Repeated Teen Births Article Hits Close to Home

"Nearly one in five teen births is a repeat birth;" a second (or more) pregnancy resulting in a live birth before the age of 20.

Teen pregnancy preventionImage found at the The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) website.

You would think preventing repeat teen births would be easy, especially once the young mother is dealing with sleepless nights and sore breasts.

However, the Division of Reproductive Health Global Activity has stated, according to the newest Vital Signs Report, “Nearly one in five teen births is a repeat birth.” A repeat birth is a second (or more) pregnancy resulting in a live birth before the age of 20.

Since my second child was more on my 19th birthday, of course this article caught my attention.

Repeat Births by Race:
American Indian/Alaska Natives (22%)
Hispanics (21%)
Non-Hispanic blacks (20%)
Non-Hispanic whites (15%)

Being a pregnant teenager changes your life! Unless you have a ton of family support and an involved baby-daddy with a decent job, you can practically kiss your chances of going to college after high school, goodbye!

I was pregnant at 16. We got married, and immediately I had a mortgage and a car payment. I spent my senior year of high school married and pregnant. I had won a small American Legion scholarship in a speech contest to help with tuition, but after the first semester in college, we realized we couldn’t afford gas and a babysitter for me to continue going to school; my hope to earn a college degree was put on hold – and it still is!

Some Birth Control Statistics
-91% of sexually active teen mothers used some form of birth control, but only about 22% used the most effective types of birth control.
-White (25%) and Hispanic (28%) teen mothers were almost twice as likely as black teen mothers (14%) to use the most effective types of birth control.
-Long-acting reversible birth control can be a good option for a teen mother. Implants and IUDs are two types. These do not require her to do something on a regular basis such as take a pill each day.

Teen pregnancies are also considered a “high health risk” to both the mother and the baby. Second pregnancies for teenagers often don’t make it to term. Preventing second pregnancies for teenagers is a great idea. (Preventing the first pregnancy should not be overlooked either!)

Good post-partum counseling would help.
Young moms don’t have time or the means to go to “sessions” or “visits” with the experts, and they won’t likely read a brochure that gets stuffed into their “Welcome New Baby” bag of goodies when they are discharged from the hospital. If these experts asked for my opinion, I would recommend some solid, face to face advice from someone they feel is close to their own age, while still in the hospital.

I actually found out I was pregnant, again, at a scheduled appointment with my OBGYN that I had made to be fitted for a diaphragm.

Note: Breast feeding is NOT reliable birth control!

(Now is not the time to preach the importance of becoming a Secondary Virgin, either.)

Using protection to avoid the spread of STDs is being drilled into the heads of today’s teen over and over; using “protection” to avoid pregnancy is quickly taking a back seat. Teens should be using protection to avoid both!

Talk to the “boys”. Expose them to men who have had their wages garnished, their tax refunds with-held, or even done jail time for not paying their child support.

Having sex is a choice that comes with risks. A couple of the risks include unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. With all of today’s options, you CAN minimize these risks better than ever before in history. If you choose to risk becoming pregnant, be reasonably prepared emotionally and financially first. As a young parent, I often worked multiple jobs just to make ends meet. You, and your partner, should do everything in your power to make sure your sexual escapades are not rewarded with entitlements provided by the government.

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