teenage pregnancy statistics danielle ford young mom

Don’t be a Statistic

When I was a kid, pretty much every grown up in my life had a substance abuse problem or mental illness.

Until I was 25, the longest I ever lived in 1 place was 2 years. Nobody could take care of me for an extended period of time.

I attended 8 different schools growing up. Being the new kid became the norm and I got pretty good at it.

I spent many nights alone in whatever crummy apartment we were living in, in the worst neighborhoods, taking care of my little sisters. In the morning, I’d feed the baby and get the older one ready for school. I was 10.

I walked myself to and from middle school, through the ghetto, taking shortcuts through dirty alleyways where groups of men hung out during the day, drinking and smoking on their apartment balconies. Looking back, I know I had to have had a guardian Angel. Or incredible luck. Or something.

The only constant I had during my entire life was my grandma. During every custody battle, every move/eviction, every new drug problem a caregiver would develop, my grandma was always there to swoop in and save me, if only for a short time.

best-grandma-danielle-ford

When I was 14, I called my grandma collect from a 7-11 pay phone. I was locked out of the apartment and it was midnight. She picked me up and I slept in the bedroom that she had always kept for me. And then I just.. stayed. I officially moved in with her.

According to statistics, I should’ve been an alcoholic or a crack whore or dead.

It’s because of my grandma that I beat that statistic.

Life was smooth for a while. I was able to attend only 1 high school, I was in Honors classes, I got an under-the-table after-school job and saved up enough money to buy my first car.

And then at the end of my sophomore year, I met “the love of my life”; my boyfriend who would later become my husband, the father of my children and my ex-husband (not in that particular order).

My whole life revolved around him. I would pick him up for school, take him home from school, give him rides to and from work, ditch school to hang out with him. I only wanted to be with him.

This, of course, drove my grandma crazy but there wasn’t much she could do. I remember so many times just waiting until the moment I could speed away from my grandma’s house so I could be with him, not knowing that later all I would want is to be away from him and to have my grandma back.

2 years later, the statistics caught up with me and I found myself pregnant at 17.

I continued on following the life-plan that the statistics had in mind for me.

I dropped out of high school.(-Statistic.)

I got married and found myself in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship.(-Statistic.)

I had a 2nd child.(-Statistic.)

And I ended up divorced. (-Statistic.)

..and broke.(-Statistic.)

And then one day, I decided to stop being a statistic.

 

I knew that there were many more statistics ahead of me on the “Teen Mom Statistic Train” that I was on and I didn’t want them to come true for me.

 

For instance:

*Over half of all moms on welfare are teen moms.

*Teen moms have an average income of $23,000.

*Daughters of teen moms are 3 times as likely to become teen moms themselves and sons of teen mothers are twice as likely to end up in jail.

*and there are lots more…

 

F*ck those statistics.

 

I want you to know that wherever you are on the “Statistic train”, you can jump off.

Derail that bitch.

Get on a different train.

 

Now you tell me, how are you going to beat the statistics?

Leave a comment now.

Share your story.

And if you know anyone else who needs to read this, pass it on.

<3 Danielle

 

teen pregnancy statistics and facts

10 Teen Pregnancy Statistics That Will Shock You

We have 10 teen pregnancy statistics that will shock you!

Having a baby when you’re still a teenager has been exploited through reality TV.

They sometimes even glorify being a young mom and most of them don’t talk about teen pregnancy statistics or even show motherhood for the harder side of things.

teen pregnancy statistics

Here’s a list of not-so-happy teen pregnancy statistics you may not know about teen motherhood. (Let’s beat the numbers and inspire change!)

 

1 Fame and Misfortune: MTV’s Teen Moms make $65,000 per season while real life U.S. teen moms on average have an annual income of $23,000.

While shows like “Teen Mom” or “16 and Pregnant” have helped to contribute to society’s drive to inspire young women to reach “success” through getting famous on YouTube or becoming reality TV stars, the skewed reality that they portray is misleading. Young teenagers think that having a baby can be glamorous or somehow the path they should take to fit in with current trends, but look at the financial reality of it… these girls behaving badly or even just getting publicity for having a child as a teen are raking in about $65,000 each season. The odds of striking it rich as a young mom are slim to none and you’ll probably end up with the millions of teen moms in the U.S. that only bring home less than $25,000 on average to support themselves and their baby.

