The Teen Mom franchise is a collection of reality TV series focusing on teenage pregnancy and the joy and challenges of motherhood at a young age. 16 and Pregnant was the first show followed by spin-offs Teen Mom which is also referred to as Teen Mom OG, Teen Mom 2, Teen Mom 3, and Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant. The UK, Poland, and Australia also broadcast their own versions of the shows that touch on the same topic.
As the titles of the series suggest, the shows follow the lives of teenage girls in their teens as they struggle to balance their childhood, school, and motherhood. The shows also feature the challenges these young moms face with their families and boyfriends once they announce that they are pregnant. Some end up moving from their homes and some have to raise their babies alone because the fathers are not ready for the responsibility of raising a child.
All four shows aired on MTV; 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom 2, Teen Mom 3, and finally Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant.
Here, we look at 20 girls who were on the shows as teen moms and what they looked like before joining the shows.
20 Jenelle Evans
Janelle Evans was born in Oak Island, North Carolina. She first appeared on screen when she joined one of the show’s spin-offs, Teen Moms 2. As stated by people.com, Jenelle was almost a high school senior when she got pregnant with her then-boyfriend, Andrew Lewis.
Before her pregnancy, Jenelle was famous for being a party fanatic and having her son; Jace Vahn Evans did not change that. She used to leave her son with her mom so that she could go out. The young couple eventually broke things off when Andrew started having issues with the law. Jenelle also signed custody of Jace to her mother.
19 Jade Cline
Jade Cline rose to fame when she first appeared along with other five teen moms in the Teen Mom sequel, Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant. Jade, who is from Indiana, got pregnant by her then-boyfriend Sean Austin. With little support from her family, Jade gave birth to her daughter Kloie Kenna Austin in September 2017.
According to Starcasm, she also struggled to raise her daughter as a young parent, breaking and making up with Austin numerous times. In the midst of all that, she also struggled with anxiety and depression. Eventually, she broke up with Austin for good and launched her own baking business.
18 Catelynn Lowell
Fans of the shows saw Michigan native, Catelynn Lowell for the first time when she appeared on 16 & Pregnant. She later appeared on the Teen Mom OG series. Catelynn got pregnant at just 16 years of age by high school sweetheart, Tyler Baltierra, with whom they had been together with since the seventh grade.
According to eonline.com, Catelynn joined the show when she was 16 weeks along and by then she was already thinking of giving the baby away for adoption. The show featured how the young couple struggled with the idea of adoption, how they stayed strong even after their parents objected, and how the idea of parenting scared them. Eventually, they gave their daughter Carly up for adoption.
17 Amber Portwood
Like previous teens moms, Amber Portwood appeared first in 16 & Pregnant and then later on in Teen Mom OG. As stated by usmagazine.com, Amber was 17 when she became pregnant with her then 21-year-old boyfriend Gary Shirley’s baby. The two moved in together despite having an up and down relationship.
Gary proposed before Amber gave birth but the two broke up almost immediately and decided not to get married. Amber finally gave birth to her daughter Leah although raising her was a struggle. She battled with anger management and gave into substances. She eventually got on the wrong side of the law and started facing the consequences thereof. While serving time, she finished her GED and joined a substance program.
Bristol first became the subject of media attention in September 2008 when she announced she was expecting a child at 17 years of age. She made headlines because her mom, Sarah, has a big social presence in the US. At the time, Bristol was also engaged to her baby's father, Levi Johnston.
As claimed by Nickiswift, Bristol and Levi struggled with their relationship. They ended their on-off relationship two years later after their son Tripp Easton was born in December 2008. Thereafter, Bristol became an advocate for abstinence and a Teen Pregnancy Ambassador for the Cadies Foundation.
15 Maci McKinney Bookout
Maci Bookout made her television debut in the first episode of 16 & Pregnant in 2009. According to people, Maci was in high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee and was a well-performing student who played softball and was into cheerleading. She had big dreams of going to college, which she put on hold when she got pregnant at 16 by boyfriend, Ryan Edwards.
Maci moved in with Ryan after she found out she was pregnant and took a crash course so that she could graduate early. She gave birth to her son Bentley Edwards in October 2008 and thereafter enrolled at a local community college. Maci really struggled with school and motherhood. She, later on, ended her relationship with Ryan.
