¨It was Friday morning, first period, and I was in my science class, just like a typical kid in a typical high-school science room. I’m sure you can picture it — the little plants sprouting in Styrofoam cups, the usual charts and posters on the walls, the teacher asking us if we’d done our homework. Just a normal moment in the life of a teenager.
But then the loudspeaker on the wall squawked: Jamie Rush, report to the nursery!
It was another reminder that, no, I wasn’t a normal high-school kid. I was a teenage mom attending an alternative school with built-in day care.¨
There are a lot of risks when it comes to getting pregnant at any age but teens and their babies are at a higher risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most complications for those pregnant under fifteen is low level of iron in the blood, high blood pressure, and premature labor and have a low birth weight. But in order to try and have a good pregnancy at a young age is to
- Eat healthy,
- Get tested for diseases,
- Stay fit
- Avoid risky substances
- Learn everything you can about pregnancy
- Always keep the future in mind like finishing highschool, going to college. Ultimately it’s the girls decision, if she thinks she can financially support her and her child that is great, but sometimes raising the baby yourself isn’t the right choice. And that is okay, everyone is different, but always talk to your parents before doing anything.
Why Teens Get Pregnant
Everyone has a different reason on why they want to get pregnant, typically if you’re older you will get pregnant to start your family, while younger girls do it to fit in, or just get caught up in the moment. Often times if your mom had you young, it’s more likely that you will also have a child young. Often times teen girls have a misconception on pregnancy, thinking that they can’t get pregnant the first time they have sex. From the website Teen Help, states that some reason why girls get pregnant is due to rape, that can come from a boyfriend, strangers, and sadly even family members. Other reasons why is not using protection such as not using a condom or birth control. And sometimes girls don’t use birth control because they aren’t educated enough of how to use it, or uncomfortable and scared to use it. Most times girls will get pregnant because they feel like they need to fit in, or they give into their boyfriends asking. They feel like they need to please or give him what he wants. Even if that means doing something they don’t wanna do, they feel obligated. And sometimes it’s because they don’t know the effects of sex, yes we have sex-ed classes required in school but those classes do not really go in depth enough of talking about it. From the website TeenVouge,¨We were teenagers and we didn’t know any better. We lived in the Bible Belt, so sexual education was completely optional in high school, and almost nobody took it. They just thought we should know better. We didn’t. And they usually leave out birth control entirely. Schools don’t do enough to explain everything, a lot is left out then things are made up to fill the blanks we don’t know about sex. So there are a lot of misconceptions to it. Pregnancy is not an easy task, you may think you are ready for it. But no one is actually 100% ready. For pregnancy you have to give up a lot, your time with friends get cut short, your sleeping schedule gets messed up, and now your baby is your number one priority.
We can try and help young girls steer away from getting sexually active so young. Schools should also do a better job on clearing up theories that have been made up, because people typically believe what they hear if they don’t know any different so they don’t actually know the truths. Taken from Teen Help, talk to your daughter about sex often let them know the meaning of sex, but don’t make it a lecture and don’t bring it up once and never again.
- Develop a close relationship with your daughter. If you as a parent are close with your child the more they will talk to you about things.
- Always trust her, if you are a very super uptight parent the more she will want to rebel and act out. A little trust goes a long way, and her knowing you believe her is important.
- Know your daughter’s friends. You’re Not with her 24/7 so you don’t know how she acts without you, if you have a good understanding of who her friends are you can understand her a lot better.
- Be alert of her social media. You don’t need to monitor her every minute, but always be aware of the apps she has, and remind her of the consequences once in awhile.
While we will never be able to end teen pregnancy as a whole, we can try and educate more teens on the risks and how their life will never be the same again. I believe with more education and being open to freely talk with your kids about sex the numbers will drop.
Featured Image found on Pexels.