2 Unhappily Ever After: Almost 80% of teen fathers don’t end up marrying the mother of their children.

When you’re young, you fall in “love” and you plan a future…. but sometimes things happen that we don’t plan. Teen couples that get pregnant can sometimes try to see the pregnancy as a blessing. They make a plan and set goals on how they will succeed in raising their child and face all of the obstacles teen couples face, and sometimes it works out. However, whether it accidentally fails after trying or even if the father just runs from the situation out of fear or neglect, the reality is that nearly 80% of teen dads don’t marry the teenage girl they got pregnant.

3 The High-Low: Teen pregnancy in the U.S. is nearly 11 times higher than other countries in the world.

In 2013, it was estimated that 26.6 of every 1,000 teen girls became mothers in the United States alone. The top 3 states in the U.S. for teen pregnancy are Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. This may sound like a huge number (it is) but surprisingly, this is much lower than the 400,000 births reported in 2009. Yet even with this significant drop, we still have the highest birth rate in the world compared to countries like Canada, England, France, and even Japan.

4 Beauty School Dropout: Teen pregnancy is the #1 reason girl teenage girls drop out of school.

Less than half of the kids in high school are having sex, but there are still so many girls getting pregnant that teen pregnancy is still the #1 reason that a teen girl will drop out of school. It’s actually shown that two-thirds of teen moms will drop out of high school and will not graduate. Even after high school, moms struggle to continue their education with less than 1% earning a college degree by the time they turn 30 years old.

5 Babies and more babies: 25% of teen moms will have more than one child.

Becoming a teen mom can be scary when you didn’t plan the pregnancy. Even through all of the judgement, shock, and concern 25% of teen mothers will have another baby within 2 years of the birth of their first child. In 2010, there were 365,000 teenagers that had babies and of that number 67,000 weren’t their first child. It has been shown it’s better to wait to have your next child as a teen mom since repeat births can cause health problems in their kids and can be the reason moms struggle more with their education and finding a job.

6 What about the kids?: Having teen parents can affect children in the long run.

Families that started when a young girl became an unmarried teen mom are more likely to be poor. In fact, only 1/3 of these families are financially stable. It’s not uncommon that a lot of teen mothers end up on welfare either. Actually, of all of the moms currently on welfare, over half of them had their first child when they were a teenager. Aside from financial trouble, studies have shown that the daughters of teen moms are 3 times as likely to become teen moms themselves and sons of teen mothers are twice as likely to end up incarcerated.

7 Black or White: Hispanic and black adolescents have a higher birth rate.

We hate stereotypes about race, sex, or age. That’s the whole reason this article is being written… so that people can start to make a change to beat the statistics. However, currently it is proven that Hispanic females ages 15-19 are the highest group for becoming teen moms (46.3 births for every 1000 teenage girls) and black females are a close second (43.0 births for every 1000 teenage girls). One in 8 white teenage girls will have a baby by her 20th birthday which results in about 20.5 births for every 1000 white teen girls. Regardless of race though, there has been a decline in teen moms throughout all different ethnic backgrounds in the past few years.

8 Surprise… You’re Pregnant!: 77% of teen pregnancies are unplanned.

Teen pregnancy has dropped by over 50% in the last 10 years or so which is a huge decrease. Of the existing teen pregnancies, 77% of young moms say that they weren’t ready and didn’t plan to get pregnant. There are many ways that these pregnancies turn out in the end, including 60% of them being live births and creating new teen mommies, 30% of them resulting in abortion, and 15% ending in miscarriage. 30% still seems like a high number for the abortion rate, but in reality, it’s the lowest it’s ever been since it became legal back in 1973.

9 Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby: 7 out of 10 teens have had sex by the age of 19.

On average, teenagers lose their virginity around the age of 17 but statistics show they don’t end up getting married until their mid-20s, leaving them open to a higher risk of unplanned pregnancy for almost a decade. Even though there has been an increase of the use of birth control, there is still a risk for female teens to get pregnant since 1 in 4 teen girls didn’t use any contraception when they last had sex.

