Rise in teenage pregnancies

 A recent post on Ooph talks about the rise in teenage pregnancy and whether or not TV is adding too much glamour to teenage pregnancy.

Apparently getting pregnant as a teenager in the U.S. gets you a reality show and covers on People and US Magazine. And really? What teenage girl doesn’t long to be a movie star? And? All she has to do is be pregnant for nine months. That’s like, totally less than a year. Cool.

While I was not a teenage mom, my sister was. This was back in the late-80s. MTV still played music and the only real coverage of teenage pregnancy on TV was the occasional after school special.

I do think that media these days makes teenage pregnancy look too easy. The Secret Life of An America Teenager has focused more on the drama than on the reality. And, while I think Teen Mom set out to do something good to shed light on the issue, getting pregnant is now another way a reality-obsessed teen can sell her story.

Here are some of the facts (according to the March of Dimes):

  • Teen mothers are more likely to give birth prematurely
  • 1 in 4 have a second baby by the time the first baby is 2
  • Teens are more likely to smoke during pregnancy compared to pregnant adults
  • Teenagers are also the least likely to get appropriate prenatal care
  • "64% of children born to an unmarried teenage high-school dropout live in poverty"

Unless your mother is Sarah Palin, your sister is Britney Spears, or you win the MTV reality show lottery, getting pregnant as a teen is not as glamorous as TV makes it out to be.

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