Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Young and Pregnant

John Marine | 8/31/2010 12:40:00 AM | | | | | |
Being Pregnant at Age 18 or Younger Can Pose Many Problems.

NOTE: This blog entry concerns a discomforting topic. Reader discretion is advised and encouraged.

(UPDATED: October 14, 2011)

If you normally watch The Maury Show (as I do), you know full well about the paternity drama that ensues on most of the episodes of Maury for the more than 15 years of Maury's existence. What this blog entry is mostly about is in becoming a mother at a young age. I become disgusted about teen girls wanting to become a mother even before graduating from school. It is a great ambition to become a mother. However, do you REALLY want to go through with this at a young age? You can't just "populate the world" without being completely physically and financially able to support a child. What about cooking and cleaning for a baby? What about taking a baby to the doctor? What about making sure the baby is safe from any danger?

Becoming a mother (even of an adopted child) can be a wonderful. There is NOTHING like becoming a parent. You have a chance to bring a child (or children) into the world to live happy and prosperous lives. However, there are some teenagers who think they are so grown that they can handle adulthood... but most still aren't even high school graduates! There is a lack of responsibility and self-esteem in wanting to bring a child into the world at such a young age. You can't just bring a baby into the world without having some kind of way to take care of the baby. Not even playing with baby dolls will prepare you for being a real mother. And what about those prospective teen moms who just have sex with as many men as possible to try to get pregnant? Having a baby is pretty much assured when having sex with multiple partners. But, who actually FATHERS your baby? Being this sort of wild child can come back to bite you, leaving you to crash and burn.

This blog entry concerns the issue of youth pregnancy, but I'm mostly concerned about pregnant teens. I named it as "youth pregnancy" because I have heard of girls 13 or younger who became pregnant.

INTERESTING FACT: The youngest female human to ever give birth was a five-year old girl in Peru back in 1939. The baby was delivered by Cesarean section. Read more about this five-year old pregnant girl on oddee.com.





--- Teen Pregnancy at a Glance ---

pregnant teen
^ from: clevelandleader.com - a pregnant teenage girl.

Teens becoming pregnant is a concern, but nowhere near the level of concern of teen girls who love to have sex just to become pregnant... and doesn't care who the father of the baby is. Before I get to my own commentary, below are some statistics I looked up online.

Here are some statistics on teen pregnancy:

(source: pregnantteenhelp.org)
• The United States has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy of any industrialized nation in the Western Hemisphere
• Teen pregnancy costs the United States $7,000,000,000 USD (about as much as the US' national debt!).
• 1/3 of girls will be pregnant in their teen years.

More statistics...
• Approximately 750K teenagers in the United States annually become pregnant.
• Nevada has the highest rate of teen pregnancy (113 per 1,000 teens); North Dakota with the lowest at (42 per 1,000 teens)
• 24% of all unmarried mothers in the United States are teenage girl mothers.
• 2/3 of all pregnant teen girls in the United States will not graduate from high school.
• Billions of US Dollars are spent trying to take care of teen moms, but millions more spent on prevention programs.


You can read many more statistics on teen pregnancy in the United States by reading the link where I got this information from: Teen Pregnancy Statistics. Teen pregnancy is taxing, both in time and effort, but also financially. No one teen mother can honestly say (and prove) she is financially ready and responsible to take care of a baby. Why do you think parents become upset about something like this? Unless a teen mother can take care of herself (which is very unlikely), the parents have their own financial issues to attend to. A teen mother will only exasperate how much parents are spending anyways in trying to maintain a healthy household and stay financially stable.

Later in this blog post, I have some resources for you all to check out in case you are interested in providing facts and cold hard truths about teen pregnancy.



--- Forever 21's Controversial Love 21 Line ---

Forever 21, a fashion line for teens and young adults, recently launched a maternity lineup of clothes called Love 21. The controversy lies in marketing maternity clothes to a mostly Junior-exclusive fashion line. A report from CNN in July of this year indicated that Love 21 was unveiled in five states. These states with Love 21 include: Texas, Alaska, Arizona, Utah, and California. Texas, Arizona, and California are among 15 states with some of the highest teen pregnancy rates.

