|Being young...and pregnant...and about to be a mum|
|Looking after yourself|
|Baby on the way|
|Being a young mum|
|Books and websites|
If you have picked up this booklet, chances are you are somewhere on the journey towards becoming a parent. This booklet has been written for young people who are pregnant and who want some information and support during this time. If you have just found out that you are pregnant and not yet sure what to do about the pregnancy, try and get a copy of Making Choices: A booklet for young women who think they might be pregnant. This booklet is available from many health services, youth services, schools, GPs and Family Planning Tasmania.
For some of you, being pregnant might be an amazing time; some of you might be feeling confused, or scared; and some of you might just feel ok!
Being pregnant is different for everyone and, as well as having hundreds of things going around inside your head, you also have lots of hormones affecting how you feel. You might also be feeling sick (morning sickness) and really tired. The most important thing is that you take care of yourself and find some people to support you.
There are lots of services that can support you (see the back of this booklet) and heaps of information in books, pamphlets and websites. This booklet is just a starting point.
If your pregnancy is the result of a sexual assault or non consensual sex you may wish to seek support.
The Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS) can provide counselling and support - see contact details at the
back of this booklet.
You might be feeling overwhelmed by now with all the information you have heard or read. You might even be hearing lots of words you haven’t heard before; like trimesters, epidurals and caesars! Below are some of the very basics about pregnancy to start things off. There is also a glossary on page 32.
A pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. You might already know your due date (this is just an estimate) and your doctor will confirm it. Sometimes people will call this your date of confinement.
Your pregnancy is divided up into three trimesters.
First Trimester – weeks 0-13
Second Trimester – weeks 14-26
Third Trimester – weeks 27-40
It is quite normal for babies to arrive anywhere between week 38 and week 42. Sometimes babies are born much earlier. These babies are usually referred to as premature and may need lots of extra medical care. If your baby hasn’t arrived by about week 41 your doctor may talk to you about having an induced labour. This means helping your labour to start so that your baby can be born.
This booklet does not have enough space to go through what is happening for you and the baby each
week of your pregnancy. If you like reading about what is happening each week check out the book list at
the back of this booklet or ask your doctor or midwife for some information.
During your pregnancy you will notice lots of changes happening to your body. These include (in no particular order):
- You might have sore breasts
- Your body will change shape
- You will gain weight (this is very normal)
- Your belly button might end up popping out!
- You might get a dark line on your skin that runs from your pubic hair to your naval
- Your hair might get thicker
- Your nails may grow better than normal
- You might feel really tired especially at the beginning and again at the end of the pregnancy (some people take lots of naps)
- You may experience high blood pressure (really important to see a doctor to monitor this).
Morning sickness varies from woman to woman. Some people are very lucky and have little or no morning sickness while other people can get it really bad! Morning sickness can also happen at any time of the day not just in the morning. Some of the things people do to try and make themselves feel better include eating small meals, eating ginger, drinking lots of water and getting plenty of rest. If your morning sickness is never ending, you are losing weight or not able to keep down any food or fluids you will need to see your doctor.
Hormones – when you are pregnant there are lots of extra hormones in your body. These can make it difficult to think clearly and make decisions and sometimes can make you more emotional than usual.
Everyone’s pregnancy is different.