Tips for Teen Parents

Having a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. It’s also a huge responsibility—at any age.

As a new parent, you are full of pride and love for your baby. However, you may also feel tired and stressed. You may feel lonely, or angry that you’ve lost your freedom. You may worry about staying in school. All of these feelings are normal.

Caring for your baby is a lot of work, and it will take time to feel comfortable in your new role as a parent. Be patient with yourself and ask for help when you need it.

Continue Your Education

Continue Your Education
A good education will help you get a good job and support your baby. Ask your school about Cal Safe and other teen parent programs that will help you finish high school. Cal Safe provides many services, includ-ing child care, help finding transportation and help paying for food.

Also ask your county Health Department about Cal-Learn or the Adolescent Family Life Program. These programs help you get the services you need.
You can also get your GED, or high school diploma, at your community college. Call Education.

What About Sex?

You can get pregnant again soon after your baby is born. Breast-feeding won’t protect you from pregnancy. For free or low-cost birth control and confidential services, call Family Planning.

For STD checkups and low-cost or free condoms, visit your county STD clinic. Call Health Care or STD/HIV Hotline.

Tips for Teen Parents

  • If you are living with your family, try to talk openly about feelings and responsibilities.
  • Start looking for child care early. It is often hard to find. See pages 46–51. Ask your school district about Early Head Start.
  • It’s natural to think about marrying the father or mother of your baby, but consider it carefully.

Things You Can Do

Where to Find Help

Learn More

Tips for Teen Parents
“When I first held my baby, I was worried about not looking tough. But I love my son and I’m not afraid to show it.”

For Fathers

  • You are important in your child’s life. When you care for your child, it helps him feel loved and secure.
    It may be hard for you to get involved in your child’s life. You may feel overwhelmed. Maybe your own father was
    not very involved in your life, so you’re not sure what to do. Or maybe you aren’t with your child’s mother and you feel like you want to avoid the whole situation. But your child needs you. With commitment and hard work, you can make a difference in your child’s life.

    Teen Tips

    Luz says, “We get a lot of support in our school program. Our babies are happy here, too.”