Monday, November 29, 2010

Supporting Pregnant Teens/ Teen Moms

Pregnant teens or teen moms need support.

And no, I am not encouraging teens to have babies.

I am always surprised when I come across people who think that supporting pregnant teens/teen moms means encouraging teens to get pregnant. Why is it so difficult for us to understand this difference?

Of course, the first issue here is that Teen Pregnancy Is Bad (tm). Therefore, whenever a person talks about teens being pregnant or having kids, they always feel the need to put that young woman into a negative position or say negative things about her. Because in their eyes, she's done something wrong by becoming pregnant.

Maybe being pregnant as a teen is wrong. It's certainly not healthy on a massive population scale. But neither of these facts are going to help young women who are already on a path towards teen motherhood.

Because Teen Pregnancy Is Bad (tm), people will turn any discussion about pregnant teens towards preventing teen pregnancy. Which is a good thing, in theory. In practice, it means that young women who are already pregnant are getting no support.

For instance, if someone says that we should support teen moms, or have a group for teen moms to get together to support each other, someone is bound to bring up condoms.

avatar
Poloyatonki - 10 hours ago

Tracy….Are you encouraging teen pregnancy? Lets just educate them to use a condom….


This above quote is from the article Supporting Teen Moms, in which the author wants to start up a support group for teen moms to get together and chat.

I hate that I have to ask this, but does a condom help a young woman who is already pregnant avoid pregnancy? No. This tactic reminds me of the antichoicers suggesting that pregnant women looking for abortions should just keep their legs closed (and not have sex). Great advice, but unless you've got a time machine to go with it, you're not helping anyone.

In business, companies can separate their customer base into different target markets. When dealing with teenagers, we should be able to do the same. Teens who are already pregnant and planning to parent or teen moms are one target market. This market is where the support needs to be sent to. Teens that are not pregnant and not parents are a second target market where the focus of contraceptive education should be pushed. Why is this such a hard idea for people to understand?

Of course, people may response that non-pregnant teens might see the support teen moms have, and decide that teen pregnancy isn't all that bad. While this may sound dangerous, I doubt an overwhelming number of teens are going to see teen parenting as "cool" or "fun" just because teen moms get some support. Besides that, teen parents should not be treated harshly or punished just to send a message to teens who aren't parents.

Pregnant women and mothers need to have a supportive environment whether they are teenagers or forty years old. And that support needs to be a lot more helpful than "use a condom..."

10 comments:

  1. Hi there, thanks so much for quoting my article on www.news24.com. It's amazing to come across somebody on the other side of the world who totally "gets it". Here in South Africa we have a huge problem trying to get this message across - as you say, unless you have a time machine, please offer some useful advice! Crazy people :) Thanks again, and pls check out my website: http://tracyengelbrecht.com
    Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey! Amazingly,I agree with you. When a teenage girl finds herself pregnant it is not the time to lecture about the birth control she did not use. It is NOT the time to say she's a horrid sinner, a slut, stupid, etc.....It is NOT the time to tell her how this child will ruin her life, or end all her hopes and dreams for the future.It IS a time to reach out to her and help her in tangible ways, i.e. prenatal care, money, baby supplies, teaching parenting skills, adoption options (but only if that is her choice), driving her to appointments, giving her a list of public and private resources available to her, showing her how she can continue her education and helping her do it..... It IS the time to encourage her to take responsibility for her decisions and the consequences of those decisions, and taking the easy way out is not always the best way, and that two mistakes don't make it right. This is what builds character.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so glad to see this, that I'm not the only one who's had these thoughts. I know a girl at my church who just had a baby, and while the people at our church aren't being judgmental toward her, she doesn't have the support she needs to move forward in life. I'm looking at the idea of starting just that kind of support group. . .Still researching materials.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joy! I've been considering the same thing! I think a support group would be wonderful. We live in a small town where most teen moms get little to no support. There are not a lot of agencies locally that help teen moms. I think even a support group where teen mothers get together with older mothers who have been in their shoes for advice, support and just someone to hang out with and give them tips on being a successful mother would be super beneficial!

      Delete
  4. AMEN! I love how some people who claim to be "pro-life" are so hateful to the unmarried, teen mothers who decide to keep their babies and judge them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ok so in reading this,I am so happy that there are still those who feel support is needed at their Church. This past week I found out that my 17 year old is pregnant. She is activily involved in the youth group at Church. She is affraid that she will be asked to leave the youth group and will be looked down on at Church. After 3 days of crying my eyes out,I have handed it over to God. This is much bigger than me to deal with alone. By gods grace and mercy I will get through this to help her get through this. She is not a bad child,we all have made mistakes and yes she is gonna have a rough road,but I will be there for her as well as her sisters and Father. The parents of this young man are stunned as well and have agreed to help as well,and he accepts responsibility. I am not here to judge her in any way at all. After all she is still my daughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is another reason we need support groups for teen mothers. Now that she has a child she's going to feel stuck in between. Too young to be with the adult class, yet too mature to be with the youth. I think teen moms should be encouraged to stick with their Faith and it's hard to do that when you find yourself not only dealing with having a new life but all of a sudden feeling like you don't fit in at Church

      Delete
  6. Teen pregnancy to me should be treated like any other pregnancy because no matter how old you are, you are being rewarded to be a loving mother to a life they are bringing into the world. Nobody but them has to accept it. But i think Grandmothers and Grandfathers should because no matter if there 13-16 18-29 they should be accepted like they are ADULTS. THEY as people shouldn't get hurtful words for something that is so special. So don't be ashamed of your pregnancy be proud to be called a MOM.

    ReplyDelete
  7. All i can say is a thank you to Dr ologbo for making me and my family a happy home, i have been married for 2 years without a child and i had 4 miscarriage within this time, i saw a post that says contact Dr ologbo for Infertility help, so i did, after he cast a pregnancy spell on me i get pregnant few weeks later after having sex with my partner as instructed by Dr ologbo, and i am 7 months pregnant now without any complications and i will share another post here after my delivering and i will also give out my personal info, watch out for my next post, so i decide to drop this here for any body going through infertility problem to contact Dr ologbo on ologbotemple@gmail.com and you will be happy you did, contact for any problem you are having i believed he will help you out,

    ReplyDelete
  8. phương pháp sàng lọc trước sinh không còn xa lạ với các mẹ bầu, là những biện pháp không thể không thực hiện để phát hiện những hội chứng dị tật bẩm sinh mà thai nhi có thể mắc phải để gia đình có những biện pháp chăm sóc thai nhi sớm nhất có thể cả trước và sau khi sinh.

    ReplyDelete