Pregnancy Guide
NHS Choices

Teenage Pregnancy Support

Finding out you're pregnant when you're a teenager can be very daunting, particullarly if the pregnancy wasn't planned.

If you decide to continue with the pregnancy, there are a wide range of services to support you during pregnancy and after you've had your baby.  Your midwife or health visitor can give you details of local services.

Find out the signs of pregnancy and where to get a pregnancy test.

If your pregnancy test is positive, you may experience a lot of emotions:

  • excitement about having a child
  • worry about telling your parents
  • anxiety about pregnancy and childbirth

You should talk through your options and think carefully before you make any decisions about your pregnancy.

Who offers support for pregnant teenages?

If you're pregnant andn on your own, it's even more important that there are people you can share your feelings with and who can offer you support.

Sorting out problems, whether personal or medical, is often difficult when you are by yourself, and it's better to find someone to talk to than let things get you down.  For more information, see coping if you're alone.

The following national organisations can also give you help and advice:

  • Worth Talking About - if you think you may be pregnant, you can get confidential advice from the Worth Talking About helpline on 0300 123 2930
  • Brook - if you're under 25, you can visit your nearest Brook service for free confidential advice, or use the Ask Brook text and web chat service from Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm
  • the national sexual health line offers free confidential information and advice on sexual health, relationships and contraception on 0300 123 7123

The Young Woman's Guide to Pregnancy is written especially for women under the age of 20, and includes the real pregnancy experiences of young mums. It is produced by the charity Tommy's and is available free to 16 to 19-year-olds through the Tommy's website.

Can I carry on with my education while I'm pregnant?

At school

If you're pregnant or a mum, you're still expected to go to school until the end of Year 11.  If that's not possible, the law says your local authority has to provide alternative education suitable for you.

Your school should not exclude you on the grounds of pregnancy or health and safety issues to do with your pregnancy, and they can't treat you differently because you're pregnant.  You will be allowed up to 18 calendar weeks off school before and after the birth.

If you leave school at the end of year 11, until you're 18 you still have to either:

  • stay in full-time education - for example in college
  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • work or volunteer (for 20 hours or more a week) while in part-time education or training

The law says colleges, universities or your apprenticeship employer are not allowed to treat you unfairly if you're pregnant or a mum.

Further or higher education

You can only get maternity leave or maternity pay under employment law, which means very few students are able to get them.

If you're a student, you should be able to take maternity-related absense from studying after your baby's been born.  How long you take will depend on your own situation and your particular course.

The Equality Challenge Unit has a guide on student pregnancy and maternity (PDF, 345kb), which is written for higher education colleges.


Apprentices can take up to 52 weeks' maternity leave.  If you're an apprentice, you may qualify for statutory maternity pay.

Maternity Action has more information about maternity rights for apprentices.

What should I do next?

You may not be sure if you want to go ahead with your pregnancy.  You need accurate informaiton so you can talk through your options and think carefully before you make any decisions.

If you're not sure what to do, you can discuss it with a healthcare professional.  Whatever your age, you can ask for advice confidentially from:

  • your GP or practice nurse
  • a contraception or sexual health clinic
  • NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (or 111 Wales if available in your area)

Your decision is your choice, but don't delay or ignore your pregnancy, hoping it will simply go away.  Your options are:

  • continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the baby
  • having an abortion
  • continuing with the pregnancy and having the baby adopted

If you decide to continue your pregnancy, the next step is to start antenatal care.

If you decide not to continue with your pregnancy, you can talk to your GP or visit a sexual health clinic to discuss your options.  You'll be referred for an assessment at the clinic or hospital where your abortion can be carried out.

The Family Planning Association has information about your pregnancy choices.


Last Updated: 08/11/2017 13:29:08