In Burnett County, Wisconsin, and the United States the number of teenagers that give birth has been on the decline. In 2015 only 2.9% of babies born to Burnett County residents were by teenagers, compared to 4.6% for the State of Wisconsin. While the number of teens having babies is decreasing, it is important to remember that raising a baby and child can be difficult at any age. While there may be more obstacles for teen parents, there are many factors to consider whenever you decide to have a baby. This is a big decision that will have a lifelong impact.
Here are some factors to consider:
Babies require extra care. Do you know where the baby will go to daycare? Will you still work? Your baby will need to go to about seven doctor’s appointments in their first year, and that is only for a baby that does not have any special healthcare needs or goes in for any illness.
Babies can be expensive. Diapers could cost about $800 a year, but depend on the brands and quantity bought. Will you nurse the baby or use formula? Formula could cost over $2,000 the first year, which depends on the brand and type needed. There will also be a cost for baby food. Do you have a car seat, crib, clothes, wipes, bottles? It has been estimated by the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) that you will spend about $12,000 the first year of the baby’s life.
Schedule changes. Are you ready to make life changes, such as not being able to go out with friends all the time? Maybe not having time for your regular gym routine? Getting less sleep? Getting up throughout the night? Taking off of work to take care of a sick child? Changing your routine to get the baby ready in the morning and to bed at night?
The bottom line is, consider whether or not you are ready to raise a child. If the answer is no or not right now, make sure you take steps to prevent pregnancy. Visit www.itsyoursexlife.com to find out about some birth control options and speak with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.
Submitted by: Brittany Fry, BS, MPH, Burnett County DHHS Public Health Specialist
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