Current Trends of the Adolescent Pregnancy
At the same time, adolescent mothers are not necessarily the best fit for what would be considered the ideal motherly figure in a child’s life. It is what many call “a baby raising a baby”. There are mothers who have been impregnated at the age of as young as just five years old. Though, the average age of adolescent pregnancy is typically during the mid to late teen years; 81% of which are unintended. While the standard timeline of a person’s life is presented in the order of school, marriage, then children. In the circumstances of adolescent mothers, their timelines are altered. During this time, the adolescent mothers may find difficulty in trying to support and balance the three fundamental roles: parenthood, partnerhood, and work and/or school. As said, “first time parenthood is a turning point, a “normal crisis” involving opportunities as well as challenges” (Musick 146). Due to the young age of adolescent mothers, there are certain limitations to the type of parent that can be present. The mother will continue to have struggles as time passes on.
One of these difficulties consist of affording the cost of a baby. According to The Phi Delta Kappan, “The National Research Council suggest that it costs $18,130 a year to support a 15-year old and her baby” (789). At this specific time period of the adolescent’s life, the typical focus should be school. Instead, these adolescent mothers are scattering to try and manage a sustainable lifestyle that is well enough to raise her baby. Seeking a job itself is already hard, but seeking a job for a minor is even harder. Although numerous amounts of companies hire teenagers starting from the average age of 16, the average amount of hours and wage given is far from the amount needed to raise a baby. For teenagers who are not of age to legally work, it is even harder to maintain a financially stable household for her child. Thus, many relying on their family/the baby’s father and the government for aid. The two most common types of financial aid for pregnant teens are Medicare, which helps cover health care costs, and Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) which helps cover nutritional needs.