Crib Sheet…How to help teenage mothers

Compiled by One Parent Families

What is the first thing practitioners need to know about working with young mums?

Statistics show that, proportionately, young mothers give birth to more low-birth-weight babies, suffer more post-natal depression, and are more likely to remain out of education or work than other mothers. So messages about good health, knowing what help is available, and building confidence are key to supporting this group.

What should young mums do to remain healthy during their pregnancy?

They should see their doctor as soon as possible, so that they’re booked in for antenatal care. Other aspects of their lifestyle need to be addressed at this point.

What benefits are available to them?

There’s the Healthy Start scheme to child benefit, and maternity grants to tax credits. Getting these depends on several factors – the stage of pregnancy or parenting, age, and whether other benefits are being received all make a difference. For more details, see our Pregnant Teenagers & Young Parents resource pack.

How can young mums learn to budget?

The best way to budget is to draw up two very honest lists – one showing income and the other expenditure. Making the expenditure one as detailed as possible (including the costs of going out, travel, clothing, etc.) will help to highlight where savings could be made.

Are young mums entitled to social housing?

Some of them are entitled to social housing, but it depends very much on age, what’s available, and what the young mum feels happy with.

Further information

One Parent Families offers several products and services for advisers and professionals working with young parents, including the Young Mum’s Guide magazine and the Pregnant Teenagers & Young Parents resource pack. E-mail Rosie Graham at

➔ Young lone mums can access free information, advice and publications through our Lone Parent Helpline on 0800 0185026, Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm, with extended opening on Wednesdays to 8pm. Calls are free from landlines mobile rates vary.


How to help teenage mothers

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