10 No Regrets: Even through the challenges, being a teen mom can be a turning point.

As much as I am an advocate for preventing teen pregnancy, I was also a teen mom myself. After working for Young Mom’s Club and talking to many young women who became teen mothers, I have found that through all the struggles and obstacles we face when we have our children when we’re younger… we wouldn’t change it for the world. There are more young mothers out there that are making efforts to change society’s stigma against teen moms and accomplishing their dreams while still educating young girls about abstinence and safe sex.

A recent study actually showed interviews with teen moms who attended a teen parent school were mostly successful educationally and in other aspects of their lives which are valued in our society, such as careers and home ownership. As long as there is good education and support to meet the needs young families have, teen pregnancy statistics show that being a young mom can be an opportunity for young women to turn a new leaf and reach success in life. We all share the same goals and that is for younger generations to succeed, no matter what!

We can all use these harsh realities to work with each other to overcome the struggles of being a teen mom and educate young girls to make sure they succeed in life.

What advice can you give to teen girls who aren’t pregnant yet but are sexually active? Better yet, what are you personally doing to help to beat the teen pregnancy statistics and to overcome obstacles you face from having a baby when you were a teen? Comment below! We want to hear your feedback and ideas.

A Letter to a Pregnant Teen Header Image

A letter to a teen who just found out she’s pregnant; one step at a time

This featured guest blog is definitely something young moms and pregnant teens can relate to. We are so happy that Melissa Monk, one of our previous “Spotlight Young Moms”, allowed us to share her blog written as a heartfelt letter directly to pregnant teenagers.

Dear teen,

PREGNANT reads the words on the test, confirming your worst fear. Take a deep breath, and let it soak in. I know you’re scared. I know that your heart is racing and your palms are sweaty. Your mind is jumping to a million places.. Just close your eyes and take another deep breath. And know that it’s okay to cry.. Its okay to be scared and not know what to doyou’re not alone in this.

The world is screaming at you, “How could you be so stupid, you’ve ruined your life. Your child is a mistake. You’re never going to amount to anything, and neither will your child.” But that’s not true, beautiful. Little does the world know this was a part of your plan all along. You were always meant to be a mother.

YOU will amount to something. YOU and your child will go places in this life, but only if you work hard enough for it. YOU are not stupid for having sex. Its a natural human instinct, and the fact that you became pregnant is NOT a mistake. Your child is NOT a “mistake” or an “accident”.

This may not be the way you’ve planned your life to go, or how you saw yourself starting a family, but what’s done is done. Your baby did not ruin your future, it gave you a new one.. A brighter one. Your age, marital status, weight, height, race, or religion does NOT determine the quality of mother that can and will be. YOU determine that.. there is no magical maturity switch that flips when you turn 20, and being young does NOT predispose you to being a “bad mother”. Do not let the world limit you by forcing you into a statistic, making you feel not good enough.

And if you’re worried about your child’s father not sticking around.. Let him leave. Let him be the one to miss out on all of the non replaceable moments with your child. It’s not your fault, or your child’s fault at all that he is not man enough to take responsibility. Do not waste your precious energy chasing after him. If he is meant to be in your life he will be. GOD will put him there. Just like he did with your baby. It’s better for your child to have no father, than to have a “half ass” father who pops in and out of its life all the time. One day he will regret walking away, but you won’t regret letting him.

As hard as it is to ask for help, please dont ever be afraid to ask for it. Its okay to admit that you need help. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that you need guidance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be more knowledgeable to better not only your life, but your children’s life as well. There are so many resources in the community willing to help you whether it be government assistance, childcare resources, support groups/clubs, parenting classes, scholarships and financial aid for college or even just therapy to help you get through this life changing event. You just have to be willing to get out there and find it.

Being a teen/young mother is hard. Believe me, I had many nights where I was ready to throw in the towel and rip my hair out. But its not impossible to get through those moments. The good and happy moments that you will have with your child the rest of its life will outweight the bad by millions. A year from now, you’ll look back and be so happy and proud of how far you’ve come. As long as you always remember to fight to be the best mother you can be, you’ll make it through just fine.