14 Chelsea Houska-DeBoer
Chelsea Houska (now DeBoer), who is another cast member of Teen Mom 2, was a high school senior from South Dakota before joining reality TV. She was also previously in 16 & Pregnant before joining Teen Mom 2. In school, Chelsea was a popular softball player. She had to drop out when she became pregnant by her then-boyfriend, Adam Lind.
After a difficult pregnancy, Chelsea gave birth to her daughter, Aubree Skye Lind. She got a lot of support from her family and continued relations with Adam. However, over time their relationship became toxic. Chelsea went ahead to finish her GED online and enrolled to beauty school, as stated by fandom.
13 Kailyn Lowry
Born in Honesdale and raised in Pennsylvania, Kailyn was a normal teenage girl before joining the 16 & Pregnant cast and its spin-off, Teen Mom 2. According to fandom, Kailyn got pregnant at the age of 17. Her then boyfriend, Jonathan “Jo” Rivera was the father of the baby.
When Kailyn’s family found out she was pregnant, they stopped supporting her, which forced her to rely on Jo’s family. Kailyn gave birth to her son, Isaac Elliot, in January 2010. Thereafter, Kailyn and Jo’s relationship went through some challenges as they struggled to balance their lives with raising a child. The two finally called it quits and Kailyn moved out of Jonathan's parents’ home when she started dating again.
12 Farrah Abraham
Farrah was in 16 & Pregnant before she went to the spin-off series Teen Mom OG. Seventeen-year-old Farrah was a high school cheerleader when she got pregnant. She was not like other girls who were eager to show off their young romance on-screen. Even when she got pregnant, it appeared as if she did not want her high school boyfriend Derek Underwood to know.
Farrah broke up with Derek on the count that he was too immature and jealous to handle her pregnancy. Unfortunately, two months before she gave birth, Derek passed away in a car accident, as reported by usmagazine.com.
11 Leah Messer
Leah Messer was a country girl and a cheerleader in high school living in a small town in West Virginia before becoming a Teen Mom cast member. In 2009, Leah began dating Corey Tyler Simms and a month later, she discovered she was pregnant, as claimed by fandom. However, at six months, Leah went into premature labor.
Fortunately, doctors were able to stop her labor and Leah was put on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. Leah, who was pregnant with twins, gave birth two months later to Aliannah and Aleeah. She sacrificed a lot so that she could take care of the twins and balance school life. Her relationship with Simms was also not easy; they later broke it off. They later got back together and got married. They eventually filed for divorce.
10 Briana DeJesus
Orlando Florida native, Briana DeJesus gave birth to Nova at just 17 years, which bought her a ticket to the Teen Mom franchise. Before joining the show, Brianna was an early high school graduate who was looking forward to going to college. According to earthenecklace.com, her plans changed when she got pregnant by her now ex-boyfriend Devoin Austin II.
When Nova was born in September 2011, doctors diagnosed her with a heart defect, which keeps her in and out of the hospital. Briana got pregnant a second time by ex-boyfriend Luis Hernandez and named their baby girl Stella.
9 Alexandria Sekella
Alex Sekella first graced TV screens when she appeared on the 16 & Pregnant series. She later got a recurring role in the sequel Teen Mom 3. Alex, who was born in Allentown, was an aspiring dancer before she got pregnant at 17 years by her now ex-boyfriend Matt McCann.
When Alex told her mother about her pregnancy, her mother asked her to put the baby up for adoption or look for another place to live, as noted by fandom. With her mother and Matt advocating for adoption, Alex decided to look for a place to live so she could keep her daughter, Arabella. Since she could not afford rent, her mother allowed her to move back home with her baby. She eventually broke up with Matt.
8 Summer Rewis
Summer first appeared on TV in season five of 16 & Pregnant. She was a teen mom to son, Peyton Daniel. Before motherhood, Summer was a high school student looking forward to college life. When she got pregnant, she and her then-boyfriend DJ struggled to prepare for the baby but eventually, things came around and the two got married in August 2013.
Summer had to move into DJ's parents' home due to her strained relationship with her mother who was struggling with addiction. In 2016, as stated by theashleyrealityroundup.com, the couple welcomed another baby boy, Connor Mace. However, their marriage did not last for long and the two ended up separating. Summer has announced on her IG that she is trusting in God to raise her sons as a solo mom.
7 Mackenzie McKee Douthit
The cast member of 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom 3, Mackenzie McKee was a 16-year-old high school teenager with a brave attitude and southern charm before joining reality TV. As stated by usmagazine.com, Mackenzie who was born in Oklahoma got pregnant in her junior year by boyfriend Josh McKee.
