"Even though Ms. Spears is a TV star earning a good income, her life will change. Teens need to understand that if they become pregnant they will sacrifice their dreams because they will need to care for their child," said Alan Hilfer, director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center. "All too often parents find the subject matter uncomfortable. This front-page news story gives them the opportunity to open the door for a serious and important conversation."
For her part, Spears says she still wants to encourage her fans to forgo premarital sex.
"I definitely don't think it's something you should do. It's better to wait … but I can't be judgmental because it's a position I put myself in," she told OK!
Initially, Spears kept the news to herself when she learned of the pregnancy from an at-home test and subsequent doctor visit, she told the celebrity magazine, which hits stands in New York today and the rest of the country by Friday.
"As soon as I found out for sure from the doctor, I took two weeks to myself where I didn't tell anybody," she said. "Only one of my friends knew because I needed to work out what I would do for myself before I let anyone's opinion affect my decision. Then I told my parents and my friends. I was scared, but I had to do what was right for me."
Spears told her mother just before Thanksgiving. "She was very upset because it wasn't what she expected at all," Lynne told the magazine. "A week after, she had time to cope with it and became very supportive."
"I didn't believe it because Jamie Lynn's always been so conscientious. She's never late for her curfew. I was in shock. I mean, this is my 16-year-old baby," Lynne, already grandmother to Britney's young sons, told OK!
Spears, who's also a junior in high school, says she plans to raise the baby in her home state of Louisiana — "so it can have a normal family life."
Spears recently told The Associated Press that she didn't have a serious boyfriend, according to People.com. "I kind of just keep my options open," she said. "I have a bunch of friends that I always hang out with, a bunch of guy friends. … I'm going to try to graduate before I do anything else," she told the AP.