Young Expecting Mother Talks About Teen Pregnancy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/20/07

Young Expecting Mother Talks About Teen Pregnancy

Each girl is assigned a life-like baby doll. Each girl is assigned a life-like baby doll.

SAVANNAH, GA--Britney Spears' 16-year-old sister Jaime Lynn is pregnant. Jaime Lynn is the star of a Nickelodeon show called Zoey 101. It's geared toward kids between nine and 14-years-old and this pregnancy makes it look easy and glamorous. But it's not.

Marie, as we'll call her, is 20-years-old and pregnant with her second child. She had her first child when she was a teenager. She's living with other mothers-to-be at The Living Vine, a Christian home in Savannah for young, unwed moms.

She said being a young mom is hard. But that's not the impression girls may get when they see Jamie Lynn Spears on the cover of magazines, happy to be 16 and pregnant.

"Seriously there's nothing glamorous about it," said Marie. "Personally if I could go back and redo it, I would go back in a heartbeat."

At this home, the girls learn how to take care of a baby. They do chores, they get an education. Each one of them is assigned a life-like baby doll. It has a computer chip inside so directors of The Living Vine know if the doll is being taken care of.

Debbie Hanna is an administrator. She says the girls learn that having a baby is a life-changing event.

"We all want to think the consequences of our actions is always going to be good. It is a miracle, there's a new baby, it's something to be very excited about, but there's also the ramifications of those choices," Hanna said. "What am I going to do with the child, am I ready to be a parent."

Hanna said Georgia already has one of highest teen pregnancy rates in the country and Spears is not sending the right message.

"My concern is with these young girls, they are going to be facing a choice and say well it's not a problem for her so it's not going to be a problem for me, but their backgrounds and what they have available is going to be very different," said Hanna.

At The Living Vine, these soon to be moms are learning just how important the support they get there is to them, their babies and their futures.

For more information about The Living Vine call 912.352.9998 and if you are a young, expecting mom and need help, call OptionLine at 1.800.395.HELP.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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