In 2011 alone, nearly 330,000 babies were born to teen mothers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC notes that teen pregnancy is a major factor in low school achievement and leaving high school early, with a graduation rate of 50 percent for adolescent mothers in comparison to 90 percent for girls who don't have babies during these formative years. Along with the academic challenges, pregnant teens may lack the emotional support or basic baby care knowledge that all new moms need. Starting a pregnancy support group for your teen, or in your community, can provide young women with the help that can get them through this turbulent time.
Develop a mission statement and goals for your teen pregnancy support group. Decide what the purpose of the group is, spelling it out specifically. Create clear objectives -- such as providing emotional support to pregnant teens, giving teen moms the opportunity to socialize with their peers or helping teen moms to learn parenting skills.
Find a meeting place for your support group. Ask local community centers, religious institutions or schools if you can use a meeting room or classroom for free once a week.
Advertise your group, reaching out to your target audience -- pregnant teens. Type up a flier to hang up at local OB offices and community clinics. Post your group's events and activities on social media and other websites.
Invite guest speakers to your support group. Fill a few slots with expert advisers in child development, baby care or other issues that affect teen moms before actually starting the group sessions. Advertise these speakers on your flier or a website.
Secure funding from outside sources to pay for your speakers, refreshments or promotional materials. Research your funding options, and ask community organizations -- such as local religious institutions -- if they care to donate.
Get permission to advertise your group before leaving fliers out or hanging up a poster. Don't just assume that it's acceptable or allowed to advertise your group at the local doctor's office or at your teen's school. Avoid acting overly "preachy," as this may scare off the girls. Don't allow any bullying. A teen pregnancy group should include a caring and supportive environment, and never a judgmental one.