I don't how many of you have heard of the new show on MTV called 16 and Pregnant, but after much apprehension, I decided to watch it.
I was adamantly against it when i first heard about it because in my opinion we give too much glory to teen pregnancy as it is. The TV, Magazines, and other media sources are constantly pushing teen pregnancy in our and our children's faces. Often they don't make parenting (especially as a teen) look as hard as it truly is. They glorify it and make it seem as if being a parent is just a piece of cake.
Those of us who have been through the sleepless nights, the sore boobs, the tantrums, the diapers, and the puke can attest that things are not always as simple (or as fun) as they seem. One of my best friends had her baby when we were just 15 so i got a first hand look at how hard it was to be a young mother.
So back to the real subject at hand. When i flipped on the season premiere of this show i was gritting my teeth to say the least. I just knew that this was all going to confirm my suspicions about the media and how we see teen moms. I cant say i was 100% correct in my thoughts but it didnt make me feel good about it either.
The very first episode gave me some comfort in the fact that they didn't try to hide how hard the young couple was struggling. They lived together in a small apartment and the father was still busy trying to live life as the mother struggled to finish school, work, and take care of the baby by herself. Needless to say they went their separate ways (as most teen parents eventually do).
With the same apprehension i went on to watch the second episode. It made me sick!!! The girl was a whining brat in my opinion. She kept talking about how it wouldn't be that hard to be a parent and how she would be fine. The final ticker for me was when she said there was no way she was breast feeding because she didn't want her boobs to be all saggy and stretched out. It made my day when her OB informed her that it was too late for that as pregnancy itself is usually the culprit of all the stretch marks and sagging! I ended up turning this episode off early as i could not bear to watch!
I skipped the next episode because i was still furious! When i flipped on the middle of episode 4 i was shocked by the image i saw. Here was a beautiful, new, 16 year old mother breastfeeding her beautiful baby right before my eyes on my TV screen. I was dumb founded but in the greatest way. I never, ever, ever, expected MTV to show a breast on its TV (outside of spring break), much less a breast with a baby attached to it!!! I was so pleasantly surprised that found a follow up episode and watched it from the beginning.
I don't watch a lot of MTV. Really the only shows i watch on their is Real World or the Challenges. But i am giving MTV a big thumbs up for showing a breastfeeding mom on their show even if she was a teen. After all the controversy of Facebook erasing pictures of Mom's breastfeeding it was a relief to see a media source not afraid to show the healthiest way to feed our babies (I think most of us can agree even if you didn't breast feed that it is the best way just not always the best for all moms).
The one thing i thought was lacking from this show was the option of adoption. With so many people out there willing and ready to adopt i found it odd that MTV wasn't covering this. How happy i was to find out that the last episode scheduled for Thursday at 10pm will cover a teen who is considering adoption. I promise i will be watching.