I’m pregnant. Now what?

Things to consider after hearing the big news

Your thoughts (33) I’m pregnant. Now what?

So you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant. A million things must be flooding through your mind. The first thing that you should remember is not to panic. It may not be what you planned but it does not mean the end of your dreams. You just need to start mapping out the way forward a little more in advance. Here are a few things you need to think about now that you’re pregnant.

Your finances

Baby clothes, napkins, powdered milk - having a baby is expensive. You need to start thinking of how you will cover the extra costs once the baby gets here. Will you get a job? Will your parents help you with some of the costs? Are you getting any financial support from the father or his family? The good news is that there are child support grants given to some mothers by the government. You can apply for this grant once the baby is born. This grant is only a few hundred rand though so you might want to consider getting extra financial support.

Your education

If you are still in school, consider how having a baby will affect school. Don’t give up on your education - while it will be challenging when you are pregnant and when you have the baby, it is a good investment for the future. There are many teenage mothers who have gone on to finish high school, get their degrees and even pursue postgraduate studies. It is all about better time management, forward thinking and asking those around you for help. You will have to adjust your study schedule and bring in extra support. Read our tips for juggling your studies and having a baby here

If you would like to take a break from school because you can’t cope with the load - have a plan of how long the break will last - whether it is 6 months or even a year. Have a solid plan of what you plan to do with your break. Don’t make excuses when it is time to return.

Tips to help you stay in school while pregnant:

With the bodily changes and time away from school when giving birth, it will be tough to stay on top of school but it is possible. Here are tips to help you pass at the end of the year.

 ● Join a study group, that way even if you are not attending, you will stay on top of work

● Ask a friend to take notes for you when you are not attending

● Try to be available and write most class tests during the last 2 months when you don’t need to be at school - this will ensure you don’t struggle at the end of the year when it’s time for exams.

Your body

The next 9-months are about to be very interesting for your body. You may get sick. You will have weird cravings. Your body is about to change. To make sure a healthy baby grows inside of you, there are small things you can do. The best way to ensure that the baby is healthy is to eat healthy food. Try to remove all of the junk food from your diet. Include some exercise into your life - don’t push your body too hard. Rather go for casual jogs and other exercises which won’t endanger the child.

Are you a teen mother? Tell us in the comment section how you are juggling motherhood and staying on top of your studies?

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