A child having a child is the common expression that many would use when describing teen pregnancy. The effect of teenage pregnancy upon any culture is quite different in regards to how it is viewed and whether or not it is seen as a normal occurrence. In some cultures this would have been seen quite natural, though in many areas of the world this is no longer the case. Since those times much change has come in the acceptance of teenage pregnancy and the risks that are associated with such a practice. Teenage mothers are often more at risk of being ostracized in many cultures.
The reasons for this are plentiful but can be seen to come to several definitive conclusions that are decided by choice or by unfortunate circumstance. The culture of many US citizens do not seek to glorify teenage pregnancy and will often lean towards far more negative outlooks in terms of how society views such young women. Many will often claim that the young woman was being foolish and irresponsible to become pregnant at such a young age, or perhaps was the unfortunate victim of rape. In any case the young woman is often looked at with some form of pity or disgust. Very few pregnant teenagers ever find that their lives become easier when they are with child.
Unfortunately for a time the reality of teenage pregnancy became a trend in the USA, as
close to one hundred out of a thousand adolescent females had given birth to their first or second
child. Since then the number has drastically reduced thankfully, but the fact remains that the
USA still has the largest number of teen pregnancies in all developed countries. This is not a
boast that is proudly made, but rather an epidemic of sorts that is somehow glorified by the
media even as it is condemned by society in many regards. Teenagers are often seen to suffer
through exceedingly hard times upon learning that they are pregnant, and should they go through
with the birth and keep the child, life only tends to get harder (Saha, 2016).
To start with the reality for teens that get pregnant at younger ages is that their bodies are not yet ready for what is to come. Emotionally and physically a baby is a challenge as from early on the developing fetus relies heavily on its mother, who is in turn still in their own stages of development and not entirely prepared for what is to come. Teen mothers often experience such conditions as anemia, in which there is a low count of red blood cells chiefly due to a lack of iron in the bloodstream. This condition can be quite costly for the mother as well as the child, and can even lead to premature birth or low birth weight, as well as serious developmental issues to the fetus.
Teen mothers also experience a greater risk of postpartum depression, twice that of mothers who are older and better equipped to deal with the rigors of pregnancy. This can pose a danger not only to the mother, but to the baby as well as thoughts that are not normal for the teen can begin to emerge as depression takes hold. Emotional outbursts, bouts of uncontrollable crying, and even going for days without being able to speak to anyone are quite common symptoms that can occur. While not every teen mother will have such problems, it is a risk that each and every teen runs when they become pregnant at younger ages, particularly younger than 15.
In addition to the physical risks of teen pregnancy are the effects it has upon society as
well. Should the teen have no place to go after childbirth they will be forced to make a very difficult decision as to how to provide for themselves and the baby. Adoption is one method that is recommended in such cases, but there is also the option of allowing parents or grandparents to raise the child, which in turn introduces another stressor to both the parents and the caretakers. Many parents would gladly take in their children in such hard times, but having to raise another
child after raising their own often places undue stress upon parents and grandparents as it forces them to essentially start all over again with another child.
Added on to the problems listed above is the fact that many teenage mothers become far less likely to finish high school or move on to college (Loop, 2016). When factored in with the statistics of how many teen fathers tend to leave their new families this becomes a serious matter by which a teenager mother becomes another burden upon society. There are many programs and helpful aids that can assist a teenage mother, though without an education or set direction in life many adolescent mothers tend to stay at home long past the time when many individuals leave to start their own lives.
The future seems rather bleak for many teenage moms, but the problem has become manageable in the past several decades. There are now a vast number of individuals that are trained and experienced in helping adolescents who find themselves in such a predicament. With advances in educating young women about the risks of pregnancy many teenage mothers are at least better able to reach out to someone if they are in need. While society still has a dim view of teenage pregnancy (Chowdhury, 2012) it has at least evolved enough to make an attempt to solve the issue, not just condemn it.
Teenage pregnancy is a very high-risk situation, and is often looked down upon by
society as unnecessary as well as harmful to both mother and child. In many cultures it is
considered to be grounds for being ostracized, but as of late such views have become more
adaptable. The reasons behind a pregnancy have become more pertinent in the recent past, and
as such have heightened the awareness across the cultural spectrum as to the serious risk that
such a situation poses. In light of this teenage pregnancy is still seen as taboo in many cultures,
but has garnered more support for the pregnant mother.
Chowdhury, A.R. (2012). Understand How Society and Teenage Pregnancy Affect Each Other.
Onlymyhealth. Retrieved from
Loop, E. (2016). The Effect of Teenage on Society. eHow. Retrieved from
Saha, R. (2016). 11 Negative Side Effects of Teen Pregnancy on Society. Mom Junction.