Teen Pregnancy

By Iyanna Williamson and Takeiya Smith-Minor

Everyone knows how to conceive a baby, but, who really knows what happens after the baby is born? All the struggles the moms face, the hard and stressful times. Nearly one million teen girls get pregnant each year; four out of ten young women get pregnant at least once before they turn 20.

Did you know that you can still get pregnant even if you’re using birth control correctly? All methods of birth control have a failure rate. For example, even couples using a condom correctly have a 3% chance of conceiving a child.

Statistics and teen pregnancy

Here are some statistics that will help explain why teens become pregnant:

* In 2006 78% percent of girls surveyed stated they were completely unprotected the first time they had sex.

* 85% of males stated they were unprotected their first time.

* 54% of teen girls agree that pressure from their partners is one of the main reasons teens fail to use birth control.

* Many young women say that they used alcohol or were drunk when they first had sex.

* A couple that doesn’t use birth control has an 85% chance of pregnancy within one year.

* The majority of pregnancies occurring  to 15-19 year olds, 78%,  are not planned.

* Just over one-half of all pregnancies to teens aged 19 or younger end in births; thirty percent of teen pregnancies end in abortion; 14% end in miscarriage.

* The U.S has the highest rates of teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion in the industrialized world.

* Less than one-half of high school students have had sex.

* Black and hispanic women have the highest teen pregnancy rates (117 and 107 per 1,000 women aged 15-19, respectively); whites have the lowest rate (43 per 1,000).

* The pregnancy rate among black teens decreased 48% between 1990 and 2008, more than the overall U.S. teen pregnancy rate declined during the same period.

Resources for teen mothers in school

Did you know that the county offers a lot of support for teen mothers?  During a teen’s pregnancy the county offers resources to get free doctor appointments and check ups. The county also offers free daycare. One great advantage is there’s no waiting list; teen moms are assured a spot right away. There are parent aids at Dakota Healthy Family that can also make home visits. The home visits focus on the health of the baby; helping moms with feeding; and answering all questions pertaining to raising a baby. There is also daycare available for the teen mothers at Diamondhead Education Center for Burnsville students. They support you with pick-ups and drop offs for you and your child, and it’s all free until you graduate high school.

Some questions that are frequently asked are, “Is it hard being a teen mom?” or “Do you wish you would’ve waited?” We interviewed a teen mom to ask her opinions on these questions.

Some teen moms say it easy and some say that its extremely hard.

Some teen moms say that they wish they have waited, but they don’t regret it.

Raising a baby is difficult, and it can be much easier if you have a partner helping in raising the baby. Make sure you think about your decisions. Remember there are resources available to teens to prevent pregnancy and there are resources available once a teen is pregnant and a parent. Whatever your decision, be sure to plan it out, talk it over with a caring adult, and plan for yourself and your future.

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