Teen Pregnancy: Getting Your Mind and Body Ready for Motherhood

Reviewed Oct 13, 2016

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Summary

  • Get your mind and body ready for childbirth.
  • Be ready to accept changes in your life.

You’re pregnant. And, like most teenaged mothers-to-be, you may be both excited and a bit concerned.

Soon, your everyday life will be very, very different. You’ll have a new person in your life to take care of and enjoy for many years.

You can prepare your body and mind now for the delivery of this child and everything that comes later, by following these steps:

  • See a health professional who will monitor your baby and give suggestions for how you prepare. Ask what foods to eat and what to avoid. Tell the doctor what medications you take.
  • Take good care of your body. Anything you put into it—like drugs, alcohol, or nicotine from cigarettes—will affect your baby, so stick with healthy things like vegetables, milk, eggs, and lean meat. Consult your medical doctor before taking any medications (for example, over-the-counter, aspirin, etc.)
  • Get plenty of sleep. Your body is working hard for two, so expect to sleep and rest more than usual. You might want to take naps, especially late in the pregnancy.
  • Keep your body moving. Walk as much as you can, but wear shoes (like sneakers) that support your feet and legs. Regular exercise will help keep you trim and strong, but ask your doctor first before you start doing anything new.
  • Read everything you can about pregnancy and newborn babies. There are lots of baby books available (free in libraries) and even magazines, videos, and websites. Ask a librarian to help you find what you need. 
  • Ask someone to support you emotionally and physically through the tough times, including delivery. This person might run to get you some ice during labor, or help you make decisions. You can ask a parent, grandparent, your boyfriend, or someone you know who will be there for you when you need them the most.
  • Attend childbirth classes and bring that important person with you.

The healthiest way to emotionally prepare for childbirth is to accept that there will be changes in your life. You’ve adapted to change before, so prepare yourself now for what’s ahead.   

What will change?

  1. Your body. It’s only natural. You may look a bit rounder, or at least different, after childbirth. Some young women spring back to their original shape, but some don’t. Change takes time. Be patient with yourself.
  2. Your time. You won’t have much time to yourself for the first few months. You’ll be busy taking care of your baby, who will need a lot of your time and energy. See if someone in your family can help you out once in a while, so you can get a little break to take care of some of your own needs.
  3. Your energy level. Prepare to be exhausted. New babies live on two-hour cycles, leaving mothers little time for their own rest or meals. Get lots of sleep during your pregnancy so your body will be in good shape for several difficult weeks or months after birth.
  4. Your work or school. You will be out for a while, so you’ll need to let people know when you expect to leave and return. You might need to finish up some work before you leave. 
  5. Your social life. You probably won’t be able to go out with your friends, like you’ve been used to. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch by phone, email, or an occasional visit. Try to keep connected to your friends, your school, workplace, church, or other people in your life. Eventually, when the child is older, you’ll have more time to spend with friends.  
  6. Your environment. If you can set up a space for you and the baby before the birth, it will be easier for you during those first few weeks. 
  7. Your expectations. There are many things about your baby that will be out of your control. You probably can’t control the birth date. You don’t know if the child will cry all night, get sick, or have feeding problems. Babies cry, poop, spit up, and slobber. You can count on it. Be prepared to be flexible and adapt to the situation. Expect the unexpected.

Soon after your baby arrives, you will probably get lots of attention from your friends and family. Enjoy it. But, that will change, too. At some point, they will go back to their routines and you will need to take responsibility for your own child.

Some women feel low or down after they give birth. This emotional state is caused by a change in the body’s chemistry, and is not the same thing as postpartum (after childbirth) depression. The low feeling will go away. If you feel down, tell your doctor.

However, 10 percent of new mothers will have something much more serious. If you’ve dealt with depression before, you are at high risk for postpartum depression, a serious illness. Tell your doctor while you’re pregnant if you have had depression.

Resources

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, Workman Publishing Company, 2016.

What to expect when you’re expecting, www.whattoexpect.com, an interactive website moderated by the authors of the book, with forums and answers to many questions about pregnancy, childbirth, and child development.

By Paula Hartman Cohen
Source: Scott Haltzman, MD, psychiatrist, author, and Medical Director of NRI Community Services, Woonsocket, RI; Barbara Rudell, RN, NP, CNM, Sutter Davis Hospital, Davis, CA
Reviewed by Ravi Doshi, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Get your mind and body ready for childbirth.
  • Be ready to accept changes in your life.

