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Teen Pregnancy

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As spring approaches, the stress of graduation, college, and scholarships tags along, bringing more than enough worry to my life. Let's throw in having a baby, and being forced to support this new child all by myself! I cannot even fathom how difficult and unfortunate this would be, but all I can ask myself is why? Why would someone choose to throw their life down the drain, and have a baby? Why wouldn't they want to explore their lives, and see what could become of them? After a lot of thinking and research, I came to the conclusion that the majority of the time, these young teenagers are not choosing to get pregnant, it is just the result of one transient and lustful night. Is it fair that their actions of one evening will alter their lives forever? I don't know if fair is the right word, but sometimes fair does not matter. You always hear of girls getting pregnant at such a young age, but you never really see what becomes of them once they have the baby. Some girls are lucky enough to find optimism and rise above the obstacle and prosper from it, but for the majority of teenagers, it brings many negatives life alterations. For the less fortunate teen girls, every 71 in 100 girls, pregnancy brings health, economic, and social problems.

The first major problem teen pregnancy brings to young teens is a major change in not only the mother's health, but also the baby's health as well. When a young girl is not yet a woman, her body has so much more growing to do. How can someone who is not fully grown manage to have another human being grow in their body? Since they are lacking full development in their own bodies, these young mothers are not able to develop the healthiest baby possible. A lot of the time the babies will have under developed organs. Since many young girls are very uneducated about having a baby, they do not take care of their bodies, and do not take prenatal vitamins, which leads to the baby having an insufficient amount of nutrition. If a baby is born with organs not completely developed, they are more likely to be pre mature, or even die at birth. If the baby is born on time, many problems can still come about after birth. The babies are more likely to have respiratory and cardiac problems, and other issues with their organs, such as jaundice. The mother of the baby also faces many changes in their health. A teenage mother is more prone to having complications during birth, such as miscarriage, or even death. Having a baby at a young age also leads to very unhealthy behaviors, such as drugs and alcohol. More than anything, this leaves me feeling terribly sorry for the child because they are forced into something that they have absolutely no control over.

If the health complications is not enough to prove that teen pregnancy has negative results, there are also many economic problems that these young girls will face. As soon as you become pregnant, your priorities begin to change, and it forces you to do many unplanned things. Many girls are obligated to drop out of school and forfeit getting their diploma, and end up getting a GED instead. That is not to mention that once the baby arrives, they are most likely not going to get any college education. Most girls are left with many minimum wage paying jobs that gives them hardly enough money to scrape by. Many girls are left to care for the baby by themselves because the father and even their own families leave them, due to the stress. That is another thing that bothers me about teen pregnancy is that the father of the baby gets off so easy. He was just as much involved with making it happen, but then he is left with none of the responsibility. In a lot of cases the father will be there for some of the child's life, whether it just be for financial support, but in most cases the father flees the scene. In an Oprah Winfrey project, she had a financial advisor calculate how much it exactly takes to raise a child. From the time the child is born, until they are eighteen years old, a parent is expected to spend close to one million dollars on their child, not including college. Many families are forced into poverty, and unless they have a miracle, stay in poverty for the rest of their lives.

Another huge problem teenage mothers have to face is a huge social alteration. They are forced into leaving their friends, to be with this baby every minute of their lives. In some cases, the young girls have family to help them to keep some things in their life normal, but for most they are not so lucky. Once the mother gets sick of playing house, they will realize that they are in this for the long hall. You have to forfeit going to parties on Friday nights, or sleepovers with your friends, and replace that with waking up at three in the morning to tend to a bawling baby. As sad as it is, people look down on someone who had a baby, and some don't even want to associate with them. I know it would be terribly hard to have a baby here in Utah, and not have people judge you and look down on you. A girl that I have grown up with recently had a baby, and it was truly heart breaking to see the terrible looks she got when walking down the halls. If there was one thing I could help the mother



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