Mackenzie and Josh took the pregnancy news lightly until the soon-to-be mom developed a pregnancy complication because she was diabetic. She eventually gave birth to a baby boy by the name Gannon McKee. Although Mackenzie wanted to be a professional tumbler, she had to put her dreams on hold in order to raise Gannon. The father, on the other hand, went ahead to pursue his dream as a rodeo rider. This did not sit well with Mackenzie, because of the dangers associated with the job, however, the two are still together and added another baby to the clan.
6 Nikkole Paulun
Michigan native Nikkole Paulun first appeared on screens in the Teen Mom prequel 16 & Pregnant. Nikkole was a 15-year-old high school cheerleader when she got pregnant by boyfriend Josh Drummonds. Their relationship on the show appeared to center on unfaithfulness among other drama.
Nikkole gave birth to Lyle Thomas Drummonds but after his birth, Josh stopped helping with Lyle and the couple broke up. Thereafter Josh got into a lot of trouble with the law and had to serve time, as stated by eonline.com.
Nikkole, on the other hand, went back to school and resumed cheerleading while her mother babysat Lyle. She gave birth to her second child, Ellie Jade with ex-boyfriend Ryan Rice.
5 Katie Yeager
Katie Yeager gained fame as a teen mom when she joined the show 16 & Pregnant and later Teen Mom 3. Before motherhood, Katie was living with her then-boyfriend Joey Maes. Although the two wanted to own their own home, they could not afford it.
Katie gave birth to her daughter on June 24, 2011, but the couple struggled to raise the baby girl who they named Molli. They eventually called off things, as stated by eonline.com, but details of their break up are scarce.
Since appearing on the show, Katie has become popular on social media but she is now staying clear of the spotlight. She met another man, Tyler and in 2017, the couple welcomed Katie’s second child.
4 Brianna Jaramillo
California born Brianna Jaramillo first appeared on Teen Mom: Young & Pregnant when she became pregnant with her first child, Braeson Messiah Jaramillo. She had already graduated from Brookfield High School before conceiving her child. She was the youngest mom on the show dating her then-boyfriend Danae Young. Although Danae was not Braeson’s father, he stepped up to the role, as stated by romper.
In the end, the modern family did not work out and the two broke up. Brianna started dating Robert Reams and the duo went through many rough patches before calling the relationship off. Brianna is now a solo mom who is struggling to raise her son who is living without his left forearm and hand.
3 Jordan Howard
Jordan Howard graced TV screens in season four of the Teen Mom’s franchise 16 & Pregnant. Jordan became pregnant by her then-boyfriend, Tyler Zeplin. The two constantly feared that their parents and friends would not approve of their interracial relationship.
Despite their families’ disapproval, the duo welcomed their son Chase in May 2011. Tyler struggled with adapting to fatherhood but the two overcame their hardships and even had another child, Skylar in 2014.
The couple got married in 2015 and Jordan opened a cake decorating business. Less than a year after tying the knot, the two announced that they were separating, but according to theashleyrealityroundup.com, the couple is back together.
2 Ashley Salazar
Most people know Texas-born, Ashley Salazar from her appearances in 16 & Pregnant. Ashley was just in junior high when she learned she was pregnant; four months later, she applied to be part of the show. She also started a blog so that she could document her difficult journey as a soon-to-be teen mom.
According to goodreads.com, Ashley and her then-boyfriend Justin Lane struggled with the decision to give the baby up for adoption. Finally, they gave the baby to Ashley’s aunt and uncle, a decision that tore her down.
Ashley continued with blogging and eventually wrote her own book, Bittersweet Blessing: 16 & Pregnant. She later enrolled at UNT to study journalism.
1 Cheyenne Floyd
Cheyenne first rose to fame when she starred in one of MTV’s reality show, Are You The One? At that time, Cheyenne was studying public relations at Hampton University. She also appeared in the 28th series of The Challenge: Rivals III and this is where she met TV personality, Cory Wharton.
Cheyenne got pregnant by Cory and joined the Teen Mom OG show. According to usmagazine.com, Cheyenne did not reveal to Cory that she was expecting until she got to six months. She finally gave birth to her daughter Ryder, but the couple broke things off because Cory was not ready to settle down. Despite their differences, they happily co-parent.
Sources: usmagazine.com, eonline.com, nickiswift.com, people.com, fandom.com, earnthenecklace.com, romper.com, goodreads.com, starcasm.net, theashleysrealityroundup.com