You’re pregnant. And, like most teenaged mothers-to-be, you may be both excited and a bit concerned.

Soon, your everyday life will be very, very different. You’ll have a new person in your life to take care of and enjoy for many years.

You can prepare your body and mind now for the delivery of this child and everything that comes later, by following these steps:

  • See a health professional who will monitor your baby and give suggestions for how you prepare. Ask what foods to eat and what to avoid. Tell the doctor what medications you take.
  • Take good care of your body. Anything you put into it—like drugs, alcohol, or nicotine from cigarettes—will affect your baby, so stick with healthy things like vegetables, milk, eggs, and lean meat. Consult your medical doctor before taking any medications (for example, over-the-counter, aspirin, etc.)
  • Get plenty of sleep. Your body is working hard for two, so expect to sleep and rest more than usual. You might want to take naps, especially late in the pregnancy.
  • Keep your body moving. Walk as much as you can, but wear shoes (like sneakers) that support your feet and legs. Regular exercise will help keep you trim and strong, but ask your doctor first before you start doing anything new.
  • Read everything you can about pregnancy and newborn babies. There are lots of baby books available (free in libraries) and even magazines, videos, and websites. Ask a librarian to help you find what you need. 
  • Ask someone to support you emotionally and physically through the tough times, including delivery. This person might run to get you some ice during labor, or help you make decisions. You can ask a parent, grandparent, your boyfriend, or someone you know who will be there for you when you need them the most.
  • Attend childbirth classes and bring that important person with you.

The healthiest way to emotionally prepare for childbirth is to accept that there will be changes in your life. You’ve adapted to change before, so prepare yourself now for what’s ahead.   

What will change?

  1. Your body. It’s only natural. You may look a bit rounder, or at least different, after childbirth. Some young women spring back to their original shape, but some don’t. Change takes time. Be patient with yourself.
  2. Your time. You won’t have much time to yourself for the first few months. You’ll be busy taking care of your baby, who will need a lot of your time and energy. See if someone in your family can help you out once in a while, so you can get a little break to take care of some of your own needs.
  3. Your energy level. Prepare to be exhausted. New babies live on two-hour cycles, leaving mothers little time for their own rest or meals. Get lots of sleep during your pregnancy so your body will be in good shape for several difficult weeks or months after birth.
  4. Your work or school. You will be out for a while, so you’ll need to let people know when you expect to leave and return. You might need to finish up some work before you leave. 
  5. Your social life. You probably won’t be able to go out with your friends, like you’ve been used to. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch by phone, email, or an occasional visit. Try to keep connected to your friends, your school, workplace, church, or other people in your life. Eventually, when the child is older, you’ll have more time to spend with friends.  
  6. Your environment. If you can set up a space for you and the baby before the birth, it will be easier for you during those first few weeks. 
  7. Your expectations. There are many things about your baby that will be out of your control. You probably can’t control the birth date. You don’t know if the child will cry all night, get sick, or have feeding problems. Babies cry, poop, spit up, and slobber. You can count on it. Be prepared to be flexible and adapt to the situation. Expect the unexpected.

Soon after your baby arrives, you will probably get lots of attention from your friends and family. Enjoy it. But, that will change, too. At some point, they will go back to their routines and you will need to take responsibility for your own child.

Some women feel low or down after they give birth. This emotional state is caused by a change in the body’s chemistry, and is not the same thing as postpartum (after childbirth) depression. The low feeling will go away. If you feel down, tell your doctor.

However, 10 percent of new mothers will have something much more serious. If you’ve dealt with depression before, you are at high risk for postpartum depression, a serious illness. Tell your doctor while you’re pregnant if you have had depression.

Resources

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, Workman Publishing Company, 2016.

What to expect when you’re expecting, www.whattoexpect.com, an interactive website moderated by the authors of the book, with forums and answers to many questions about pregnancy, childbirth, and child development.

By Paula Hartman Cohen
Source: Scott Haltzman, MD, psychiatrist, author, and Medical Director of NRI Community Services, Woonsocket, RI; Barbara Rudell, RN, NP, CNM, Sutter Davis Hospital, Davis, CA
Reviewed by Ravi Doshi, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Get your mind and body ready for childbirth.
  • Be ready to accept changes in your life.

