Teenage pregnancy has emerged as a much higher trend across the world with many women becoming pregnant at their teenage ages. This has been attributed to several factors such as most teenage boys and girls that engage into their first sexual experience end up becoming pregnant since they rarely understand contraceptives. Most of them also engage in more than one sexual partner meaning that acquiring pregnancy is possible at this age. There are risks involved in becoming pregnant at the teenage age just as there area in becoming pregnant at the age of forty and above. This paper will explore of teenage pregnancy as well as all the related stages in development considering that the woman is supposed to be in school learning like the others. It will discuss on difficulties experienced throughout the life development of the child before birth and after birth as well as programs involved in the pregnancy periods.
Forget me not: Pregnant at Fifteen
There is a serious increase in the number of teenage pregnancies in the recent days. This is because of varied factors that lead to this rise. One of the factors includes the pornographic web sites in the internet. Biologically, there is a standard age bracket that is usually fit for giving birth. This bracket is from eighteen years old up to menopause. Adolescents below this age bracket always face challenges with pregnancies as their organs are still not mature enough for such activities. There are also challenges like emotional, financial, psychological as well as the physical ones. These challenges can lead to stress which is not healthy during this period. Due to lack of or inadequate finance and ignorance, these adolescents may fail to seek appropriate medical attention. This vignette will discuss a virtual pregnancy project that involves a fifteen-year-old girl that forgot to take cautions on birth control methods and this led to her pregnancy. (Jones et al, 2002)
More awareness should be put in place to ensure that the teenage girls have information on their vulnerability. There are also several programs that have been implemented in to carter for teenage mothers. Some of them are the Medicaid, Healthy family Inca and the Widow, Infant and Children (WIC). In most cases you find that the teenage pregnant adolescents are being rejected by both their families and relatives. In such a case, Medicaid is program that was put in place in order to help such pregnant mothers. WIC is a program dealing with nutrition. It produces food vouchers that are given to the mothers and their children up to five years. Healthy family Inca on the other side offers education and follow up services to the teenage mothers. They try to make them see the positive side of life and help them find ways of taking care of their new born babies. On the other hand pregnancy is not a divine action and its only gotten through sexual intercourse (Jones et al, 2002).
In Virginia Considering the costs at the Virginia healthcare program through the News port News, it is clear that several costs are to be incurred in the process of pregnancy. The Medicaid costs have been fixed at $700 for each Diem. For the people that are not qualified to acquire Medicaid services, they have a challenge of paying for their prenatal visits as well as delivery becoming burdensome. Estimated average cost for delivery amounts to $ 6,500 to $ 8,500 in Virginia. This is for the low risk mothers and the cost increases even for the high-risk mothers. In case one is having uncomplicated pregnancy, she can consider delivering at a birthing center. Estimated cost for delivering along with those of prenatal care in a birthing center result to $ 4,000 to $ 5,000 (Berk, 2010). This is half of the cost charged at the hospital. However, this appears more expensive for low-income earners in Virginia.
In case a teenage has been insured under the parent’s health insurance, then the costs will vary depending on the amount of coverage. Doctors will indicate that the costs incurred in the general hospital services remain different from those incurred with a doctor. Such costs will be added initial cost in earlier stages of birth and will vary according to the health insurance coverage. Therefore, the teenage mother can be advised to acquire the Medicaid cover in order to assist in the settling financial liabilities in case she lacks an insurance cover from her parents. Teenage mothers will discover more advantages in Medicaid since it has several options depending on their destinations. Such include the additional programs to all pregnant women. There is also the WIC that was created in order to safeguard the low-income earners along with infants and children below the age of 5 years. The program offers nutritious foods as well as supplementary diets, guidance on eating healthy and the referrals to healthcare (Berk, 2010).
Thoughts to Hold
Education is regarded as the key to success. This implies that at all cost, the teenage at fifteen should be in a position to finish her school. There are also other programs that only fund school going girls. Failure to continue with school then these funds is cut short. Several laws are in place and require all public schools to offer education to all teenagers despite their sexual lives. Failure to this there is consequences to be faced even if they drop due to pregnancy issues. Rape is also an offence and those who rape women and girls are liable to heavy fines and punishment. There are federal programs offer family planning services and education to teenage girls to help them avoid unwanted pregnancies (Jones et al, 2002)
Another issue to consider is whether to get back to school or not. In this case, going back will depend on the woman’s age. Therefore, it is prudent for a young girl at the age of fifteen to either go back to school at the original school or acquire education from an alternative school. However, there are many older teenagers at their junior or senior levels in education that prefer acquiring GED to getting back to school in order to support their child. Nevertheless, if the parents are more than willing to help their teenage daughters continue with education, they are able to take care of the baby and the teenager goes back to school to continue with education. In this case, the fifteen year old should consider going back to school and complete her education (Jones et al, 2002)
It will also be crucial to consider that the teenage mother will be eligible for certain help. They are eligible to Medicaid, the WIC and Nutrition, and constant counseling along with family planning methods. Such teenage are also eligible for food stamps as well as TANF money that may come as additional care methods (Berk, 2010). From the text, it is clear that the teenage mothers are required to engage in certain activities in order to have successful pregnancy (Isaac, 1982).
Doctors are specialists at ensuring the safety of both the mother and the forthcoming baby. Frequent visits to these specialists as scheduled by them will give the mother some peace of mind. This will make them to stop being stressed up and have time to plan for the baby instead. The doctor will teach the mother on how to handles challenges that come along as well as how to avoid them. The doctor also provides information on the stage the child has reached as well as the time of birth (Isaac, 1982).
