Why Family -- And Adult -- Support Is Crucial For Any Girl Who's '16 And Pregnant'


By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

When Millina found out she was "16 and Pregnant," she immediately made some mature decisions, like putting a stop to her partying and staying away from drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, Millina knew firsthand what it's like to grow up without a real support system. She lived with her grandmother because her mother was in jail on drug charges and her father was unreliable, and that’s not something she wanted her son to have to deal with himself.

Children deserve to be raised by parents who are ready to be parents. Millina and her boyfriend, Trevor, wanted to take care of their boy Kayden the best they could, but they didn't have adults in their lives to help them. Millina’s grandmother was nurturing, but she was already raising Millina’s brother and could’t take on the extra responsibility. Trevor’s mom really wanted to get involved, but her serious health issues made Millina apprehensive about trusting her to care for the baby alone. The grown-ups in their lives simply weren’t able to support them. Millina’s dad wished her the best, but suggested that her surest bet at providing Kayden with a stable life was to stay away from all of the adults.

Having a baby when you’re a teenager is tough enough. Doing it alone is nearly impossible. Babies are a 24/7 job that lasts 18 years. Without a family to help, that’s a pretty heavy lift. Thinking about who you would rely on can help you make better choices in the moment, like choosing to use condoms or another form of contraception. Or maybe not having sex at all. Check out all of the methods available and other information about sex, teen pregnancy and waiting at MTV's It's Your Sex Life website. Plus, take a look at the episode discussion guide at Stay Teen.org.