Search Results for: teen pregnancy

18 Messages Of Love And Support For Pregnant Teens



This post is dedicated to all the pregnant teens who are moving forward in their pregnancy, and a little nervous about the shape their lives are about to take. Let these encouraging messages from TheYoungMommyLife community (mostly from women who are teen mothers themselves) remind them that there is still a lot of life ahead of them. The best is yet to come. :)

Look toward the future

“A baby is not a death sentence to your future. You can still pursue your dreams, but it may take longer and be harder. Early pregnancy is not an excuse to give up, but a motivation to push forward.” 

“You can do it and when you don’t think that you can, you can look to us as examples. Just have to get your priorities in order and take things a day at a time.”

Get a great support system

“Find support and use it wherever it comes from. Parents, family, teachers, mentors or elsewhere. It is scary. Motherhood is always scary. But know you will get through it. Many of us have walked the same road. You are not alone and your situation is not impossible. Pray for patience and a nurturing spirit. Know that you have to take care of yourself in order to care for the baby. That means, be physically healthy starting now and continue after baby. You are his/her first example. Find spiritual health in whatever faith background you have. Educate yourself. There are so many options to assure you graduate from high school and even go to college. Ask your teachers and guidance counselors at school. Remember that your decisions have to be made based on the child’s best interest, not your personal ego or desires. So make sure you develop loving relationships and is in a environment that you can flourish even if you make have to make some sacrifices or it’s not the popular decision.”

I’m praying for you, honey. This is not the end. It is just a detour. You *can* do this, and there are people who will help you. God bless you and your baby!

“You’re not alone and with help you can do this. This is not the end.”

You are not alone

“I was 15 when I had my first child graduated from high school and then went on to college. My best advice is to have a plan for you and your little one and surround yourself with people who love you and can relate to your life. Join teen parent groups and seek out a mentor. This is NOT easy, but you and I aren’t the first or the last young ladies to do it and you know what…it’s not any easier when you’re 24 LOL. Keep a journal and write in it all the time. You’ll be just fine!”

“You are not alone and that there are many young ladies out there who were once in that position and have managed to rise above and beyond their circumstances. I am one of those women. My daughter is now 23 and I couldn’t be more proud of my accomplishments.”

You are more than capable

Being pregnant at young age is scary and a lot to deal with. Nope I refuse to believe it will be harder for me. Continue to go to school; that’s the only thing that’s really gonna help you in the future. The better education, the more money you’ll have. You have to really be focus on your grind nonstop. Forget what other people have to say about you, things happen. No one is perfect. No need to live in the past because you can’t change it so just really focus on making a better future for you and your child because that’s all that matters. Just don’t give up and be a role model to your child. And if anyone tells you you can’t do it, take that as motivation and prove them all wrong.”

It’s okay. You will realize you have a strength you didn’t even know existed. And when that bundle of joy arrives you will know and see it was all worth it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and take it when offered. You’re stronger and smarter than you may realize and you will get through it. Plus we’re all here for you.”

“Just stay strong. It’s gonna be hard but it can only get better. Just don’t give up. It’s a lot of people out there that say when you have a child at a young age you have ruined your life but that’s not true. You can still focus on your dreams, only this time you will have to work a little harder for them now, because you have a child that you have to take care of. It’s a lot of people that have told me I wouldn’t be where I am today because of my son. Just don’t listen to them; do what’s best for you and your child. That’s what’s kept me motivated. Keep moving forward.”

Pray and hold on during the tough times.”

Nothing to fear, but ‘fear’ itself. This is a test you can ace. Everything you need is inside you. Ask for help when you need it, trust yourself. You got this. Piece of cake.”

“Trust yourself…and its okay to not have all the answers.”

Don’t forget to focus on yourself too

“Be mindful of your mental health. When you graduate, you will be part of a badass club of teen mom high school graduates.”

No matter what you choose to do, you should embrace where you are in life right now. You are giving life which is beautiful and something not everyone can do. It is okay to feel, so allow yourself to in healthy ways.” 

Eff everybody else, get on your grind, and do you, boo. If they wasn’t shooting with you in the gym, then they cant judge your game. Don’t let the people who haven’t read your life story tell you what’s on the next page.”

Pray. Stay encouraged. Be around positive and uplifting people. Know that all things are possible.