You’re pregnant. And, like most teenaged mothers-to-be, you may be both excited and a bit concerned.

Soon, your everyday life will be very, very different. You’ll have a new person in your life to take care of and enjoy for many years.

You can prepare your body and mind now for the delivery of this child and everything that comes later, by following these steps:

  • See a health professional who will monitor your baby and give suggestions for how you prepare. Ask what foods to eat and what to avoid. Tell the doctor what medications you take.
  • Take good care of your body. Anything you put into it—like drugs, alcohol, or nicotine from cigarettes—will affect your baby, so stick with healthy things like vegetables, milk, eggs, and lean meat. Consult your medical doctor before taking any medications (for example, over-the-counter, aspirin, etc.)
  • Get plenty of sleep. Your body is working hard for two, so expect to sleep and rest more than usual. You might want to take naps, especially late in the pregnancy.
  • Keep your body moving. Walk as much as you can, but wear shoes (like sneakers) that support your feet and legs. Regular exercise will help keep you trim and strong, but ask your doctor first before you start doing anything new.
  • Read everything you can about pregnancy and newborn babies. There are lots of baby books available (free in libraries) and even magazines, videos, and websites. Ask a librarian to help you find what you need. 
  • Ask someone to support you emotionally and physically through the tough times, including delivery. This person might run to get you some ice during labor, or help you make decisions. You can ask a parent, grandparent, your boyfriend, or someone you know who will be there for you when you need them the most.
  • Attend childbirth classes and bring that important person with you.

The healthiest way to emotionally prepare for childbirth is to accept that there will be changes in your life. You’ve adapted to change before, so prepare yourself now for what’s ahead.   

What will change?

  1. Your body. It’s only natural. You may look a bit rounder, or at least different, after childbirth. Some young women spring back to their original shape, but some don’t. Change takes time. Be patient with yourself.
  2. Your time. You won’t have much time to yourself for the first few months. You’ll be busy taking care of your baby, who will need a lot of your time and energy. See if someone in your family can help you out once in a while, so you can get a little break to take care of some of your own needs.
  3. Your energy level. Prepare to be exhausted. New babies live on two-hour cycles, leaving mothers little time for their own rest or meals. Get lots of sleep during your pregnancy so your body will be in good shape for several difficult weeks or months after birth.
  4. Your work or school. You will be out for a while, so you’ll need to let people know when you expect to leave and return. You might need to finish up some work before you leave. 
  5. Your social life. You probably won’t be able to go out with your friends, like you’ve been used to. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch by phone, email, or an occasional visit. Try to keep connected to your friends, your school, workplace, church, or other people in your life. Eventually, when the child is older, you’ll have more time to spend with friends.  
  6. Your environment. If you can set up a space for you and the baby before the birth, it will be easier for you during those first few weeks. 
  7. Your expectations. There are many things about your baby that will be out of your control. You probably can’t control the birth date. You don’t know if the child will cry all night, get sick, or have feeding problems. Babies cry, poop, spit up, and slobber. You can count on it. Be prepared to be flexible and adapt to the situation. Expect the unexpected.

Soon after your baby arrives, you will probably get lots of attention from your friends and family. Enjoy it. But, that will change, too. At some point, they will go back to their routines and you will need to take responsibility for your own child.

Some women feel low or down after they give birth. This emotional state is caused by a change in the body’s chemistry, and is not the same thing as postpartum (after childbirth) depression. The low feeling will go away. If you feel down, tell your doctor.

However, 10 percent of new mothers will have something much more serious. If you’ve dealt with depression before, you are at high risk for postpartum depression, a serious illness. Tell your doctor while you’re pregnant if you have had depression.

Resources

What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, Workman Publishing Company, 2016.

What to expect when you’re expecting, www.whattoexpect.com, an interactive website moderated by the authors of the book, with forums and answers to many questions about pregnancy, childbirth, and child development.

By Paula Hartman Cohen
Source: Scott Haltzman, MD, psychiatrist, author, and Medical Director of NRI Community Services, Woonsocket, RI; Barbara Rudell, RN, NP, CNM, Sutter Davis Hospital, Davis, CA
Reviewed by Ravi Doshi, Peer & Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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