You probably thought that you would never be “that girl.” Then it happened. You found out that you are pregnant and “that girl” got a lot closer to home.
If you are pregnant in high school, there is one very important thing you need to know.
You are not alone.
Teen Pregnancy Statistics
The teen birth rate has been on the decline over the past three decades, down 75% from 1991 to 2020. It dropped 8% from 2019 to 2020. Still, 5% of all birth in 2020 were to females age 15 to 19 years old. The United States has a higher teen birth rate than many other developed countries, including the UK and Canada, at 15.4 births for every 1,000 females. Of these births, 91.7% occurred outside of marriage. 
While the rate of teen pregnancies has been dropping over the years, it still happens. And if it happens to you, it can be pretty scary. The truth is, it isn’t an easy road that you will have before you. About 50% of teen moms in the US finish high school and get their diploma by the time they are 22 years old. By contrast, 90% of females who don’t experience a teen pregnancy graduate from high school. 
The good news is, with proper support, you don’t have to be a statistic. We have many valuable resources that can help you be a great mom while accomplishing your dreams and goals.
What to Do if You’re Pregnant in High School
When you become pregnant, your body is no longer just about you – you have a brand new life growing inside you that you are responsible for. It may seem scary, and you probably have a thousand thoughts running through your head, but take a deep breath, relax, and take these next steps. 
- Determine how far along you are and get your estimated due date. You can figure out your due date yourself or visit the Pregnancy Care Clinic where you will also have access to many valuable resources that can help.
- Get information and support to help you get started. At Pregnancy Care Clinic we have a number of free services and resources that can help get you and your baby to a healthy start. We offer free ultrasound exams, medical referrals, peer counseling, emotional support, parenting classes, Moms Helping Moms Support Group, and even maternity clothes.
- Learn about the resources that are available to you that will help you successfully reach your goals and dreams with a baby.
- Begin building your support system. Let the people who love you be there for you. It is much easier when you don’t have to go through it alone. Talk to your parents, family, teachers, and friends to get the support you need and deserve.
- Decide on a healthcare provider. Whether you choose a doula, midwife, or OBGYN, you need to begin prenatal care sooner rather than later. It is important for your health and your baby’s health.
- Take care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep and take naps when you need rest. If you smoke, drink or take any illegal drugs, now is the time to quit. You should also begin taking prenatal vitamins. Your body is no longer just yours – it’s your baby’s home where he or she will grow and thrive.
One of the most important things to remember is that it’s okay to feel. You may have many different emotions that change. This is a life-changing event so give yourself permission to be worried, upset, nervous, and excited. However, before you make any decisions about what you are going to do, talk to someone you trust, get some counseling, or pray about it. But avoid making decisions in haste or when you are feeling overly emotional.
Can You Finish High School if You’re Pregnant?
The short answer is yes, you can finish high school if you are pregnant. However, you may have to face a few more challenges to finish your classes and graduate. You may be able to continue with your regular classes and graduate from your current high school, but some school districts have special programs for teen moms and teen moms to be. Some programs in San Diego that may help include:
- San Diego unified Cal-Safe program is available at Garfield High School
- San Diego Unified Policy of non-discrimination for pregnant, married, and parenting teens.
- Grossmont Union High School District
These programs are available in your area, so it may be beneficial for you to look into them because they can provide some great resources and support to help you successfully complete high school. If you are not from San Diego, look for similar programs in the State or community where you live. You can still go to college and transfer to a university with a lot of help from these California colleges:
How to Tell Your Parents That You are Pregnant
Telling your parents that you are going to have a baby can be terrifying, but it is important that you give them the opportunity to step in and offer support.
While there is no best time to have that conversation, it is probably a good idea for you to have some information such as a positive pregnancy test and maybe even an estimated due date. If the father is in the picture, you should talk to him and if he is willing to be a support for you it might be a good idea for him to be there with you when you talk to your parents. If that won’t work, you might ask a good friend to be there with you. Pregnancy Care Clinic can help you prepare for and facilitate this conversation.
If at all possible, tell your parents in person. It may seem easier to send a text or email, but the truth is, face-to-face is often best. It is your parents’ job to take care of you, to keep you safe and healthy until you become an adult. They need to be included in this journey. They need to know regardless of what their reaction might be. However, if you are concerned about your safety, make sure that you have someone with you – preferably another adult.
Once you have the conversation, be prepared for just about any reaction – and be ready to give them space to process the situation. They may react in a way you don’t expect. They may say things that you don’t want to hear – or need to hear. Then again, they just might surprise you. They may be sad or upset at first – the timing isn’t great – but remember that your baby is their grandbaby! And that’s a wonderful thing.
But part of taking on this adult situation is acting in an adult manner and handling the reaction of your parents as well as others. 
Where to Find Help
At the Pregnancy Care Clinic we have a wide range of free services that can help you with your unplanned teen pregnancy and help ensure that you can still accomplish all of your hopes and dreams. It IS possible. Call today or visit one of our locations. Teen pregnancy can be scary, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Help is available.
- Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing: HHS Office of Population Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://opa.hhs.gov/adolescent-health/reproductive-health-and-teen-pregnancy/trends-teen-pregnancy-and-childbearing
- About Teen Pregnancy. (2021, November 15). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm
- What to do When a Teen Girl is Pregnant. (2022, March 22). Retrieved from https://www.focusonthefamily.com/pro-life/what-to-do-when-a-teen-girl-is-pregnant/
- Fletcher, J. (2021, September 30). How to Tell Your Parents You’re Pregnant (as a Teenager). Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/health/teenage-pregnancy-tips-for-telling-your-parents#how