The controversy is that some feel Forever 21 is marketing this Love 21 line to teens "on purpose" in the states with high teen pregnancy rates. Love 21's executive vice president, Larry Meyer, says it is not marketed specifically to teen girls or in the aforementioned states.

Links...

• To read the full report from CNN, visit: "Forever 21 asked about maternity line" on CNN Living.
• There is also this Associated Content post: "Forever 21 Maternity Line Controversy," on Associated Content
• If you're interested in the Love 21 lineup, visit: Forever 21's Love 21 line.



--- A Personal Story ---

Here is a personal story. One time back in about 1998, I was a student at Milby High School here in Houston. There was a girl in my Physical Education class who was pregnant. It was the first time I had ever known someone around my age in high school who is pregnant. I wasn't even sure what exercises were right for her. A year later (long story short), I'd basically get kicked out of my former high school to go towards this alternative school. So from my days at H.P. Carter Alternative here in Houston, my eyes were opened to a few more girls my age or younger/older.

Pregnant... and still in high school. It was an eye-opener for me because I never thought you could be young and pregnant.



--- Commentary Piece ---

One of the roughest realities of being young and pregnant is that it can impacts your life in a serious way. You won't be able to live your young life and enjoy life. The thing that disgusts me the most about some teen girls is the desire and ambition to become pregnant. I become disgusted with out-of-control teens who think they are so grown that they want to have children. You know... having unprotected sex with all kinds of men, being a wild party girl who takes drugs and drinks hard liquor at such a young age, and stuff like that. What I become more disgusted in is a young teen who loves having sex with other men, gets pregnant... and doesn't care who the father is. THEN guess what? You'll end up on The Maury Show or The Steve Wilkos Show (I prefer Maury with all due respect) complaining to every guy you remember having sex with that he is the father.

This is somewhat of a critical stand, but part of me blames entertainment media for showcasing and fetishizing pregnancy. A by-product of young girls getting pregnant is mostly when you hear of famous celebrities giving birth. We become so fixated and influenced by celebrities that we try to pattern our lives about almost EVERYTHING we love about famous people. And in the case of female celebrities getting knocked up, having baby bump, or whatever you want to call being pregnant (I HATE the words "preggers" or "preggo" to describe someone pregnant), some teen girls especially get the idea that (tell me if you heard/seen this before) if celebrities are doing it, why not us non-celebrities? So some teen girls want to become pregnant so they can enjoy parenthood at a young age and feel "grown." They are mostly influenced by living wild and out-of-control lifestyles semi-inspired by some celebrities. When you're young, you have to care more about living your life and gaining a quality education. You're not going to have the same level of freedom and fun when you become a young mother. You have to basically commit to and take care of a baby. This also applies to consuming the right foods to help make sure your baby is delivered in a healthy way. You can't be drinking Vodka and overdosing on drugs when you're trying to deliver a healthy baby (or babies). What negative you consume could impair the baby for perhaps the rest of his/her life. You may even suffer miscarriages and stillborn babies.

Pregnancy (at least among American celebrities) is promoted and marketed in a way that pregnancy is about as cool as being rich and famous. Pregnancy, however, is a life-long dedication to nurture, educate, and maintain a healthy baby. Even if you have a baby that has some ailments or whatever, it is still a lifetime of love and care to take care of a baby. Maybe you try to have a baby but fail to deliver or become pregnant. It doesn't mean you try to have sex with guys you don't even know or care about just to become pregnant. Just having sex with tens to hundreds of men mean that you don't even care about means that you will just be on your own taking care of your baby or babies. You basically act as if you just want a baby for yourself without regard for whomever the father is. However, what happens when the baby becomes a child (or even a teenager or young adult) and he/she wants to know who daddy is apart from your wild child ways?

