WOW! This is a loaded question! Our first response would be to cover the financial cost of pregnancy, BUT financial cost is only a part of the “cost” of pregnancy; there are other costs that cannot be ignored when answering this question.
Let’s break it down into these areas:
The REAL cost of a teen pregnancy is not only in $$ amounts, it is in sacrifice! The government cannot foot the entire bill for what teen parents pay. Do you know that 8 out of 10 teen mothers will eventually go on welfare? These moms “pay” by handing over their own childhood/teen years. Most are no longer able to go out with their friends, but now have someone they have to put before themselves. They pay socially! Do you know that 8 out of 10 fathers do not marry the teen mother of their child? Do you know that 47% of these mothers believed they would have married the father of their child? There goes a lot of the support the teen mom was planning on.
Teen moms pay emotionally. The strain of taking care of a child is tremendous… especially when doing it alone. This is not just true for teen moms but for all parents in general – regardless of age! They may question decisions they make on health-care, discipline, childcare….you name it! They may analyze their child’s behaviors and development and it may feel like pressure is piling up, as many don’t feel qualified to be a good parent. The care of a child is an emotional roller coaster that even middle aged, married couples find challenging. Parenting is a full-time job and being a single parent; there is no rest for the weary. Can you imagine that position as a single, teen parent?
The physical expenses are both financial (we’ll get to this….) and exhaustion. Do you know that newborn babies eat every 2-3 hours regardless if their parent wants to sleep or not? Can you imagine waking that often and feeding and caring for baby for about an hour only to do it again in another hour or 2? Oh but wait, a teen would have school the next morning as well and, not to mention, most likely a part time job. Yep, exhausting!
Mentally, parenting is draining; many parents, teen or not, question everything they do and everything baby does. They often wonder if what they are feeling is normal. Is how the baby behaving normal? Are they doing the best they can for the baby? Many teen parents experience loneliness because teen friends do not understand what it is like to have a baby and juggle all that teens want to do.
Because of the stress of a new baby, most teen girls must put-off dreams of a college education. Nine out of 10 teen moms will never graduate from college even though it is something they had hoped to do! It is possible for a teen parent to go to college; it just rarely happens. Many times plans for an education never go off hold and 10 years later many find they are still working for minimum wage and trying to support their family on that salary.
As you can see, the financial cost of a teen pregnancy is the least of the cost! You better believe all of us pay (as a society) but no one pays more then the new parent and the child.
The actual financial cost of the teen pregnancy depends upon insurance. If there is no insurance, the cost of pre-natal care and delivery falls on the pregnant woman, father of the child, parents of both of these, and then taxpayers. Whatever the new, teen parents are unable to pay, (like, how many teens have a couple “grand” saved up for a rainy day or unexpected pregnancy?) and if the teen parents are under 18 years of age their parents may be asked to help pay the bill, then after all that money is exhausted; tax payers will have to pick up the cost because most teens can’t pay. Who are tax payers? That is me, and you (if you have/get a job) and others who live and work in this country. In Indiana, you are likely to pay at least $10,000 in doctor and hospital bills, if all goes well, if not, $10,000 won’t touch it!
If the taxpayers pay for the doctors and delivery, the cost just went up because most likely they will also be caring for the child through WIC (a government program that helps those who can’t afford baby formula, etc. through the tax-payer’s money) food stamps, and insurance for doctor visits and check-ups. In some cases the taxpayers, through our government, continue to pay for many children in court fees and through the foster care program as well. (The emotional, mental, social, ethical, and physical costs to these children are just way more than we can get into here; you can imagine the costs TO the child.)
Medical expenses for the child do not end with the delivery of the baby. There are additional costs for follow-up visits for the new baby and mommy. Children should see a doctor annually for well-visits and immunizations (those shots required for a child to attend daycare or even school.) Add to that any sick visits and medications….it cost a lot and for a long time!
Think a young girl can skip all of this “cost” by privately having an abortion and picking up where she left off in life? Abortion has its own ring of emotional, social, mental, ethical/spiritual, and physical consequences. Do you know anyone that has had an abortion? If you do, how often do they talk about it? Most people don’t talk about it because it is painful – but most clinics will not tell you about all the different types of pain after abortion. Ethically, you should have the entire truth about your pregnancy when making this kind of heavy decision. See your local Clarity for a complete inventory of the “cost” of abortion. It is a heavy load to haul and not just temporarily, but for a lifetime.
Lastly, if parenting is not an option, and neither is abortion, what about adoption? There are families all over the United States wanting to adopt children but are on waiting lists. Often couples are sitting by their phones and checking their in-boxes on e-mail just waiting for word that they are going to be parents. They want a child to love and are willing to contribute financially to make that happen. In some types of adoptions, the birth-parent is able to choose the family she wants for her child. Imagine that; hand-picking a family! If the mother chooses an open-adoption, the family will allow the mother to keep in contact with the child, if she so desires, and watch the child grow. It truly is a selfless act of love to give a child up for adoption. The birth-mother is often able to give the child a life she could not have provided otherwise, as well as giving the waiting family the gift of a child.
