QUESTION:

I am in form three and recently found out that I am eight weeks pregnant. I am scared and confused. I haven’t told my parents because I am afraid they will be very disappointed. They are staunch Christians and have invested heavily in my education. I am considering abortion. Please advise?
Confused Teen

ANSWER:

First and foremost, it is important that you know you are not alone and that there are many other teenagers who were shocked by an unexpected pregnancy. It may seem like your world is crumbling down but be brave, you will get through this. It is okay to feel confused and worried about what your parents may say. Granted, your parents are religious and value education but you still remain their daughter and I believe their love for you will prevail at the end of the day.

They will definitely be a little disappointed. Give them time to process the news and be ready to answer tough questions from them. While abortion may seem like a probable option for you, remember that it is illegal in Kenya unless the life and health of the expectant mother is in danger. Also consider the ethical and moral dynamics of having an abortion. Will you be able to live with the guilt thereafter?

You can consider other options such as adoption. There are many couples out there who would be more than happy to adopt your child. There is no right way to tell your parents that you are pregnant, but these tips will make the conversation easier.

Prepare

Talking about pregnancy will not be a one-off conversation. Prepare yourself to answer the tough questions that your parents may ask. They may inquire about the father, your plans, school and so on. Therefore, it is best to have answers for such beforehand.

Support system

It will be ideal to take a friend or trusted family member with you for support when you break the news. Such a person will help keep things in perspective during the tough conversation.

Stay calm and speak up

Telling your parents the big news can be a little tough especially if your parents have strong beliefs against teen pregnancy or having a baby before marriage. You need to be straight with them and gain their trust. While at it ask them for their advice and help and remember to be very specific on the kind of help you require from them.

Plan ahead and stay protected

Some parents won’t be able to control their anger and may probably kick you out of the house. If this happens, reach out to close relatives or friends for support. You will be shocked that there are people willing to help you through it all. There are also homes for teenage mums that you can reach out to for support.

And now that abortion is out of question, start preparing for motherhood. One of the first things you need to do is to visit a hospital where you will be given folic acid, which is critical for your baby’s growth and development.