A Candid Conversation on Teen Moms/Teen Pregnancy Prevention by Queen Afi Gaston
(Founder, Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags)
I AM A TEEN MOM! EDUCATE ME: The Guttmacher Institute (2006), a New York City based quantitative research organization, reported that teenage pregnancy in the United States is equal to approximately 750,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age. While the rate of teenage pregnancy seemed to be declining since reaching its peak in 1990, it still continues to be a major concern to health care providers, education systems, and even the governmental agencies that will provide support for these teenagers and their unborn children.
Why Am I Afraid to Tell: Parents don’t understand the peer pressure that teen girls face by teen boys. Parents may criticize judge, and/or blame teen moms which can cause depression and stressors for teen mom and baby. Parents seem so critical and many of them don’t understand because they want better for their children, but we have to understand that children will make mistakes. Suggestion, parents we want to open the door and always effectively communicate the hard topics with our children such as sex. Parents we have to share when we were teenagers because ultimately that’s what saves their life. They will remember the things we have shared with them and naturally want to do better.
What Teen Moms Need: Teen Moms need to know that we care and understand that have made a mistake and we say mistake because they are minors having children. Teen Moms need their questions to be answered before the baby comes and more so after. It is not fair as parents and or legal guardians to disown the teen mom and leave her to make it on her own. Teen Moms are babies themselves, and need their parents to listen and care during pregnancy.
Facts about Teen Pregnancy: Teen pregnancy can have serious consequences for girls, including decreased chances of finishing school, a difficult financial future, and health risks for both the mother and the child. If you are thinking about having sex, it is important to know that the effects can last a lifetime. Almost 50 percent of teens have never considered how a pregnancy would affect their lives. Less than half of teen mothers ever graduate from high school and fewer than two percent earn a college degree by age 30. With increasing demands in schooling necessary to qualify for a well-paying job, it is more important than ever to finish high school.
Do Teen Girls Know About Ovulation: I have been out in the community, schools, sex education programs, surrounding myself with teens and many of them know nothing about ovulation. Example, I asked a teen girl when you can get pregnant. She said, 7 days before the period, and another said, all month. Cleary we as parents have dropped the ball and many of us aren’t educating our teens on SEX EDUCATION because some of us are afraid, it’s against your religion, and/or no one told you.
1. Check the calendar: Ovulation most often occurs halfway through your menstrual cycle — the average cycle lasts 28 days, counting from the first day of one period (day one) to the first day of the next period. But as with everything pregnancy-related, there’s a wide range of normal here (anywhere from 23 to 35 days), and your own cycle may vary slightly from month to month. By keeping a menstrual calendar for a few months, you can get an idea of what’s normal for you. (When you become pregnant, this calendar will come in handy to get a better estimate of your baby’s due date!) If your periods are irregular, you’ll need to be even more alert for other signs of ovulation, so read on.
2. Listen to your body: If you’re like 20 percent of women, your body will send you a memo when it’s ovulating, in the form of a twinge of pain or a series of cramps in your lower abdominal area (usually localized to one side — the side you’re ovulating from). Called mittelschmerz — German for “middle pain” — this monthly reminder of fertility is thought to be the result of the maturation or release of an egg from an ovary. Pay close attention, and you may be more likely to get the message. These are two very good tips to prevent pregnancy.
Empowering Teen Moms with Sex Education: Empowering families, communities and educators to help teens become healthy, contributing adults is a surefire way to strengthen our future. Statewide reports show a decline in teen pregnancy and teen birth rates which is positive for programs that provide teens with accurate, age-appropriate sex education, and access to confidential sexual health services (The Daily Freeman Journal, 2012). Parents educate your teens on sex education in your home or put them in a position where they can get right teachings on teen pregnancy prevention.
To learn more about Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags, visit them online at www.DVWMTS.org.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.