A young mother's best teacher is her newborn child - opine researchers who train social workers to interact with first-time moms.
"We like to think of babies as 'ordinary miracles,'" said Victor Bernstein, a research associate at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.
But adjusting to a baby can take work, and the task of social workers often is to help young mothers learn to focus on an infant's needs, say Bernstein and other SSA experts.
"Mothers are not only important to their kids, but kids are really important to their mothers," Bernstein said.
Teen mothers often face problems that prevent them from developing their natural talents for mothering, Bernstein and Sydney Hans, the Samuel Deutsch Professor at SSA said.
"But my own research has shown that for many young women, becoming a mother is a positive life experience," Hans said.
"They realize they have accepted an important responsibility and take steps to ensure that they will be able to support themselves and their children in the future," he added.