The truth about teen pregnancy


Lilybeth Guzman, Staff Reporter

According to, in the United States, three out of ten teenage girls become pregnant before the age of 20. Within that, only one out of four teenage fathers stay with the mother and their child. In many cases, the baby’s mother is left to support their child without financial support or co-parenting, while the father has no ties with the child and no commitment to worry about. This is the unfortunate truth of teen pregnancy and it is inauspiciously normalized especially in this day and age. Teenage mothers are left without their child’s fathers and are expected to do everything required because they “put themselves in that predicament.” Regardless of the teenager’s actions, both parents made the same mistake and should both own up and take responsibility for raising a child. 

Jessalyn Albarran, current mother of five, is a perfect example of a teenage mother taking responsibility for her actions. She had her firstborn daughter at 17 and depicts how hard it was without the father. Albarran feared she was unable to carry out being a successful mother without the help of her child’s father. 

“When I found out I was pregnant I wanted to get an abortion because I did not want any kids and I was not ready to be a teen mom,” Ablarran said.

She contemplated being a mother while studying and trying hard during her last year of high school, meanwhile the father’s family refused to abandon Albarran. They helped any way they could to help her get on her feet.  

Most teen mothers do not have the advantage of having support from both families; they are criticized and judged then left to fend for themselves and their child. The stress from interchanging between a parent, to being an employee, to being a student can be and is extremely common in teen mothers. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, ( only 40% remain in school during pregnancy or birth. 

“When you are a teen mom you constantly have to think about school, working, and finding babysitters. There were times where I didn’t have money to feed her, there were times I did not have money to buy pampers,” Albarran said.  “As a teen mom that’s extremely stressful, you want to work, but you have to balance school and work, the pressure and stress was not easy to handle especially at the age I was at.” 

Jessalyn states her hardship when it came to taking care of her child and her education, but what about her? What about the mental health of all these teen mothers? 

Postpartum is a depression followed after child birth. One in seven women are diagnosed with severe postpartum depression and are scarred. Postpartum depression takes a deeper toll on younger mothers due to their maturity and younger mentality. It can last from around three months to a year, and the symptoms can unfortunately be deadly. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Insomnia, loss of appetite, and intense irritability or crying, are the most common symptoms of PPD; postpartum also builds an emotional barrier between your baby.”

According to an article written by Jesika Lopez for Serendip Studio, some women who experience PPD would refuse to attend to their child’s cries and even struggle to form a relationship with their baby even after they recover from PPD. Postpartum depression women and young girls also have to struggle with uncontrollable mood swings such as anger, anxiety, guilt, and loss of interest or pleasure in activities and if not handled correctly can soon develop into bipolar disorder. The lack of experience teen moms have when it comes to correctly handling emotions during PPD is disquietude. The mental health of teen mothers is just as important as adult mothers and should not be overlooked solely because of their actions.

Albarran desisted to succumb under the serious effects of PPD and allowed herself to use her baby as her motivation to keep striving,

“…No matter the situation, you can and will make it. If not for you, for your child. Your child should be your motivation no matter what problem you are in you will find a way out for your baby,” said Albarran. “I feel like everybody thinks just because you are a young parent, you will not make it and will fall flat on your face. It does not matter your age, it matters your mindset.” 

Albarran also explains how hard it was to let go of her teenhood and transition into adulthood, but she continued to remind herself the ultimate sacrifice she made was for the betterment of her daughter and her daughter’s future. 

“The hardest part was giving up everything, because you have to give up sleep, and hanging out with friends,” said Albarran. “At the end of the day it makes you a stronger mother knowing you would sacrifice things you only get to experience once.”