Is Becoming a Teen Mom Worth It?

Sania Ross, Staff Writer

Is Becoming a Teen Mom worth it?  


You’re late. No, not the “I need to get to class” kind of late, but the “I think I might be pregnant” late. You take an at-home pregnancy test and hope that you don’t see those two little lines appear in the window.

According to Pew Research Center author Amanda Barroso, the teen birth rate in the United States hit a record low in 2019 when there were 16.7 births per 1,000 women aged 13-19. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, teen pregnancy rates have fallen even further. In 2021, the birth rate for teenagers declined by 6% to 14.4 births per 1,000 teenagers. While the drop in teenage pregnancies is a positive trend, we should still be concerned. Even at a rate of 14.4 births per 1000, about 150,000 teenagers gave birth in 2021. That means over 400 teenagers give birth every day and will face challenges and problems that affect themselves, the baby, and society as a whole.

There are many reasons teenage pregnancy is a problem that must be addressed in the U.S. and worldwide. Teen mothers face emotional stress that can lead to mental health issues, physical risks for the mother and baby, and financial complications that can put them at risk.  

One key reason why teen pregnancy is an issue is the physical strain it puts on a young woman’s body.  Teenage girls’ bodies are not fully developed to carry a child. They are at risk for complications during pregnancy and delivery. According to an article titled “Teen Pregnancy Issues and Challenges,” some common complications are high blood pressure, preeclampsia (a condition that can keep the placenta from getting enough blood), low birth weight, premature birth, and, in extreme cases, death. 

While teen pregnancy rates are declining, it is the perfect time to increase our attempts at talking to teens in schools and at home about the risks and challenges teen mothers face. . We can’t just teach abstinence, though, and expect teens to follow through on it. While this is an important lesson, expanding knowledge of birth control and support clinics is even more important. As a nation, we must work to teach young women how to protect themselves and prevent them from becoming teen moms and another statistic.

For every teenage mother, there is also a father, often also a teenager. According to the San Antonio Fatherhood Campaign, only 1 out of 4 teen fathers live with their child’s mother when their child is born. More than half of teen fathers don’t live with their child or their child’s mother when the baby is born, and only 8% of teen dads are married. There are often negative consequences for both the teen father and their children. According to the Fatherhood Campaign, children who don’t live with their fathers are 5 times more likely to be poverty-stricken than children with both parents at home. Teen fathers often have less education and fewer employment opportunities. 

I feel passionate about this issue because I have seen a friend go through the difficulties of having a baby as a teenager. I saw her go through being picked on and judged during her pregnancy because of her body and all the changes she was going through. The way she was treated and the way she felt changed her feelings about going to school and harmed her life in general. 

Becoming a teen parent is a choice that affects the parents and their child for a lifetime. Society is also affected since many teen parents need government assistance to raise a healthy child.  So please my message to you is to think before you act on having a kid.