Think about it! Teen Pregnancy costs a lot! Count the cost; we hope you will see YOU are worth waiting for!
When a pregnancy test comes back positive, one of the first questions we’re often asked is, “How will I tell my parents?” It doesn’t matter how you tell them, just tell them! The sooner you do, the better.
While many parents of teens will be disappointed and even initially respond in anger, most parents will love their child through any situation. It is usually best to be straight-forward with your parents and tell them at a time when you can sit and talk it through together. In other words, when you are leaving for school in the morning is probably not the best time to break the news.
Be honest, but gentle. It’s probably going to come as a shock to your parents, so they may need some time to process before you can expect them to discuss things with you sensibly. Ask them if they need some time to themselves or if they would prefer to talk about it now.
Facing a difficult situation directly shows that you are taking responsibility for your actions. It also reduces the amount of time you spend dwelling on how you assume your parents will react, which only cause you unneeded stress. Be sure to answer any questions they may have, being open and honest about everything.
Your parents are also welcome to meet with us here at Clarity Pregnancy Services if they would like to talk to a third party. Or if you would like one of our Client Advocates to be with you when you tell them, that is an option too. We are here to help in any way we can.
In 2013, 27,000 newborn babies were diagnosed with drug dependencies in the United States. While in the womb, a baby receives blood, oxygen, and nourishment from the mother. Because of this, whatever goes into the mother’s body has the potential to affect the unborn baby. Babies who are exposed to drugs, alcohol, or other harmful substances while in the womb could face health problems when they’re born. These health issues could also follow them throughout their entire lives. Some prescription medications can be harmful to babies in utero as well. Please check with your physician to make sure a prescription is okay to take while pregnant. Below are potential health issues babies may face if the mother was under the influence of a harmful substance while pregnant.
Higher risk of:
The good news is that if you stop using alcohol and drugs early in your pregnancy, it’s less likely for it to affect your baby’s health. If you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding and are using drugs or alcohol, please seek help to stop. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a toll free, 24/7 hotline. They are able to provide help for mothers and families facing substance abuse or mental health issues.
At Clarity, we want to come alongside those expectant mothers who find themselves in difficult circumstances. We understand that your options may seem uncertain, but we are here to help. We want to encourage you and help you see that there is hope for you and your baby. Please feel free to call or visit any of our seven centers.
Our staff and volunteers are hear to listen and lend guidance for the situation you may be facing.
If you feel you are unable to parent your baby, we can refer you to one of several wonderful adoption agencies. There are many families who would love to adopt your baby, even if he or she is born with special needs or birth defects. Clarity can also assist you with material goods if you decide to parent. We are here to walk alongside you, wherever your path may lead.
Do you feel sick each morning when you try to get out of bed? Do certain sights or smells trigger nausea?
Pregnancy is a beautiful gift; however, there are often uncomfortable side effects that pregnant women may experience – one of them being morning sickness (or let’s be real – all-day sickness). Morning sickness is quite common in the early weeks of pregnancy.
Here are some tips to help you manage morning sickness:
Eat small amounts and often. Having an empty stomach can make sickness worse. Frequently eating a small snack can help keep your sugar levels even. Try carrying small, nutritious snacks with you at all times. Some healthy snacks could be: almonds, grapes, carrots or peanut butter crackers.
Drink lots of water. Make sure you are drinking water in between meals, not just with meals. Staying well hydrated is important for both you and baby.
Try a peppermint. Peppermint often times can sooth an uneasy stomach.
Sniff lemons. The smell of lemon may help to ease your nausea. Try a lemon slice in your water or iced tea and take sips when you can.
Get plenty of rest. Stress and exhaustion can make sickness worse. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and taking time to rest when needed.
I remember how excited I was when I got pregnant with our first child almost 20 years ago. I was thrilled to be expecting a child that we would welcome into our hearts and home. We had wanted to get pregnant so we were happy to have had no problem conceiving. I had no morning sickness to really speak of; just an occasional wave of nausea here and there. Then something happened around the 25th week of my pregnancy and I became sick. I became what is called pre-eclamptic and had to go on complete bed rest at 28 weeks due to extreme high blood pressure. It was around this time I began to experience what I call a “dark cloud” all around me. I just couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling of sadness I was experiencing. I didn’t once speak of this to family, friends or my physician because quite honestly, I didn’t have the faintest idea what to call it or why it was there. I had briefly heard of the term “baby blues” , however since I was still pregnant I couldn’t understand how this could be related. I really just thought I was sick. We delivered a healthy daughter at 37 weeks. I fell in love with this little bundle of love and bonded instantaneously. However, the cloud of sadness still loomed. I blamed it on the medications I was on while at the hospital and thought possibly the hormones from pregnancy and breastfeeding may be to blame for how I felt as well.
