Friday, January 9, 2009
Alert! Teenage Pregnancy is On the Increase...
Top 10 Reasons to Talk about Teen Pregnancy and Actions We can Take!
Teen pregnancy costs taxpayers $7 billion annually.
9 You'll be in it alone.
Eight out of 10 teenage boys do not marry their baby's mother.
8 Four out of every 10 girls you know.
That's how many girls become pregnant each year in the United States.
7 Your life.
Teenagers need to be aware that having a baby is a lifetime commitment from which they can never walk away.
6 Pregnancy doesn't discriminate.
Any teen who practice unsafe sex could become a parent, regardless of race or socioeconomic status.
Educating teens about teen pregnancy empowers them to make informed choices about their bodies and their future.
4 Single motherhood.
Young mothers raising babies on their own face specific financial and emotional hardships.
3 Once is not enough.
Teenagers need to be aware that they either need to abstain or use protection every single time.
2 You gotta talk about it.
Candid dialogue about sex and its repercussions makes a difference.
Babies born to teen mothers can face special health and developmental challenges. Life for teen parents is never the same after their babies are born.
When Children Have Babies!
Babies born in the U.S. to teenage mothers are at risk for long-term problems in many major areas of life, including school failure, poverty, and physical or mental illness. The teenage mothers themselves are also at risk for these problems.
Teenage pregnancy is usually a crisis for the pregnant girl and her family.
Common reactions include anger, guilt, and denial. If the father is young and involved, similar reactions can occur in his family.
Adolescents who become pregnant may not seek proper medical care during their pregnancy, leading to an increased risk for medical complications. Pregnant teenagers require special understanding, medical care, and education--particularly about nutrition, infections, substance abuse, and complications of pregnancy.
They also need to learn that using tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, can damage the developing fetus. All pregnant teenagers should have medical care beginning early in their pregnancy.
Pregnant teens can have many different emotional reactions:
•some may not want their babies
•some may want them for idealized and unrealistic ways
•others may view the creation of a child as an achievement and not recognize the serious responsibilities
•some may keep a child to please another family member
•some may want a baby to have someone to love, but not recognize the amount of care the baby needs
•depression is also common among pregnant teens many do not anticipate that their adorable baby can also be demanding and sometimes irritating
•some become overwhelmed by guilt, anxiety, and fears about the future
•depression is also common among pregnant teens
There may be times when the pregnant teenager's emotional reactions and mental state will require referral to a qualified mental health professional.
Babies born to teenagers are at risk for neglect and abuse because their young mothers are uncertain about their roles and may be frustrated by the constant demands of caretaking.
Adult parents can help prevent teenage pregnancy through open communication and by providing guidance to their children about sexuality, contraception, and the risks and responsibilities of intimate relationships and pregnancy.
Some teenage girls drop out of school to have their babies and don't return. In this way, pregnant teens lose the opportunity to learn skills necessary for employment and self survival as adults. School classes in family life and sexual education, as well as clinics providing reproductive information and birth control to young people, can also help to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
If pregnancy occurs, teenagers and their families deserve honest and sensitive counseling about options available to them, from abortion to adoption. Special support systems, including consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist when needed, should be available to help the teenager throughout the pregnancy, the birth, and the decision about whether to keep the infant or give it up for adoption.
The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually.
Thirty-four percent of young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 -- about 820,000 a year. Eight in ten of these teen pregnancies are unintended and 79 percent are to unmarried teens.
A new federal report released today finds Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen pregnancy rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says
Mississippi's rate was more than 60 percent higher than the
national average in 2006. The teen pregnancy rate in Texas and New
Mexico was more than 50 percent higher.
The three states have large proportions of black and Hispanic
teenagers - groups that traditionally have higher birth rates,
The lowest teen birth rates continue to be in New England, where
three states have teen birth rates at just half the national
The teen birth rate had declined slowly but steadily from 1991 to 2002 with an overall decline of 30 percent for those aged 15 to 19. These recent declines reverse the 23-percent rise in the teenage birth rate from 1986 to 1991.
The largest decline since 1991 by race was for black women. The birth rate for black teens aged 15 to 19 fell 42 percent between 1991 to 2002. Hispanic teen birth rates declined 20 percent between 1991 and 2002. The rates of both Hispanics and blacks, however, remain higher than for other groups. Hispanic teens now have the highest teenage birth rates.
Most teenagers giving birth before 1980 were married whereas most teens giving birth today are unmarried.
The younger a teenaged girl is when she has sex for the first time, the more likely she is to have had unwanted or non-voluntary sex. Close to four in ten girls who had first intercourse at 13 or 14 report it was either non-voluntary or unwanted.
Teenage Pregnancy Consequences
Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school (only one-third receive a high school diploma) and only 1.5% have a college degree by age 30. Teen mothers are more likely to end up on welfare (nearly 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare).
The children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect.
The sons of teen mothers are 13 percent more likely to end up in prison while teen daughters are 22 percent more likely to become teen mothers themselves.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention
The primary reason that teenage girls who have never had intercourse give for abstaining from sex is that having sex would be against their religious or moral values.
Other reasons cited include desire to avoid pregnancy, fear of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and not having met the appropriate partner. Three of four girls and over half of boys report that girls who have sex do so because their boyfriends want them to.
Teenagers who have strong emotional attachments to their parents are much less likely to become sexually active at an early age and less likely to have a teen pregnancy.
Most people say teens should remain abstinent but should have access to contraception. Ninety-four percent of adults in the United States-and 91 percent of teenagers-think it important that school-aged children and teenagers be given a strong message from society that they should abstain from sex until they are out of high school.
Seventy-eight percent of adults also think that sexually active teenagers should have access to contraception to prevent teen pregnancy.
Contraceptive use among sexually active teens has increased but remains inconsistent. Three-quarters of teens use some method of contraception (usually a condom) the first time they have sex. A sexually active teen who does not use contraception has a 90 percent chance of teen pregnancy within one year.
Parents rate high among many adolescents as trustworthy and preferred information sources on birth control. One in two teens say they "trust" their parents most for reliable and complete information about birth control, only 12 percent say a friend.
Teens who have been raised by both parents (biological or adoptive) from birth, have lower probabilities of having sex than youths who grew up in any other family situation. At age 16, 22 percent of girls from intact families and 44 percent of other girls have had sex at least once. Similarly, teens from intact, two-parent families are less likely to give birth in their teens than girls from other family backgrounds.
Teen Pregnancy information obtained from The National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy
(American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
You Tube Clips of Teen Mothers:
Amanda Ireland attended the school with the teens who started the "Pregnancy Pact"
Riyonna Cooper was pregnant at 16 with her first child. She is now 30 years old and has (9) children - 4 Girls and 5 Boys by 4 different fathers: