Help for young mothers
If you are a young mother, there are a wide range of services available to support you during your pregnancy and after your baby is born. Your midwife or health visitor will be able to give you details of local services.
If you are pregnant and on your own
If you are pregnant and on your own, it is important there are people with whom you can share your feelings and who can offer you support.
Sorting out problems, whether personal or medical, is often difficult when you are by yourself and it is better to find someone to talk to.
Carrying on with your education
Becoming a mother doesn't have to mean the end of your education.
If you are still of school age, your school shouldn't be excluded you on grounds of pregnancy or health and safety issues to do with your pregnancy.
They may talk to you about making alternative arrangements for your education.
You will be allowed up to 18 weeks off school before and after the birth.
After your return to education, you can get help with childcare costs through the Care to Learn scheme.
Care to Learn also provides support with childcare costs for teenage parents above schooling age who want to study.
Family Nurse Partnership programme
If you are under 20 and expecting your first baby, a family nurse can visit you to help you have a healthy pregnancy and enjoy being the best mum you can be.
Your specially trained family nurse will help you understand all about your pregnancy and how to care for yourself and your baby.
Your nurse will visit you regularly during your pregnancy and then after the birth until your baby is two years old.
You and your family nurse will decide together what you will cover in each visit.
Your nurse will share lots of information about your pregnancy, giving birth and looking after babies and toddlers.
They will help you to decide what is right for you and your family and help you prepare.
You will get to know your family nurse very well and you will be able to rely on her to help if things get difficult.
Your nurse will help you plan for the future. You can talk about childcare, education and training, as well as housing and finances.
For more information on the Family Nurse Partnership, contact your local Health and Social Care Trust;
Somewhere to live
Many young mothers want to carry on living with their own family until they are ready to move on.
If you are unable to live with your family, your local authority might be able to help you with housing.
Some local authorities provide specialised accommodation where young mothers can live independently while getting support and advice from trained workers.
For more information about housing, contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.