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18 and pregnant; how do I tell my mum?


I’m 18 and a few weeks ago, I found out I’m pregnant. I’m an undergraduate and live  with my mum and a younger brother. I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for three years and my mum said she’d like me to go on the pill. But the pill I tried didn’t suit me so I came off it after a few months.

I was going to try a different type after waiting a month or so, but then discovered I was pregnant. I’m 12 weeks gone and don’t like keeping something like this  from my mum.

I’m not particularly close to her and this makes telling her harder. I’m afraid of disappointing her. I had a bad past when our dad left to be with another woman. Since I went to the university, we’ve become a bit closer. I just don’t want this pregnancy to push us apart again.

My mum had me when she was young, but she’s made a success of her merchandising business. She’s always warned me not to get pregnant. I know I’m too young to be a mother, but I don’t believe in abortion without a good reason and like the idea of being a mother.

It’s my fault that I got pregnant and I have to live with that for the rest of my life.

The man responsible is only two years older and I was one of a few of his girlfriends. He’s told me flatly to go for abortion.

I really want to tell my mum, but how do I bring it up? I don’t want her to find out from someone else.


By e-mail.

Dear Jibike,

Your mum’s first reaction will be of disappointment, even anger. She’s a single parent, you’re going to be one and the financial responsibilities would be hers, in addition to paying for you to finish at the university.

However, when your mum accepts you’ve thought things through— and that there’s no turning back— she might become your closest ally and confidante as you grapple with motherhood.

Take your courage in both hands and tell her. You need her on your side to  support your decision to be a single parent. It might even improve the current relationship you have with your mum if you show her you’re ready to face the implications of being a mum.

But have you discussed this with the father of your  unborn child? It takes two to make a baby and with time, he might come round to the idea of being a father.

You need to go for counselling too, as combining university and motherhood is not going to be an easy task. I wish you all the best.


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