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#NoTeenShame: This Is What Happens When We Support Teen Parents


That’s all I could think when Gloria Malone (you may know her as TeenMomNYC) uploaded photos from her college graduation.

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Gloria had her daughter Leilani when she was 15. I didn’t know her then, but I know that society isn’t kind to parents in general, let alone those who are parenting before they graduate high school, so I know she had her struggles.

Instead of quietly putting her head down and focusing on just getting through each day, Gloria has used her voice for good. She’s open about her life on her blog,, and is one of the founders of the #NoTeenShame movement. She’s hosted events for teen mothers to come together and encourage each other and she’s quick to share resources to help them grow happy, healthy families.

Gloria has quickly become one of my closest friends and sheroes over the past few years and the reasons are many: she’s incredibly smart, passionate about equality and justice, and she never ever fails to make me laugh when I need one. She has inspired me so much with her advocacy work (in the span of about three weeks she was on the O’Reilly Factor and in the New York Times discussing the shameful New York City subway ads for teen pregnancy prevention).

I just wanted to use my part of the internet to remind people that it is entirely possible for teen parents to blossom. It should be expected, encouraged, without worrying about whether we’re “glamorizing” teen pregnancy.  Support, not shame, is the key.

“All the hard work does pay off. It really does.”

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Get more information on the #NoTeenShame movement on Tumblr and Twitter.



To The Women Facing An Unplanned Pregnancy – Here’s What I Know For Sure



I paused for a minute in the aisle of Walgreens, overwhelmed by the moment. Am I really here, looking for a pregnancy test? Is this really happening?

I grabbed the 2-for-$19.99 box (figuring I’d want to take more than one test) and headed to the counter. The teenage cashier, probably a student at the same school as me, pushed her math textbook to the side and rang up my order: one pregnancy test, a 20-ounce bottle of ginger ale and a copy of Essence. 

“That’ll be $26,” she said.

I fished out a twenty and four singles. Shoot, I thought I had another five in here…

I dug out another two dollars in change and kept my head low. By the time I got back to the car I was sobbing. Somehow I knew, even before taking the test, that I was pregnant. I just…knew. In truth, I knew the moment after we had sex that something felt different.

I went to my boyfriend’s apartment and locked myself in the bathroom. I left him in the living room because I wanted to be alone, but not too alone. I took the test and waited.


The next few months were a blur. I hid my pregnancy from my professors and fellow students and took few photos to capture the changes in my life. I was scared and anxious and worried that I’d doomed my kid to a life of “less than,” simply because I wasn’t yet ready to become a mother.

That was eight years ago. My fears of motherhood were real, but the life I thought I had doomed myself to, was not. I’ve grown as a woman, as a lover and as a friend and I can absolutely point to my daughter and say, “Yes, it’s because of her presence.”

The reason I began this blog was because of the fear I faced. Will I be a good mother? What will my family think? Will I be able to provide for my daughter? What about my career? What about…everything? 

Honestly, I felt like the world was ending. I now know that it was just beginning.

Too often we treat unplanned pregnancy like the end of a perfectly good life. “Such a shame,” people gossip to one another. “She had such a bright future.”

Let me tell you: you still have a bright future. Pregnancy is not the death of you, but the rebirth of a new you, one who is stronger, more resilient, more capable than who you were before. When we talk about motherhood and pregnancy, we talk so much about sacrifice and going without and the struggle to maintain. *raises hand* I’m guilty of that.

But what I also know for sure is that my life is so enriched by the two children who call me “Mom.” They make me laugh, they teach me things, they show me what pure, unadulterated love looks like. They are precious little beings who never give up on me—they believe I have superpowers.

Motherhood, if you embrace it, can be a glorious thing. Don’t let the fact that you have children deter you—from anything. The rest of your life will be the best of your life.




What Do We Really Want “Teen Mom” To Accomplish, Anyway?

Maci from Teen Mom

So far this week I’ve read two articles on the impact “Teen Mom” and it’s parent show, “16 & Pregnant” is having on the younger generation. The New York Times reports:

A new economic study of Nielsen television ratings and birth records suggests that the show she appeared in, “16 and Pregnant,” and its spinoffs may have prevented more than 20,000 births to teenage mothers in 2010.