Are you ready for this life long adventure through motherhood? Its okay to answer no right now because if you’re not ready right this moment, you’ve got 9 short months to prepare yourself. But you’ll get there. Motherhood is a natural human instinct. Try not to worry so much about the future right now and just take it one step at a time. Good luck and congratulations Mother, motherhood has been waiting for you!

melissa monk blog post image

Wow. Melissa, this truly is an incredible insight into motherhood and a great letter to pregnant young women to tell the truth of having a child young and to remind us that we aren’t alone, even when we feel like we are. If you loved this blog post, share it and don’t forget to comment below and tell us!

Also, if you like this post, check out Melissa Monk’s Spotlight and check her out online:

 

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The best foods to eat while pregnant

Dear new mom, I know that you want to give your baby and yourself the best nutrients that you can, right?

It’s a good thing to start eating a variety of nutrient rich foods now because your child will be more willing to eat certain things that you consumed while they were in the womb.

You will also need the best of foods to have energy and strength to take care of your newborn.  Many mothers (including myself) are interested, but don’t really come up with a meal plan for pregnancy.

I will help you to discover the best foods to eat while pregnant.

best food to eat when your pregnant

I know it’s hard not to eat everything in sight while pregnant! You don’t want to do that- but you can afford some extra calories.

Pregnancy takes a lot out of you to give to the baby, so you should consume about 300 more calories per day than you did before you became pregnant.

Here is an example of a day of meals and snacks:

Breakfast: an orange, 2 scrambled eggs with ¼ bell pepper and ¼ cup of mushrooms, wheat toast and a glass of low fat milk

Snack: ½ cup grapes and ¼ cup nuts or seeds

Lunch: strawberry, spinach salad! (This looks so good, I may go on a “I’m not pregnant but this is a great diet” meal plan!)

Dinner: Vegetable soup is great way to get full of what you and baby need!

Dinners should consist of lots of vegetables. You could try pre-washed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and snap peas for a stir-fry.

Tip: Sneak in vegetables like grated carrots or diced squash into your tomato sauce!

(Here are some more great ideas for dinners!)

Snack: have a sweet tooth? Try a fruit salad with greek yogurt for part of your calcium requirement.

Some easy and healthy snack choices are:

Fruits like: apples, oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, really any favorite are perfect for a snack. Raisins have fiber, iron and potassium. The recommended amount of fruits is 2 whole servings.

Veggies like: spinach, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other dark leafy greens.

Tip: Try using some veggies like grated carrots in a sandwich, or avocado and tomato. 3 or more servings a day is ideal.

Whole grains and nuts are a perfect fast food for soon to be moms, as well as iron-fortified cereals. Its recommended that you have 6-8 servings a day.

Calcium is important as well and it is recommended that you have 3-4 glasses of milk a day and/or dairy products.

Meat and beans are important for your baby to get enough iron and protein. It is recommended that you have 5 ½  to 6 ½ ounces a day.

As always, I believe that packaged foods are a no-go and what you drink is important as well.

Don’t consume too much caffeine and just say no to soda all together. Your drink of choice should be water.

When you are in your third trimester, snacks can really save the day. Try packing small things to take with you, because you won’t have much room for big meals.

“Ziplock bags with walnuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, and dried apricots — a powerful combo of iron-rich foods that’ll nourish baby with a much-needed third trimester nutrient).” Dried fruit is perfect for when you are out and about.

Eating nutrient filled meals and snacks during pregnancy can keep you and your baby be healthy and potentially get you back to feeling yourself faster after delivery.

Proper diet is a great way to avoid things like low birth weight, anemia and other pregnancy issues. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day will help with heartburn and nausea.

Here is a nutrient chart I think will help.

I wish you and your baby the best pregnancy and early childhood health possible! Truly take the time to enjoy and nurture this experience, because it doesn’t last. The good habits you start now, will last a lifetime!

Share if this was helpful! Please comment, I would love to hear from you!

Read more about the Author, Lacricia Sanders, Here.