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If you think that you or your partner could be pregnant, it’s important you get the support you need to work out what to do next. Going through a pregnancy is a big deal for anyone, whatever age you are and regardless of whether it was planned or not. It's important you get as much information as you can for what parenthood could mean to you. 

Getting the test

The most important thing to do is to take a pregnancy test. If it is positive, you and your partner might feel excited about having a baby, or you may feel worried or unsure about the next steps. Maybe both! Becoming a parent is a big change so there will be a lot to think about. 

It is a good idea to talk to someone you trust, who can help you and your partner understand what pregnancy means for you. There are also many services, like your GP or local clinics, who can help you find out what you need to know about pregnancy and becoming a parent.

What to do if you’re worried about being pregnant

girl looks at pregnancy test

Talking it through

You might feel worried about what having a baby means for you and your partner, how it might affect your education or work, or how others might feel about it. This is normal and it's best to talk to someone you trust like a friend or family member. 

Whatever your age, you have the right to confidential advice from your GP or sexual health clinic. If your doctor is convinced you can understand the health advice given then your parents don't need to come with you.  However, if they suspect you are at risk of sexual abuse or harm, they have a duty to inform children’s services.

Make sure you and your partner talk about your options before making a decision about next steps.

Choices in pregnancy

looking after health in pregnancy

girl talking to doctor

Looking after your health

It's normal for couples to have times when they feel stressed or worried during pregnancy. It's important to look after yourself and acknowledge these feelings: 

  • Practice self-care: Try to take a moment to pause and think about the positives. Take time to relax, eat well, exercise and meet with friends.
  • Join a parents support group: Your health visitor can help you locate a range of support groups in your local area.
  • Household chores can wait: It can be hard keeping up with the washing, cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking. Find a schedule for chores that doesn’t compromise on time to relax.
  • Talking therapy: If your problem is getting in the way of your life, consider meeting with someone trained to help.

Mental health and pregnancy

One in every ten women will experience feeling depressed at some point in pregnancy. Similarly, one in ten dads will experience post-natal depression. There are many people out there who can understand these emotions, who will not judge you for having them and who can support you.

Difficult emotions and symptoms involved in this type of depression can include confusion, guilt, anger, helplessness, sadness, hopelessness, loss, anxiety and low energy.

Tommy's has useful information on depression and pregnancy, as does the NHS pregnancy advice pages. They also have a list of organisations and helplines that offer confidential support with mental health issues

Whatever you or your partner are going through, there is free and confidential support out there. The most important thing is to talk to someone you trust so you can most well-informed decisions for you and your baby.