As parents, the last thing most of us want to consider is that our child has made a bad decision. While teen pregnancy rates were at a record low of 34.3 per 1,000 women in 2010, a 2013 survey of High School students found that nearly half of all teens are sexually active. Roughly 40 percent do not use any form of birth control, including condoms. This leaves a fairly significant chance that your teen is sexually active and may not be using protection. This knowledge makes it unsurprising that many parents eventually find themselves suspecting their teen may be pregnant for a variety of reasons. This article explores alternative explanations for “signs” of teen pregnancy you may see as well as what to do when you suspect your teen is pregnant.
“My teen is dressing differently.”
One sign some parents interpret as an indicator of pregnancy is a sudden switch to baggy clothing. While an attempt to hide a growing baby bump is one explanation, your teen could also be experiencing other body changes they are self-conscious about such as weight gain or breast growth. Finally, try to get a look at other teens of the same “group” so to speak as yours. It’s possible you’re seeing a simple change in clothing trends.
“My teen is sick all the time.”
Another common teen pregnancy scare igniter is frequent vomiting or nausea and other early pregnancy symptoms. Keep in mind that all of the early symptoms of pregnancy are caused by hormonal imbalance. Hormonal fluctuations can occur without cause at anytime in life whether your teen has hit puberty or not. Many pregnancy symptoms also mimic that of the common flu.
“I found a pregnancy test in the bathroom.”
Finally, probably the scariest sign your teen could be pregnant, a test in the bathroom used or not. Naturally, this could just indicate your teen is sexually active. If there have been other teens in the house, it’s also possible the test is belonged to someone else who was afraid to test at home.
What should you do if you think your teen may be pregnant?
Generally, nothing is actually the best course of action. Simply provide your teen with the knowledge that she can talk to you about anything and be there for her. If you approach her with accusatory behavior you run the risk of being wrong and pushing her away from you. In the case you find a pregnancy test, you may want to broach the topic of contraceptives or even make condoms easily obtainable in a discrete way. If your daughter is indeed pregnant, you’ll find out eventually, teen abortion is illegal without a parent’s permission and you can’t hide a pregnancy forever. The question is do you want to have that information come peacefully or have it possibly ruin your relationship with your child?
You may also want to check out:
Preventing Teen Sex: A Parent’s Plan