While we're undoubtedly obsessed with Secret Life, Juno and 16 & Pregnant, teen pregnancy is more than just something we see in the media. Sure, there's a new iPhone app of a screaming baby that hopes to help prevent teen pregnancy, but unfortunately, 750,000 gURLs a year have to deal with a lot more than just 30 seconds of a crying baby.
In honor of National Teen Pregnancy Awareness Day, gURL chatted with Bristol Palin, the ambassador of The Candie's Foundation, Maci and Farrah from MTV's Teen Mom, and Dr. Drew about teen pregnancy prevention, the hardships of being young mothers, and, yup -- their baby daddies. Click on!
gURL:Why is it so important to make the hardships of teen pregnancy known?
Dr. Drew: 2,000 teens will get pregnant today. We need to do a better job with supporting our young women, educating our young males and dealing with this problem of teen pregnancy.
Bristol: I just want teen girls to know that this is so difficult. Being a parent is super hard. It's not ideal circumstances. Talking to teens about this is of importance.
gURL:How can teens approach the topic of sex with their parents?
Dr. Drew: Kids and parents need to bridge that divide and constantly bring it up. It's easier when you're not eyeball to eyeball. It's easier when you're driving. You're both looking straight ahead and you kinda go, "Any questions? Anything going on?" Kids have to realize that their parents won't judge and they're a resource.
gURL:Who do you guys look to for support?
Farrah: I look for new advice every day, from anyone who can give it. There's never a time where I don't think I need help and support.
Maci: You definitely need support to be a teen mom. And my mom was a teen parent so she obviously has very good advice to give me and I always listen to her as much as I can.
Bristol: I'm thankful and I'm blessed to have a huge supportive family, so they give me advice all the time.
gURL:What have been your biggest regrets about getting pregnant and having a child?
Farrah: My biggest regret actually is having a child at a young age and missing out on going away for school. But my biggest joy is of course seeing my daughter's face every day and seeing how proud she is of me and that I'm trying so hard.
Maci: My biggest regret out of the whole situation is the fact that I gave my son his father's last name and we're no longer together. If I could take one thing back, that would be it.
gURL: What have you guys learned about teen fathers, from your own experience?
Maci: As a mom you carry this baby with you for 9 months and when they're born, your life is just filled instantly. But we've all witnessed that for a dad, it's not that way.
Farrah: No guy is ever good enough. No guy is ever good enough to wake up with you and feed the child that you both had together.
Bristol: 8 out of 10 teen dads don't marry the mother of their child. I'm not the only one that's going through this.
Dr. Drew: Yeah. The one thing all the girls here today have in common are douchebag baby daddies.
gURL:Do you think abstinence is the way to go?
Bristol: For me personally, yes, and for [some] teens out there, yes. I don't wanna push abstinence on anyone, but I've learned the consequences of sex. Having sex has consequences no matter how safe you are.
Farrah: You should just wait to have sex until your self-esteem is built and you're financially stable so if an accident does occur, you can help yourself. And even if you aren't abstinent now, you can always become abstinent.
gURL:If you could give just a few words of advice to teens, what would it be?
Farrah: Be smart. Understand having sex can lead to getting pregnant and having stresses that normal teenagers wouldn't have to take on at an early age.
Maci: It's a lot easier to have everything prepared before you're pregnant than to find out you're pregnant and get everything prepared in 9 months. [You want to] have a stable home for your child. What we go through and the responsibilities that we worry about are not something that others want to be worried about at 16, 17, 18 years old.
Bristol: Use triple precaution. Use as much precaution as you can because no matter how safe you think you are, there's always risk of getting pregnant and it's not a going risk. And also, don't look at your boyfriend at the time. Think long term.
gURL:What's been the hardest part about being a teen mom?
Bristol: I don't even know where to begin. It's so much more difficult than I expected it to be.