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Bristol Palin: Abstinence for all teens 'not realistic'

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  • Bristol Palin said she wishes she had waited 10 years to have a baby
  • 18-year-old is getting a lot of help from family, says baby son is "awesome"
  • Palin said she's hoping to encourage young people to wait to have sex
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(CNN) -- In her first interview since giving birth, the teenage daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said having a child is not "glamorous," and that telling young people to be abstinent is "not realistic at all."

Bristol Palin says "everyone should just wait 10 years" to have a baby, rather than when you're young.

Bristol Palin says "everyone should just wait 10 years" to have a baby, rather than when you're young.

"It's just, like, I'm not living for myself anymore. It's, like, for another person, so it's different," Bristol Palin told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. "And just you're up all night. And it's not glamorous at all," she said. "Like, your whole priorities change after having a baby."

The 18-year-old, who gave birth in late December, said she is being helped tremendously by her mother, grandmother, cousins and other family members. She is engaged to teen father Levi Johnston, who is now working for his father and trying to complete school, but said she wishes that she waited another 10 years to have a baby.

It was "harder than labor" telling her parents she was pregnant.

"Well, we were sitting on the couch, my best friend and Levi, and we had my parents come and sit on the couch, too. And we had my sisters go upstairs," Bristol said. "And we just sat them down, and I just -- I couldn't even say it. I was just sick to my stomach.

"And so finally, my best friend just, like, blurted it out. And it was just, like -- I don't even remember it because it was just, like, something I don't want to remember."

Todd and Sarah Palin were "scared just because I have to -- I had to grow up a lot faster than they ever would have imagined," Bristol said.

Her parents insisted that she and her boyfriend hash out a "game plan" immediately. And now her parents and relatives are all pitching in to help take care of the child, particularly when Bristol is at school during the day.

Van Susteren was delicate with the teenager but pointedly asked if "contraception is an issue here."

"Is that something that you were just lazy about or not interested, or do you have philosophical or religious opposition to it," Van Susteren asked.

Bristol quickly answered that she didn't want to get into specifics. The best option is abstinence, the teen said, but added that she didn't think that was "realistic." Video Watch Bristol Palin say that abstinence is "not realistic at all" »

While her mother was running for vice president, the teenager said her treatment in the media was "evil." She said she read some of the tabloids that wrote about her. People didn't understand, she said, and some media reports perpetuated falsehoods about her experience.

"They thought that, like, my mom was going to make me have the baby, and it was my choice to have the baby," she said. "And it's just -- that kind of stuff just bothered me."

Van Susteren asked, "But this is your issue? This is your decision?"

Bristol answered yes. "(It) doesn't matter what my mom's views are on it. It was my decision, and I wish people would realize that, too," she said.

The network interview was Bristol's idea, the teen said. And she apparently sprung the news to her parents that she was going to speak publicly the day before the network taping. The teen said she wanted to tell her story so that other young people might think twice about having sex.

"I'd love to [be] an advocate to prevent teen pregnancy because it's not, like, a situation that you would want to strive for, I guess," Bristol said.

Gov. Palin made an unexpected appearance during the interview in Alaska, and Van Susteren asked her about her daughter's pregnancy.


"Not the most ideal situation, certainly you make the most of it," the governor said.

Bristol is a "strong and bold woman, and she is an amazing mom," Palin said. "And this little baby is very lucky to have her as a mama. He's going to be just fine."

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