Teenage Pregnancy Effects On Mother And Father: A Closer Look

Teenage pregnancy has many effects on both the mother and father. We take a look at some of the struggles teen parents are facing.

Teenage pregnancy has profound effects on both the mother and the father of the new bundle of joy. Many of us have heard the stories and have even watched some of the drama unfold on TV with the popularity of reality shows. Below we take a look at how teenage pregnancy effects on both the Mother and Father and some of the difficulties faced.

Teens Are In Fight Or Flight Mode

Teenagers are already trying daily to work through their emotions, learning how to socialize as adults and learning to deal with bigger adult concepts of identity and self. When a teenager gets pregnant, we have now suddenly thrown in a whole mix of emotions, hormones, and big issues. It may take a while for both the mother and the father to grasp the idea that their lives are changing. The differences in priorities and thought process between a single adult, an adult with one child and an adult with several is often very different. Imagine applying that same life altering change to your teenage years where hormones make everything feel even bigger.

Related: The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy: Examining the Results of 12 Studies

These factors put most teens into fight or flight mode. Fight or flight is a normal conditional response when you feel threatened or in danger. Unfortunately at this delicate time, the consequences of decisions made quickly can be life altering. It is not surprising that under the stress, many teens run, scream, find themselves in abusive situations or turn to substances.

Relationship Between The Father And The Mother

The relationship between the mother and the father often gets quite rocky when teens get pregnant. Many times these relationships were fairly new to begin with, ranging from one night stands to relationships that have only had a few tender months to grow. According to TheNationalCampaign.org, the stats are frustrating for couples who have a baby in their teen years.

  • 34% of the unmarried teen mothers marry by the time the child is age five.
  • 38% (That’s a third!) of teens who are married when the child is born, split up before the child turned five.
  • Only 28% of teen moms live with a partner, married or unmarried within a year of giving birth. This stat accounts both for those couples living with relatives and those living on their own.

Living arrangements of teen mothers

Related: 16 and Pregnant: The Basic Facts of Teenage Pregnancy

Whether the couple marries or remains unmarried, the chance for single parenthood is high. These new families are fighting an uphill battle. The stress of a new baby, the flood of hormones, the maturity level of teenagers who are still growing and the financial struggles of a young couple all contribute to the challenges.

 

The Forgotten Father

While the father does not have the physical effects of pregnancy, they too are dealing with all of the struggles that teen mothers are grappling with. Teen fathers are often labeled with the stigma of being a deadbeat no matter how the act. The relationship with the mother suddenly changes, as her biological focus becomes the new baby. This can leave many struggling fathers angry at the sudden change in lifestyle. As society focuses on the teen mom and baby, the father is often not included.

There are many struggles and effects pregnancy has on both the mother and the father. A baby can be a joy, but most teenage parents have so many struggles that it can be difficult to enjoy the joy children can bring.

So readers, are there any other issues and struggles that teenage parents face?

Image Credit: Joseph Vasquez

19 thoughts on “Teenage Pregnancy Effects On Mother And Father: A Closer Look”

  1. Sylvia Vancleave

    How does one console a teenage father. When he is not even considered. And wants to be in the pregnancy and most definitely the child’s life. He doesn’t want his child to grow up like he did.
    I understand her parents. They want what’s best for the child. And I as well. So he has been given an alternative. Give all his rights up. They raise the child as their own. And he never has to pay child support.
    He is in his first year of college and working full time. And has worked from the age of 16. Doesn’t he have any rights ? my heart is broken for him. He is a good young man. But from the beginning the father has never approved of him. His view is he’s not good enough for his daughter.

  2. I became pregnant with my eldest son when I was just 16. I have zero regrets as he truly was the best thing that ever happened to me though I was never interested in the trivial things most teenagers were interested in like partying or celebrity gossip. I raised him without any of my parents help, my decision, I finished high school alongside the rest of my class and I went on to attend university full time.

    The biggest struggle throughout the entire experience was having to experience the constant disapproval. Birth is something to be celebrated, yet whenever anyone would hear of my pregnancy or of my age I would get a continuous string of ‘I’m sorry’s’, ‘it must be so hard’, ‘you’re missing out on this or that or the other thing.’ All I wanted was for friends and family to share my happiness with me. THAT was isolating.

    I was later driven to work with teenage mothers in the healthcare field. Whilst there are some that fit the stereotypical model of the terrible misfortuned teenage who is unable to properly provide and care for her offspring, many of these teenage parents are model mothers who deserve to be respected just as much as their older counterparts.

    What’s even more important to consider is that a lot of the ‘fact’s surrounding teen pregnancies are grounded in misinformation. For instance, the idea that the medical risks of pregnancy are increased in teenagers is often exaggerated. In young teenagers (<15 years of age) this is true, but the average 16 year old female is fully developed and biologically fit for childbearing. In fact, the optimal time to conceive and carry a pregnancy is between the ages of 17 and 19. After the age of 20, fertility begins to decline and the risk of fetal defects begin to increase. These risks escalate with each passing month. At 25 the risks are significantly higher, at 30 even more so.

    But the socioeconomic concerns are real. Our society has been evolving (in many ways not for the better) and we have been brainwashed to believe that it is ideal to delay children until we are financially secure even if this means risking the health of ourselves, offspring and or risking our fertility altogether.

    It's a societal flaw. We're not teaching our young how to fast track their lives. They're not being taught or encouraged to believe that they have the power and capacity to be entrepreneurs and to make something of themselves and establish a career before they even finish high school. They're not being taught how one can successfully raise a family while attending university. They're being kept juvenile far longer than they need to be.

    And more importantly and in relation to this article in particle. We're not teaching our young the importance and reasoning behind courting. Dating is not meant to be a casual affair, 'cuteness' doesn't matter. It's meant to be a process in which we search out a soul mate to spend the rest of our lives with. To look both within ourselves and the other to see what it is we need in a life partner. Young relationships can indeed last if they approached in the correct matter. I became involved with my husband as a teenager and we are still going strong well over a decade later, nearly two (my goodness!). And many couples that we know also started their partnerships when they were young. But they also started their relationship with goals in mind.

  3. This is a great resource. Teens’ bodies are not yet fully developed to handle a pregnancy, that is why they are tagged as “high-risk.” Parents must fill in the gap of educating their teenagers about being more responsible for their actions.

  4. I have a friend that got pregnant at 15. It was not easy but her parents helped her so she could finish high school and a two year college program. She did not have any help from the fathers family.

  5. I got pregnant at 17 and had my first just shortly after turning 18. I did it alone. It was rough but nothing like people think. I would do it again if I had to.

  6. This can truly be a defining moment in a person’s life. I have seen it from 2 different scenarios and you only can hope that these teens mature quickly, stay in school, and get a job that allows them to provide for themselves and their new family.

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