The United States has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy costing the the country more than $7 billion per year, according to Family First Aid. Teenage parents face numerous challenges from parenting to finances. When a teenager is pregnant, she has not even started her career in most cases. Many teenagers will not even have had a first job. The challenges a teenager faces with pregnancy are numerous but can be overcome with dedication, commitment and support.
Teenagers face the issue of medical care. If the parents have insurance, in many cases the teen mother is covered but the infant is considered his own person when born and will need to be covered separately. When parents do not have insurance to cover maternity care, the child and family may face the burden of paying for the maternity care, birth and postpartum care. The cost of maternity care and birth, without complications, averages between $9,000 and $17,000, according to Cost Helper. The pregnant teen may be eligible for Medicaid through the state if the family's income is below the minimum requirements. Once the infant is born, the teen mother's income will determine the eligibility for the infant and the infant may be covered under Medicaid.
Child care is not a cheap expense yet required for a teen mother to finish school and work. A teenager who has little to no work experience is not likely to make much over minimum wage. Minimum wage may not even cover the cost of daycare in high-cost areas such as New York City.
Contact your local Department of Human Services to see if you qualify for childcare services. Many states offer teen mothers child care assistance to finish school or work. The child care assistance may be limited to a certain duration.
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The cost of baby accessories add up quickly. Diapers, wet wipes, clothes, ointments, bottles, formula, and pacifiers are just the beginning. Adding these basic expenses to a teen mother who is working or in school can quickly overwhelm a new mom. Fortunately there are programs established to help many teen moms who fall below the minimum income requirements with the cost of formula and food for the mother. Visit usda.gov to find your local Women Infant Children's office (WIC). This service provides the teen mother with vouchers to purchase formula, infant juice, cereal, cheese, milk, beans and more from her local grocery store.
Many programs available for teen moms are based on income. If the teen mom's parents earn above the minimum income, the teen may be denied services which leaves the burden of the costs on the parents.
Teenagers face many hurdles to overcome when dealing with a pregnancy and the resulting child. With a family's support and using the available services, a teenager can have faith and believe she can survive and overcome this difficult time. It is important for a teenager to believe she is capable of not only being a good parent but handling the challenges coming her way.