By Amy Kramer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Today (November 16) is Thanks, Birth Control Day -- a day to give a shout-out to all the things birth control makes possible. You might think it’s embarrassing to talk about birth control, but when there’s positive chatter around it, people are more likely to use it. And no one knows more about sharing their birth control experiences than the young ladies from Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2.
“It was awkward at first, but getting past that was easy,” says Catelynn. “I was like, ‘You birthed a baby on TV, so getting birth control on TV shouldn’t be hard.’”
Kailyn didn’t want to open up about birth control at first either. “I was so young and felt uneducated, like I was doing something wrong," she admits. "But now it feels good to talk about it, giving people an opportunity to learn about it.”
Amber, meanwhile, says she was “all for it” when the show wanted her to express her personal birth control experience: “We started this show to help teenagers and prevent teen pregnancy. We were trying to send a good message.”
That message has had an impact on the shows’ fans. Jenelle says when she got the birth control implant in her arm after her son Kaiser was born, she got a lot of positive feedback: “Girls reached out and said they’d never heard of the implant, and they were glad to learn about it.”
Catelynn had a similar experience after she made the decision to get an IUD. “People told me that it helped them figure out what they want for birth control or that they didn’t know that type existed," she says. "They said it made them think about who to talk to about it.”
Turns out, the teen moms' willingness to elaborate on their birth control journeys has played a part in the dramatic decline in teen births in recent years -- a fact that makes them proud. Says Amber: “I’m happy that we can help people figure it out. It’s important."
For her part, Chelsea says, “It feels good that people are taking away that message from the show.”
And Kailyn adds, “If we did anything right during the seven years of this show, it’s that we helped other people by telling our stories.”
Look for the teen moms saying #ThxBirthControl on social media today, and join them by using the hashtag to tell the world that you’re grateful too for everything birth control makes possible.