A positive pregnancy test came as a "bit of a shock" to teen mum Sarah Lindsay, but she has been helped along her journey by the Pregnancy Choice Centre.

Miss Lindsay's mother suspected her 16-year-old daughter was pregnant in February and urged her to take a home pregnancy test.

When the result came back positive, Miss Lindsay said she was shocked and upset, so her mother urged her to get help from the Pregnancy Choice Centre, which celebrated its first birthday last month.

"I called up and [counsellor] Karen answered the phone. I got another test done and it was positive. I decided to keep coming and get counselling, and Karen told me about all the support the centre provided.


"It's been really helpful."

Miss Lindsay was encouraged to enrol with Te Whakatipuranga School For Young Parents and got her NCEA Level 2 while she was pregnant.

Two weeks ago, Miss Lindsay gave birth to a baby girl Tayla and is enjoying being a mother.

"I don't know what I would have done without the support I've had from the centre.

"It's fun being a mum, but a bit challenging at times. Tayla has her fussy moments but she's quite content."

She visited the centre about once a week for counselling during her pregnancy and said she would continue to visit, and was considering joining the centre's "mums and bubs" group on Wednesday mornings.

Miss Lindsay, who is now 17, will be returning to the young parents' school next year to gain her NCEA Level 3 qualification.

Miss Lindsay's counsellor Karen Whatuira is one of the volunteers at the centre. She decided to give her time to help women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy as it was something she had also gone through.


"I was a teen mum. I was 18 when I got pregnant so I had a leaning to doing this. I know what it's like and what being a new mum brings so I had a natural affinity."

Pregnancy Choice Centre director Janice Tetley-Jones said 130 women had visited the centre in its first year of operation for a free pregnancy test. On top of this, another 60 women have sought help from the centre for other services.

The biggest gap the pregnancy centre fills in Tauranga is care and support, she said.

"It's just having someone to talk to about their situation who is non judgmental ... we strongly believe that what a woman chooses is her choice, but it's making a fully informed choice. It's helpful having someone to talk to that's not involved."

The centre provided counselling, an opportunity shop, parenting classes and support for women unprepared for motherhood.

It also recently began a series of post-abortion programmes and has held classes for cooking on a budget.