Sometimes watching The Maury Show, I hear these teen girls say that their parents will take care of the children. Two things... (1) what if the parents aren't there? (2) What happens when parents REFUSE to help? You may be fortunate if parents are willing to step up to take care of both you and your baby, but will mostly be disappointed in their young teens trying to get pregnant, thinking they are grown. Giving birth is about raising and maintaining children. It is about mom and dad contributing to be in the child's/childrens' life/lives. If you are young and want a child so bad, go to a Toys 'R US or someplace and get a baby doll. Then when REALLY ready to experience parenthood (in other words, marrying a man and wanting to have a child), THEN worry about pregnancy. Otherwise... you may end up having to drop out of school and try to get your GED rather than trying to get your high school diploma at 18 or younger. You have the rest of your life ahead of you... don't risk it at a young age by trying to become pregnant at such a young age. Worry more about education than trying to get pregnant while still young.



--- There is Still Hope... ---

Not every teen mother has severe difficulties. Some are actually able to properly take care of their babies. This is where parents and loved ones usually step up to try to raise and maintain a healthy and happy baby. Most of my venting has been about teen girls who think they are so grown that they want to have children and live fabulously. Parents may be able to help you, but some will not be as reluctant. If there is a child, mom and dad (even future mom and dad) need to step up in a big way. I've once known a girl who was 14 (at the time), and her mother was 29. The parents and teen parents will need to step up to take care of a child.

It's not the end of the world if you're a teen and pregnant. It just means that people have to step up in taking care of a baby from a teen mother. It has to be all hands on deck and a total team effort. Not every family is so advantageous, but a big salute to families who step up to take care of a baby from a young mother. That includes being able to financially take care of the baby or babies.



--- A Disgusting Experience: Negligent Teen Moms ---

(ADDED: October 14, 2011)
Watching Maury yesterday, there was an episode that showcased teenage moms who'd rather have sex and party than properly take care of their children. As if being a teen mom is stressing enough, imagine being a teen mom and not even care about raising your children. For one thing, being pregnant at such a young age should never happen. There is a lot in your young life to experience before even thinking about becoming a mother. Some teen girls, though, just feel they are too grown and look at having children as having an extra pair of clothing or shoes.

I hated to see how teenage girls could be so abusive and disrespect their own children. It was just terrible watching these teen moms just... basically give up on being responsible and respectful parents. You wanted a baby so bad, and now that you have these babies, you don't want to take the responsibility and the burden of taking care of them yourself. Your parents may or may not have helped you. Still- this is YOUR child, YOU wanted this baby so bad, and YOU are failing miserably both as a mother and as a human being. You are giving parenting a bad name with your negligence. Who wants to be proud of treating a baby so poorly, let alone a mother at a young age? Get with the program, or your child/children may not grow up to be as well and as educated as he/she/they could be.

Just my opinion. That episode was just so poor to watch.





--- Teen Pregnancy Resources ---

Here are some resources online to help you in getting through teen pregnancy. I suggest any of you teen mothers to visit at least one of these resources I've found:

Resources For Teens...

Pregnant Teen Help
Teen Pregnancy on TeenHelp.com
Adolescent Reproductive Health, from the CDC
Teen Pregnancy on LIVESTRONG.COM
stayteen.org
Overview, Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy
Raising Awareness About Teen Pregnancy | the Candies Foundation

For Parents...

If you are the mother or a parent of a pregnant teen, here are some resources for you:
Parenting a Pregnant Teen, from parentingmyteen.com
When Your Teen Is Having a Baby
March of Dimes - Teenage Pregnancy


The entire month of May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. One day out of the entire month of May is devoted to as being the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy was founded in 1996. Learn more about this occasion by visiting The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy's website.


(UPDATE: Dec. 7, 2010) - I have set up a blog post called "Hot Mama!" which involves maternity fashion. If you want to read my blog post regarding maternity and nursing fashion, you may visit either of the following blog posts:

Hot Mama! (JBS) - my blog on maternity fashion
Hot Mama! (JSS) - my blog on maternity fashion with items from Amazon






I've looked at this issue from a number of perspectives. Let me know how you think I did by posting comments. Share ANY of my blog entries with others if you love my content. Thank you for your reading!

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