Pregnant at 12 Years Old: How Did This Happen?


What would you do if your daughter got pregnant at 12 years old?

How would you handle that news?

Or better yet, how would she handle it?

Recently, I asked my IG followers to send me questions that they’d like me to answer via video.

A 17-year-old young lady responded, 

“Hi, could you do a video on how to recover if you’ve already messed up?”

After I posted the video on Instagram, she sent me this message: 

Thank you! I got pregnant at 12 and had my child at 13, and ever since then everyone in my family has been telling me how I literally messed up everything.

Leave Room for Grace

Be careful how you respond to your daughter’s mistakes… 

This young lady already knew she messed up.

(Because some won’t let her forget).

What she needed to know was that being a teen mom wasn’t the end of her story.

My response:

Girl, you prove all of the doubters wrong. That should be your motivation. 

You can’t change the past. But you also can’t give the past the power to determine your future. 

When we’re using GPS and we make a wrong turn, what does the GPS do? 

It reroutes us so we can still get to our destination. It may take us longer, but we still get there. 

You can’t afford to have a thought in your head about you that God doesn’t have about you. 

And God thinks you are AMAZING! Totally forgiven. 

God loved you just as much after you got pregnant as He did before. 

You better not listen to what others say about you. God’s opinion is the only one that matters. 

You prove to your family that you won’t let this stop you from being successful. 

You aren’t the first girl to have a baby at 13 and you won’t be the last. 

Your testimony of how you still made something out of your life may help the next 13-year-old mom have hope. 

And your story of getting pregnant at 12 may prevent another 12-year-old from thinking it won’t happen to her. 

I thought it was important to encourage this young lady, because I knew if no one else believed in her, it would be difficult for her to believe in herself. 

Which wouldn’t be good for her or her child. 

And in my experience working with teen girls, hopelessness increases the changes that she’ll make unhealthy choices that could lead to a repeat pregnancy. 

Teen mom:

Thank you! I’m saving this message so it can be a reminder. 

I always listen to your messages [on YouTube and IG]. 

You’re one of those people that made things “OK” again. If you pray for others, can you pray for me sometimes?

What a tender heart this young lady has.

I knew that I wanted to speak to this young lady on the phone and not just via Instagram direct messaging. 

Two days later we spoke for almost two hours on the phone and it broke my heart to hear all of her story. 

She agreed for me to share portions of it with you in hopes that it will prevent another girl from making the mistake that she made and having to go through what she went through. 

The Decision that Altered Her Journey

Me: 

Tell me a little about your background and family situation.

Teen mom:

My parents separated when I was young. I live with my mom and I was attending a Christian school when I got pregnant. But, they made me transfer to another school when they found out I was pregnant.  

[I shared this story earlier this week in a middle school class, and the girls gasped when I said she went to a Christian school. Despite what many may think, attending a Christian school doesn’t make you immune to poor choices about sex.] 

Me: 

Can you set up the scenario that led to you getting pregnant?

[I couldn’t wait to hear what would influence a 12-year-old girl to have sex at such a young age.]

Teen mom: 

I was in the 7thgrade and my boyfriend was in the 9thgrade. 

I thought it was cool to have a high school boyfriend. 

I knew that he could have dated a high school girl, but he chose me. So, I was flattered. 

When my friends were shocked that we were dating, it made me feel even more special knowing that they were surprised that a high school guy would date me. 

He said he wanted to spend time with me outside of school, which made me think that he must really like me because he wanted to spend more time with me. 

He said he didn’t have much privacy at his house and asked what the situation was at my house. 

I told him my mom didn’t get home until 7 or 7:30, so he suggested that we hang out at my house sometime. 

Whenever he came over, he’d tell his mom that he was going to a friend’s house to study, but would get his brother to drop him off at my house. 

When he suggested that we have sex, I was afraid if I said NO, he may start dating someone else. 

I didn’t want to lose him because all of my friends were so impressed that we were dating. 

I talk about this danger when I talk to 8thgrade girls: Dating older guys is a red flag. 

Younger girls usually agree to have sex just so the older guys won’t think they’re a kid. 

It’s one of the reasons why most older teen guys date younger girls, because they know they will have that mindset…and they will be too naïve to recognize the trap that is being set for them.

She thought this young man really wanted to spend time with her when he was just setting her up to get sex from her. 

Me: 

Did you use any kind of protection or birth control?

Teen mom:

No, because I thought I was too young to get pregnant and that he was too young to get me pregnant. 

I know it sounds dumb, but I thought you couldn’t get pregnant unless you were at least 14-years-old. 

I didn’t know anything about ovulation or anything at the time. 

Me:

Had your mother ever talked to you about sex? 

Teen mom:

A couple of times she would say things like, “When you grow up and start dating, don’t get pregnant because that’s not the life you want.” 

My mom didn’t even know I had a boyfriend so I guess she felt like she didn’t need to say any more than that. 

This young lady said she started her menstrual cycle at 11, yet no one ever explained to her that once she started her cycle she was able to get pregnant. 

And this is precisely why you can’t leave it to chance that your daughter will learn what she needs to know about puberty/sex in school.

You be her primary teacher and at least have peace in knowing that you’ve armed her with the knowledge she needs to make healthy decisions regarding love, sex, and relationships.

This young lady wasn’t equipped with that information.

And sadly, made a grown-up decision that forced her to grow-up fast…at only 12 years old.

Check back next week to hear the rest of her heartbreaking story.

In the meantime, I ask again: What would you do if your daughter got pregnant at 12 years old?

Let me know how you think you’d handle it by commenting below. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

P.S. No parent of a girl wants to imagine their daughter getting pregnant at 12 years old. You probably can’t even imagine your daughter dating at that age. Which is why it’s so important that you start talking to her NOW about love, sex, and relationships. If she’s still a tween, a good place to start is puberty. Don’t assume your daughter already knows about it. Make sure she does…specifically that she can get pregnant once she’s had her first menstrual cycle. 

FREE DOWNLOAD: 7 Things Every Parent of a Teen Needs to Know Before Having “The Talk”  Want to discover more ways you can help your daughter make good choices? Learn more in this FREE eBOOK. 

P.P.S. Knowledge is power. If we want girls to make best choices for their future, we have to arm them with information that will help them make those choices. This young lady’s story may be just what your daughter, niece, granddaughter, mentee, neighbor, daughter of a friend, etc. needs to hear to help her choose wisely. So please, share it with everyone you know!

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