Week 2: First Trimester
My mother was the first person to ask me the question that had been crossing ma mind for the past one month since I had not undergone my monthly period for the past two months now. It had been a routine at times to miss my period for one month but two months was unbearable though I kept on asking God to spare me from the ,menace. All in all I had to accept and face the fact since I was responsible for it. The suspicion was true after I visited a doctor Lucy after my mothers’ advice. He took me through checkups and gave me useful information on early pregnancy. He also gave iron tablets. My mother was bitter. I was ashamed and wondered how I was to pass the information to my boyfriend. He was away by that time and I dint want to call him. I waited till he came back and broke the news. He dint take it lightly and a heated conversation ensured. At first he denied being responsible. I was left with no hopes. He later accepted to help me carry the burden. My father was so upset to the extent of not wanting to see me around. This led to my going to stay with my aunt who lived in the nearby estate after they organized that with my mother. The changes are now open. Morning sickness is a routine and I am keeping up with it.
Week 3: First Trimester
My skirts are starting to become tight at the waist. I DECIDE TO USE the money I had been saving for sometimes now to purchase some comfortable clothes. Since it is too early to drop out of school, I decide to continue. Some of my friends shows concern and are willing to assist me whenever I request while others segregate themselves from me and blame me for everything. I have an appointment with the doctor once every month so I decide to visit and have some checkups. He advises me to join WIC. An organization that offers care and support for expectant mothers and infants. I met Mr. Edward who is specialist in the organization. I undergo training in the do’s and the don’ts. He gives me a hand out to give me more information on early period of pregnancy. My aunt is so supportive and offers me home base care often. She ensures that I follow the doctors and the specialist instructions to the latter. She also ensures that I take the pregnancy tablets as prescribed.
Week 4: Second Trimester
My worries grew. My savings are not enough to cater for my nutrition cost, layette and other bills. Am afraid because I think this might affect my unborn child. I don’t want to burden any of my relative. I am even afraid to ask them for any financial assistance. Luckily, my boyfriends resurface and accept to take the cost with my assistance. We sit down the three of us and with the help of my aunt came up with a list of the major requirement and the cost. Though it seems a bit expensive, we vow to give our child the best according to our capability. My boyfriend takes me for sonogram and the child turn out to be a boy. He is so happy and handles me with a lot of care. No more fights and quarrels. He also takes me for Medicaid and with this, am happy because my financial worries are no longer there. Music festivals at school are starting. I feel very bad because I cannot participate due to my status. Our instructor wishes I were there since I am the best dancer. I admire the moves and wish I were right in the middle of it but to no avail. It is my favorite but I have just realized how much I am going to miss due to my status.
Week 5: Second Trimester
My tummy is growing bigger and bigger. I wonder how the baby looks like in the tummy. At times I think deeper and wonder who he might resemble. I or the father. I go through the handout given to me by WIC once more just to ensure that all is well. I know by now that most of the organs have been formed. At times I feel him move and wonder whether they are movements of joy or irritation. I decide to ignore the later since I have been avoiding the don’ts at all cost, following the diet as said by the specialist and controlling my emotions. We spend most of the weekends by going out for drinks. Since I became pregnant, I stopped the behavior. Instead, we would go out for a walk as an exercise, picnics or even pay a surprise visit to specialist where we had healthy chats on my situation and the future of our child. Talk of the future and the question cross my mind; will he marry me when the right time comes or will he abandon us after the child is born? I dint ask him but hoped that one of this fine days he will be able to tell me. The thought of raising our baby alone was unbearable at my young age and without a job.
Week 6: Third Trimester
Everything is now happening so fast. My months are due. Everybody around me is so supportive. My mother comes once in a while to visit me. With her help, I purchase the layette and other personal items for the baby’s arrival. The women neighbors start telling me the experiences at the labor ward through to the delivery. My fears heighten. Mother and aunt keeps on encourage me and assures me that all shall be well. My boyfriend prefers taking me to the doctors’ appointments. I narrate some of my fears to the doctor who assures me that all shall be well. I pray that I go through normal delivery rather than the caesarian section. But only the almighty God grants that. The doctor directs us to the health department for assistance. With their assistance I once more have a feeling that all will be well as promised by the others.
Week 7: Third Trimester
The radiant light on my face expresses everything. It can happen any time from now. The joy of reaching the end of the road is inexpressible. The hospital, labor ward and its vicinity is very clear in my mind. Everything is well packed because I can go there anytime. The doctor had advised that I needed a lot of exercise particularly at this time. Even though it seemed difficult, I tried my best because I did not wish for any complications during delivery feel weak and tired. Movement is so difficult. The body aches and I feel more uncomfortable most of the time. My boyfriend urges me to continue with the exercise. He promises to be with me till the end hope that they will both be there to assist me in case of any problem during delivery. My tummy is very heavy and big an indication that the baby might be big. I try as much as possible to avoid weird thoughts crossing my Mind know my baby will be born healthy. He will get the support of all the parents and relatives from his birth through to his growth. When the day comes, I will face it with courage. Forget all the weird stories I have been told. Bring my first child to this world with joy of being a mother at fifteen. I hope all will be okay.
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Berk, L.E (2010). Exploring Lifespan Development. Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
Isaac, Rhys (1982). The Transformation of Virginia 1740–1790. University of North Carolina Press.
Jones, L. P., Harris, R., & Finnegan, D. (2002). School attendance demonstration project: An evaluation of a program to motivate public assistance teens to attend and complete school in an urban school district. Research on Social Work Practice