can stay at school up until the birth and then return to school afterwards. If you’re pregnant, you’re expected to stay at school and continue education until you finish high school. Your school shouldn’t treat you any differently. You’re also entitled to a maternity break immediately before and after the birth.
You can only get maternity pay if you have a job, so very few students are eligible. But if you’re a student, you should be able to take maternity-related absence from studying after your baby’s been born. How long you take will depend on your situation and your particular course.