Baby Showers for Pregnant Teens -- To Go or Not?

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baby shower table
Flickr photo by zAppledot

Picture it: You're attending a baby shower with your 9-year-old daughter and the expectant mom is in the center of the circle opening her gifts.

She's just unwrapped a breast pump and is now passing around cute outfits in pink and yellow. She's having a girl.

But you can't help wonder if the guest of honor would much rather be opening video games or iTunes gift cards than a box of diapers. And you also can't help think she'd way prefer to be hanging out in another room with your own daughter than sitting in a room with a bunch of women at a completely different stage of life.

The mom-to-be is 13.

She's pregnant. And she's having a baby shower.

Where to even begin?

This is not a made-up scenario. Members of the CafeMom community are discussing a real life situation just like this. The original poster raised the issue because she wasn't sure if it was appropriate to bring a 9-year-old to a baby shower of a 13-year-old pregnant girl. The conversation quickly zig-zagged all over the place, starting with the statement that a 13-year-old should not be allowed to parent in the first place.

Then on to the fact that she shouldn't get a shower.

Then, that she should, because someone that age needs help more than an older woman more established in life and who's not ... a child herself.

It depends on what you think a baby shower is for. Is it to celebrate new life? Then of course she should get one. Is it to help a mom out? Then she should have one. Is it to provide support from family and friends? Then she should have one.

Should you bring your 9-year-old? No.

My reasons:

  • 13-year-olds should not get pregnant. Girls need to know about their bodies and how not to get pregnant, but a baby shower is not the time or place for a sex talk.
  • Getting gifts and being the center of attention glamorizes pregnancy, whether the expectant mom is happy to be pregnant or not. I don't want my daughter to get any ideas.
  • There are other ways for my daughter to show support for the young friend or family member other than going to a party.
  • It's just ... awkward. There will be judgements. There will be opinions. There will be whispers about the choice the girl made. My daughter doesn't need to hear that from people I don't know or agree with. Despite the balloons and cake, and no matter what you feel about the outcome, this is not a "happy" event.

Go to the shower yourself, support the young mom in this challenging time, but leave your daughter home. And then think of everything you can possibly do to make sure it's not her up there opening gifts in another couple of years.

Should young girls and tweens attend the baby shower of a 13-year-old?


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hotic... hoticedcoffee

Personally, I don't think anyone should be attending a baby shower for a 13 year old.  I don't think a pregnant 13 year old is something to celebrate, regardless of whether or not she needs help or support - that's the job of her parent(s)/guardian, just like any other situation that arises for a child.  If friends and family feel it's appropriate to give a gift, they will do so even if there isn't a baby shower.  I just can't really imagine anything more inappropriate than having a party to celebrate poor decision making.

LoriA... LoriAnn87

I agree with hoticedcoffed being a teen mom isn't something to celerbrated at all and throwing her a shower is just saying you appect she is pregnant at this age or at any teen age. I know someone who is 18 and just had her first baby and yes they throw her a shower and she got almost everything she need from her list but she only had about 20 people show up to her shower and she was mad and wanted to know why. I felt telling her because many people don't aprove of teens mom and the think having a shower for them is wrong but I didn't say anything. Now she and her fiancee are rasing this baby together but she is the greatest thing in the world but she has not clue how hard it's going to get.

ankle... anklebitr

Wow, that is a tough one!  18 doesn't bother me, but 13!?!?!?!?!

jeann... jeannesager

It certainly isn't something to be celebrated, but these kids NEED stuff for their babies and are usually in an even worse position than those of us who plan to have kids as adults. Is it better to make the baby suffer just to make a point?


I will say I would be much more likely to buy a gift than give a gift card in this instance.

usmom3 usmom3

Let me tell you from the side of the teen ! I was a teen Mom & had a baby shower, I didn't feel as though it glorified pregnancy in any way shape or form! I went out of my way to use my situation to teach other young girls not to walk the same road that I had! I even went as far as to speak to a class of 7th & 8th graders to get them to think about the consequences of their actions before doing anything! If it wasn't for the baby shower I would have not had all the things I need for my son because my parents couldn't  aford to get it all for me & I was to young to get a job to buy it for myself!


I just wanted to add to all of you negative posters I hope you have a change of heart if ever your daughters are in this situation becausethe last thing they need is there Moms being the way you all sound in your posts! I would also like to add that I learned my lesson about having sex & a baby as a teen so well I didn't have my 2nd child until 10 years later!

NooYawka NooYawka

Wouldn't go to the shower, but as a gift I'd give her all the paperwork and some money for adoption.  Actually, I know so many people who'd gladly give her the thousands she'd need for the process, plus medical care and a help getting her into college, she'd have her pick.


She, the baby and the infertile couple will be eternally grateful.

ankle... anklebitr

Thank you usmom, for sharing your story.  I remember being in middle school, nearly 20 years ago, and a few classmates were pregnant.  It is a 'problem' that is not new and not going away anytime soon.  Heck, when I was in elementary school, I remember a friend talking about  having sex with an older boy.  Child pregnancy is a multifaceted issue.  With 12-14 year olds; is it two children of the same age experimenting with their new found sexual urges or is it a young girl being taken advantage of by a pervert?


If it was my daughter (the 9 year old, not the pregnant one).  I would use the situation to discuss the results of being sexually active.  And also to discuss the options available and choices one has to make (hopefully with the help of family.) 

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Well said, NooYawka! 


I don't understand the idea that a shower needs to happen in order to supply the mom with stuff her parents can't afford.  If you can't afford the all the "stuff", you can't afford the child.  So on top of celebrating poor decision making, the shower also teaches that you don't have to take fiscal responsibility for your actions.

usmom3 usmom3

hoticedcoffee with that mentality the world would be so under populated that we would be a species on the verge of extinction because most people can't afford the children they have! Even if I had been older & had a great income I still wouldn't have been able to afford him because he has a heart condition that required surgery before his 1st birthday & it still is a problem to this day with him needing medication & some time in the next year another surgery & on top of all that he has Autism! The only way I could afford him is if I had the kind of money that only a small percentage of Americans can afford!  

hotic... hoticedcoffee

usmom3, your sitution is hardly the norm.  I disagree that "most people can't afford the children they have".  Many, many people - the majority, I would guess, certainly can afford their *children*.  I can, and we're a one-income family living in a 'expensive' area of the country, and I too have an autistic child.  When I say "afford", I mean keeping the child fed, clothed, sheltered and healthy.  What most people can't afford are their lifestyles and egos. 


Though I do stand by my statement that if one finds themselves a situation where one is going to bring a life into the world that they are not financially able to take care of, they shouldn't forge ahead with the expectation that other people are going to close the gap.  I hardly think that means the end of humanity.

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