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Teenage parents

Getting the support you need

Just because you are young doesn’t mean you won’t be just as good a parent as anyone else. However, when you are still trying to sort out your future, it can make things that bit more daunting.

There is lots of support out there for young parents. Coming to terms with what’s happening, finding out about help, understanding your rights about education and employment and finding support can all help you cope.

It’s different for everyone, but being a young parent might put a strain on your relationship with your partner, your family and even your friends. There may also be money worries so find out what benefits you may be entitled to. You might want to go back into education, training or work. Revisit some of the plans and dreams you had before you had your baby as your plans could still happen.

Caerphilly Young Mums project can be contacted on (01495) 244064 and Teenage Pregnancy Service at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.

Looking after yourself

Having a baby can be exhausting and stressful. Boost your energy levels by eating a healthy diet - you need to stay on top of things. Ask friends and family for help and involve the other parent, even if you do not live with them.

If you are worried about getting rid of your baby weight you could start by taking some gentle exercise and aim to give yourself a year to get back into shape. The best way to lose weight after having a baby is to follow a balanced diet and take regular exercise.

Substance misuse

Smoking during pregnancy is dangerous and is linked to low birth weight babies. If you are breastfeeding and you take drugs, drink alcohol or smoke you are directly passing some of these substances on to your baby. Don’t let your baby inhale secondhand smoke (passive smoking). Never smoke when you are around them and ask others not to smoke at home. If you take drugs or alcohol you are not in full control and could put your baby at risk. You or someone else could harm them without meaning to.

Stop

You may find it difficult looking after your baby and notice you have little interest, or you may not be eating or sleeping well.

Think

You need to learn to look after your baby. Ensure you are eating well and sleep while the baby sleeps.

Do

The more support you have during pregnancy, the more likely you will be able to cope once the baby is born.