Having triplets at the age of 16 is not what most teenagers have to cope with. But it’s everyday reality for Natalie Scanlan, who is being featured in a TV programme about Britain’s youngest mums and dads.
Natalie, from Stalybridge, gave birth to three identical daughters – Ellie, Lillie, and Maddie – in April this year. She fell pregnant before going on holiday to Tenerife with her 19-year-old boyfriend. Eighteen months on, Natalie speaks on the documentary about how her life has changed.
“It was a shock that we were having one baby, never mind three. But when it sunk in I decided I was just going to go ahead with it,” she said. Natalie had three baby daughters, and they all now live in a two-bed council house.
The 17 year old, whose family helps out with money and childcare, said: “I don’t have as much freedom as I used to have and I can’t do what I want to do all the time. I’ve got to do what the babies want to do now.
“I’d like to get a job but it’s hard finding one with the right hours. If they go to bed at 7pm and you get home at 6pm you’re only going to see them for an hour a day.”
She added: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a baby young, but you have just got to realise that it’s going to stop your life as well as everybody else’s life around you.”
Natalie’s mum, Sarah, who also fell pregnant aged 16, said life can be tough for Natalie when she is not in the mood for feeding or changing them her youngsters.
Sarah said: “She’s only 17 but she’s got this big responsibility. She should be young, free and single and enjoying her life.
“Dirty nappies, cleaning bottles, making bottles up, clearing up the sick. “It’s not fairyland. To be a mum is hard work.”