When I got home, this darkness didn’t let up. I cried and cried. All I wanted to do was sleep and be with my new baby. I couldn’t seem to make myself even get dressed. I would wake-up when my husband got up for work only to return back to bed and sleep. When I heard him pull into the drive for lunch I would jump up and throw on some clothes and pretend to be doing something around the house. I could never seem to get even the most basic things done. Everything seemed so difficult. It was like my feet were in wet sand. I struggled to even care for myself. I would care for our new daughter, but felt really overwhelmed with my new role as wife AND mother. I grew somewhat resentful of my husband and his ability to seemingly transition so well from husband to dad.
I even grew angry. It seemed every little thing was an irritant and I found myself crying and being even more angry as the months seemed to lag on. I could never seem to shut off the thoughts running through my mind. I had no idea what was wrong with me. I had no idea why I was struggling so desperately with this darkness and fog that had grown to huge proportions in my mind. I didn’t understand why because I loved our daughter and my husband but still this darkness threatened to overpower me completely. I finally sought help after contemplating driving off the road and ending my despair with the wish of death.
Perhaps you are feeling like I felt or some of these other symptoms resonate with you:
Possible Postpartum Depression Symptoms
Feel very sad and hopeless
Have trouble sleeping or want to sleep all the time.
Don’t feel like eating or wanting to eat all the time.
Feel confused and distracted.
Don’t think I can be a good mother.
Feel anxious and get angry easily.
Not interested in your baby.
Don’t want to get dressed or do daily tasks.
Constantly worried about your baby.
Don’t want to see friends and family.
If any of these statements are true for you and last more than 2 weeks or become more severe, please immediately call your health-care provider for help.
My first step for help was to see my OB/GYN and he was wonderful. He spoke to me about my feelings and helped me understand I was dealing with postpartum depression (PPD). Postpartum depression is a type of clinical depression that can affect the mother or father after the birth of a child. My doctor reassured me I wasn’t crazy or alone. He did prescribe some medicine to help me get my feet back under me so to speak. I also sought counseling and little by little the darkness began to lift. The darkness that once felt so heavy and overpowering slowly eased up. What seemed like such a struggle became easier and less burdensome. Eventually, I made it through and the darkness and the fog lifted.
I had five more pregnancies after this one, however I never struggled with postpartum depression like I experienced during and after my first pregnancy. I am thankful to have had such great support in my life. I have a caring husband, a wonderful doctor and great counselor who all helped me cope with this very difficult time in my life.
Please do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Postpartum depression is real and difficult, but the sooner you get help the sooner you can start feeling better. Remember, the feelings you may be experiencing are not your fault and you didn’t do anything wrong; postpartum depression is an illness. Talk to someone you trust and your health-care provider today. You can also talk to us as Clarity. We’re always here to lend a listening ear and help connect you to the resources in our community that can provide you the help you need.
Written by Missi Maschino, Center Manager of Clarity Pregnancy Services in North Vernon and Clarity Pregnancy Services in Greensburg
*Resources used for this blog include the MayoClinic, Channing Bete Company and PostPartum Progress
At Clarity, we offer ultrasounds to our clients who have had a positive pregnancy test with us and are in their first trimester of pregnancy, provided they haven’t already established a relationship with an OB doctor.
“Ultrasonography is an important tool used to confirm the viability of a pregnancy,” says Miranda Voils, RDMS, Staff Sonographer. “It is the only way to confirm that the pregnancy is in the uterus.”
Ultrasound technology gives us ‘a window to the womb’. During the ultrasound, we check for viability by viewing the heartbeat, confirm the baby is in the uterus, take measurements to confirm how far along the baby is and provide an accurate due date. Depending on the client’s circumstances and needs we can be somewhat flexible with the timing of the exam.
At an ultrasound appointment, a nurse or staff person will bring the client to a room and do a brief medical history, then take her to the ultrasound room where our sonographer will attempt the ultrasound abdominally. A little gel is applied to the abdomen and then a transducer is pressed against the abdomen to get a picture of the embryo or fetus. If we aren’t able to get a good view of the baby through an abdominal ultrasound, the client is offered a transvaginal ultrasound. If the client does not wish to have a transvaginal ultrasound, we will typically schedule her for a repeat ultrasound in a couple of weeks.
During the scan, the client is able to see the baby on a television screen. We have a large screen in a private area where family or friends can view the baby as well, with the client’s permission. Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of what is happening inside the body.
Many clients wish to know the gender of their baby; however, we do not provide gender identification. Typically gender is determined by the doctor in a second trimester ultrasound.
Clients under 18 years of age seeking an ultrasound must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. And due to the limited nature of our ultrasound policy, Clarity cannot perform ultrasounds on clients who are actively bleeding or in significant pain, have a history of ectopic pregnancy, have an IUD, or who have undergone a tubal ligation.
All of Clarity’s services are confidential and provided at no cost because of generous community members who make it possible.