We’ve written this section especially for young women.
Thinking that you might be pregnant can be exciting and scary. There are lots of services to support young mums. On this page we talk about:
- pregnancy tests
- your choices
- getting support
- continuing your education.
The most important thing to do if you think you are pregnant is a pregnancy test. You can buy these for $10–$20 at a pharmacy or supermarket, but they are free at Family Planning clinics (if you’re under 22) and sexual health clinics, and from midwives and some general practices (phone and ask the practice nurse first).
Finding out you are pregnant is different for everyone.
If you are pregnant, there are different options available to you:
- parenting – either with a partner or alone
- adoption or foster care
- abortion – a safe procedure that intentionally ends a pregnancy.
You might know which option you would like to choose, or you might find this decision more difficult or complex. If you are pregnant and are not sure whether you want to continue with the pregnancy, there is support available for you. You can contact a health practitioner to discuss your options, including continuing a pregnancy or abortion, and to access counselling that is unbiased and non-judgmental.
For more information on abortion services, go to Considering an abortion.
When you find out you’re pregnant, one of the first things you should do is choose a midwife (or a specialist doctor). This is really important for your health and for your baby. Some midwives specialise in supporting younger mums. Visit our Maternity care page for more information about pregnancy care.
Many areas also have special workers to support teen parents. You can call Healthline (0800 611 116) to find out about your local services.
Work and Income may be able to help with your living expenses. You can find out more by visiting Work and Income or by calling 0800 687 775.
Telling your parents and whānau
Telling your parents and whānau can be hard. The Young Parent Resource Book has advice on telling your parents in chapter 2. It can help to find someone you trust to support you. This could be your auntie, a school nurse, a counsellor, a social worker or someone else you trust.
Looking after yourself
Getting pregnant and having a baby is a big change. You need to look after yourself. We have lots of advice about having a healthy pregnancy. Remember, being smokefree and avoiding alcohol, cannabis and other drugs will give baby the best start.
If you feel unsafe because of the actions of a partner or family member, it is important that you get help. You can call 0800 456 450 for self-help information and to connect with services in your area, or visit the It’s not OK website.
Continuing your education
Having a baby doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. If you’re still at school you may be able to transfer to a teen parent unit. Teen parent units offer support to enable you to succeed as a student and a young mum. You can visit Teen Parent Schools in New Zealand to find out more.