"Provide for and take good care of your family." - Bristol Bay Yup'ik
Deciding to be a parent? If you are having unprotected sex and not using birth control, you have already made the decision to get pregnant.
Did you know? 40% of Alaska teens, ages 15-17, were pregnant in 2009 and 18% of Alaska teens, ages 18-19, were pregnant.
Pregnancy and parenthood are big events and will completely change your life. Teen parents face more struggles than parents who are ready and more prepared to raise a child. On average, an adult couple will spend $235,000 on raising a child from birth to age 18. That could buy a new home, a 2012 Ferrari, or a college degree. Money should not be the only factor to consider. Pregnancy and parenthood is a life-changing experience and if you and your partner are not ready to be parents, remember protected sex is the way to go!
Learn more about birth control and your options here.
Babies are wonderful, cute, and oh-so-much fun. We believe life is a gift. “Life is gifted to you. What you make of it is your gift in return.” – Unangan/Unangas value. But babies are also a lot of work. They rely on you for everything from feeding them, to changing them, to loving them, to helping them grow. Being unprepared for these responsibilities can lead to some serious consequences.
How babies change everything
Teens that become pregnant are more likely to have complications during pregnancy like:
• having STDs
• and low weight gainº.
Babies born to teen mothers, compared to adult mothers, are at higher risk of having low birth weight or neonatal deathº.
Having babies while being a teen is a serious thing!
Every parent wants the best for their child. Creating a better future for a child can be difficult for teen parents. The struggles teens face during pregnancy carry on into parenthood.
Teen parents are more likely to:
- experience poverty
- have lower incomes
- have lower education
- and enroll in child welfareº.
Having a child during your teen years puts your health and your baby’s health at risk.
Choosing to wait to be a parent, until you and your partner are ready, is the best choice to make. You can make this decision by: delaying (waiting) to have sex or if you are sexually active, choose to use birth control.
By waiting to become a parent, here are some things to keep in mind:
You can focus on school.
You’ll be prepared with more resources.
You can plan for your future!
If you are wondering, what can I do if I am already pregnant or a teen parent?
Prenatal Care is one of the best things you can get to make sure you and baby are healthy. During your prenatal care, you and baby will be checked to make sure all things are going good. You will receive prenatal vitamins to help you and baby stay healthy. You will learn which stage of pregnancy you are in – there are three stages (trimesters) of pregnancy. And even get to see what your baby looks like on an ultrasound.
If you are a teen dad and are wondering what you can do, here are some videos you can watch.
Pregnancy brings with it many changes to your body and mind. Making sure you are staying healthy physically and emotionally are important. Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider to see how you can have the healthiest pregnancy and what your options are for delivering your baby.