The paper, to be released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, makes the case that the controversial but popular programs reduced the teenage birthrate by nearly 6 percent, contributing to a long-term decline that accelerated during the recession.

“It’s thrilling,” said Sarah S. Brown, the chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a nonprofit group in Washington. “People just don’t understand how influential media is in the lives of young people.”

I’ve written numerous articles about Teen Mom already, one even calling for the show to be canceled. But this type of headline (“See? Those trainwrecks on TV are serving a purpose after all!”) and article is overly simplistic. And it’s not even new – MTV tried to say the same thing back in 2010. But pushing aside the study itself (which, if you’re into data and numbers, I’d encourage to you to read here), can we talk about what purpose these TV shows are supposed to serve?

The creator of the show, MTV executive Lauren Dolgen wrote a great piece back in 2010 about her inspiration for the show (Jamie Lynn Spears’ teen pregnancy) and why it was important for MTV to tackle the topic: 

The U.S. has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and teen birth in the fully developed world — but at that time, no one was really talking about the harsh reality these young women were facing. I felt like we had to address it. I wanted to help give these teenagers a voice, and to share their stories without passing judgment in a way that could start a real dialogue about the issue.

She goes on to say:

These documentary series tell the honest, unpleasant truth of teen pregnancy in America — the whole truth. It’s not a fairy tale where every girl ends up with the American dream — a loving husband, a white picket fence and the career they’ve always hoped for.


But do these girls need to be anything other than…themselves? Do we need them to serve as cautionary tales? Do we need them to cry for the cameras in order to “save” other teens from making the same choices?

We will never fully end teen pregnancy. We can decrease the number of young women who get pregnant before they turn 20, but there will always be teen parents in our midst. It’s simple biology and simple math: Teens will have sex. Some teens will either not use birth control, or it will be used incorrectly, or it just won’t work. No birth control is 100% effective.  So while encouraging teens to have safer sex and exercise more personal agency when it comes to their sexuality is a good thing, it’s not the job of teen parents to be living, breathing scarecrows for the non-pregnant set.

We don’t need “16 & Pregnant” or “Teen Mom” for anything other than showing the humanity of the girls and how teen parents are just that — parents who are teens.

What do you think about the reports? Could Teen Mom or 16 & Pregnant be helpful in reducing teen pregnancies?

“Mommy, Did You Want Me?” Reflections From A Teen Parent

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While out shopping recently, my daughter and I started talking about my sister’s newborn baby, and how excited we were to see him again soon. Talk of his little fingers and toes quickly turned into how babies are made and my pregnancy eight short years ago.

“Mommy, did you want me? So you wanted a baby and then you got pregnant, right?” she asked me. Without blinking I reached over, rubbed her cheek and said, yes of course, I wanted you.

That was the response of a 28-year-old Mother—the protector, who fell in love with her baby girl as soon as she laid eyes on her on a sunny September afternoon. My response came from years of making memories with such a special little girl, who’s opened up my eyes to the world in a different way, and fills my heart with so much joy and happiness.

Eight years ago, at the age of 19, living in a friend’s apartment and working as a waitress with no real plans for the future I found out I was pregnant. My immediate feelings were anything but joy as I thought of the life growing inside my belly. At 19, I was absolutely without a doubt sure I didn’t want a baby.

But, there I found myself, in an empty apartment staring at a positive pregnancy test—frozen, scared, and alone. Don’t get me wrong, I understood how I got to that point, I was reckless, and did not want to take responsibility for my actions. I had a decision to make, and either way it would be life changing. And now, eight years later I couldn’t imagine my life without my baby girl.

I often catch myself looking at my daughter; I’m in awe of her beauty, her grace, her smile, her warmth. And I feel guilty. Guilty that I even thought I didn’t want this wonderful child. It hurts my heart knowing that had I made a different decision I wouldn’t be a mother to the most amazing gift I was ever given. It’s hard to break free of that guilt, and as I sit here crying writing the remainder of this post I know that I can’t hold myself in this prison of guilt anymore. That scared 19-year-old who spent the majority of her pregnancy depressed and scared, has grown and blossomed into a woman and damn good mother, whose past doesn’t define who she is.

I’m proud of that 19-year old that made the most difficult decision on her life, with little support. She was and is amazing and hopefully one day she’ll fully realize her strength.