Coping with Teen Pregnancy

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Makenna Vasquez’s family of three.

Rylyn Meek-Rodriguez, Reporter

Three in ten American girls get pregnant before the age of twenty. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies a year. A great number of teens don’t know how to cope with this issue. Many teen pregnancies are filled with difficulties, but you can get help such as joining a support group, getting a nanny, and seeking help from organizations or family members. 

A great majority of teenage girls don’t plan to get pregnant, but many do. Teen pregnancies carry extra health risks to both the mother and the baby. Often, teens don’t get prenatal care soon enough, which can lead to problems later on. Teen moms have a higher risk for pregnancy-related high blood pressure and its complications. Risks for the baby include premature birth and a low birth weight. According to the World health organization, “Pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15–19.” Adolescent mothers aged 10–19 years face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis and systemic infections than women aged 20–24 years. Additionally, some 3.9 million unsafe abortions among girls aged 15–19 years occur each year, contributing to maternal mortality, morbidity and lasting health problems.

According to healthychildren.org, “Each year, more than a half-million U.S. girls in their teens or younger become pregnant. To help sort through the life-changing and emotional decisions they face, pregnant adolescents need straightforward information and judgement-free guidance and support. For girls who find themselves dealing with the challenges of pregnancy, pediatricians and parents can be guideposts of knowledge, resources, and support.”

A majority of the time being a teen mom can cause you to grow up quicker than you need. So many opportunities get taken away for most teen moms or teens who are pregnant. Teen moms have to focus on their child and maintaining their job or trying to get one. Many teens don’t graduate from high school or college. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age, whereas approximately 90% of women who do not give birth during adolescence graduate from high school. Teen moms don’t get the chance to travel and live their life for them. They have to start caring for a child while being a child. High school counselor Ty Heinrichs agrees by saying, “Sometimes when someone gets pregnant as a teen they miss out on a whole lot of things in life.”

Makenna Vasquez is now a 19 year old mother raising a 3 year old, She recently graduated college and got married. Her now husband has a steady job, and they are working hard to move out of his parents house to get their own. Makenna stated, “Don’t rush, make sure you have your life together and that you’re in a position to take care of a baby. It’s not easy.” Many teen moms can agree on the fact that raising a child at a young age is not easy. Many teenage moms struggle a lot with many things including debt, low funds, high stress levels, and all around a difficult time with raising a child. 

No matter what, there are always bound to be difficult times while being a teen mother. You face many challenges such as not having enough time, low funds and many teen moms have a very difficult time raising a child. Many moms think it’s worth it in the end. Now Hillcrest Alum, Kaley Porter agrees with the statement by stating, “It’s always a challenge. Somedays it feels like all I do is change diapers and soothe a fussy baby, but most of the time it’s so rewarding.” Kaley’s son will be turning 5 months old this month, and she recently turned eighteen. Kaley is living with her son’s father and they are fortunately still dating. 

A good amount of people think that teen girls should wait to have children until they are in a good place financially, mentally and have a good education. A great number of people agree with this including high school English teacher Ms. Williams and High school counselor Heinrichs. Ms. Williams stated, “You’re trying to figure out who you are, and then when you add another person who is 100% relying on you to take care of their needs, on top trying to figure out your future along with theirs and try to focus on relationships you’re trying to have. It just adds another challenging layer.” Coach Heinrichs agrees with her statement by saying, “Wait until you’re in a good place in life, stable relationship, living in your own place and being good on money.”