Pregnant at 14

Theresa’s courage to embrace young motherhood

Theresa had an unusual youth. Although she had to take on a lot of responsibility, she doesn't regret it.

Young motherhood is quite a challenge but Theresa is doing her best.
Carlotta Smok Carlotta Smok

School, friends, maybe the first love – That’s what most 14-year-olds deal with. Theresa’s world, however, was turned completely upside down when she was a teenager.

While her friends were just learning to take responsibility for themselves, Theresa, who is from Germany,  got pregnant. “I was scared a lot. I was also scared I would no longer be able to enjoy my youth”, she describes the situation.

An abortion is out of the question, because Theresa is already in her third month when a gynecologist confirms her pregnancy. But in retrospect, she would always have chosen to have the child.

A double challenge

At the beginning this task is not easy, because despite the fathers happiness about the pregnancy, he has problems of his own to deal with. He has a drug problem of which Theresa knows nothing. When he finally confesses it to her, she knows she can’t rely on him.

But she can rely on her parents from the very beginning.  Together they raise Jason, as Theresa names her child. And although it is not always easy, Theresa manages young motherhood with a lot of ambition, stamina and courage. Jason also appreciates this, because for him his mother is: “A huge role model. She’s studying a lot and she’s doing a lot of good things.”

Not an individual case

Particularly as a result of the corona crisis, many girls and young women get pregnant unintentionally. Often they do not have such a safe environment as Theresa. Education and support from NGOs can make a big difference.

The number of underage mothers in Germany has been falling for years. Whereas in 2002, 1.1 percent of newborns had a mother under the age of 18, the figure was 0.5 percent in 2017, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

Theresa’s case shows a positive example of how young motherhood can work.

Carlotta Smok

Journalism student. Interested in social equality, people and food. "Journalism is the first rough draft of history" - Philip L. Graham