Views and experiences of teenage pregnancies

The issue of teenage pregnancy has been one of the hardest experiences for many young and developing individuals. This is because they have had to experience a lot of changes in their lives for instance their studies have been interrupted as a result of teenage pregnancies, majority have experienced pressure and psychological stress and more a lot of emotional problems that affect their feelings of shame. Teenage pregnancies are mostly unplanned for and pregnancy concerns responsibility requiring serious decision making in readiness to face the difficulties involved in giving birth as well as the upbringing of the child.

Since teenage pregnancies are most of the time unplanned for, the teenage mothers face a number of psychological, medical and economic problems. They also have to decide on what to do with the pregnancy by making a choice to either give birth hence parenting the child, give the baby for adoption or terminating the pregnancy and this has been the toughest challenges that teenage mothers have had to face accompanied by heavy influence of their teachers, friends and parents and as a result, these teenagers have always opted for abortion (Bill, 1997).

One of the serious implications into the early initiation of sexual activity has been as a result of teenage pregnancies. This has led into consequences such unattended births, decreased employment opportunities. Teenage pregnancy and birth rates are highest in the U. K. as compared with other countries in Western Europe. The country has the highest birth rates which are twice that of Germany thrice that of France and six times as high as the rate in Netherlands. It is evident that the U. K.

faces the challenges of tackling the issue concerning teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections that is commonly found among the teenagers (Bekaert, 2005). Becoming parents for some teenagers may seem not to be a big issue of concern whereas majority wish they had waited. There are various reasons as to why teenagers get pregnant. The rate of teenage pregnancy is high because many young teenage girls and boys do not have any information concerning contraceptives and they do not know any possible places that could help them get advice. This therefore means that they certainly engage in unprotected sex.

Majority of these teenagers may also be lacking confidence that could enable them to access and use the services that provide these contraceptives. Another reason why teenagers get pregnant is that some avoid using contraceptives as a result of their religious beliefs and also some may have heard negative stories concerning the side effects of contraceptives more so the risks on health that they possess (Cherry, Dillon, & Rugh, 2001). Unlike the other European countries, the U. K. teenagers are not free to talk openly about sex with their parents since they are embarrassed.

Moreover some of the teenagers have not really thought about their future lives and the implications of early parenting. In addition, some teenage girls who have been through difficult relationship that have eventually affected their self-image have resulted into teenage pregnancies as they believe that this will help them to improve their credibility. Teenage pregnancy coupled with child beaming can be termed as stressful events for both teenage males and teenage mothers (Coleman & Roker, 1998). Besides the high rates of teenage pregnancies that the U. K. experiences, there are quite a number of some common myths surrounding this.

In the U. K. , those teenagers at the ages of 15, 16 or 17 worry a lot if at all they are still virgins as they tend to believe that they are sexually inactive unlike the others of their age bracket. As a result admitting to be a virgin or willing to remain one is unacceptable as regards the beliefs and values of their peer group. This also results into young people pretending to be sexually active and even young as far as taking contraceptives that they actually do not need. The other beliefs are that one that regards physical contact under this belief, physical contact has to lead to sex which involves penetration.

Man is always ready for sex and he also has to show emotions such as tenderness. There is also the belief that having an exciting sex has to involve risks or that sex should mostly be spontaneous and natural and this certainly results into not using contraceptives and as a result disssapointments follow suit hence majority of the teenagers confess that they were cheated or let down by their partners. Lastly another belief concerning sex in the U. K. is the attitude that sex should never be talked about as an issue of concern has been a major challenge in the U.

K. hence difficulty by parents to ask their children to negotiate the use of condoms during sex. Hence increases in unwanted pregnancies (Graham, Eleonore, & Hardill, 2001). There are a number of risks that are associated with teenage pregnancies and this also includes possible dangers to them. Teenage pregnancies could pose health risks to both mother and child and there are various problems associated with these for instance teenage mothers are at high risk of experiencing problems during pregnancy since they lack early parental care.

Moreover, these teenage mothers are more likely to deliver babies who have low weights or have premature babies. The survival chances for these infants are minimal and for those who survive majority experience problems in school learning hence classified as learning disabled or retarded (Holgate & Francis, 2006). The common risks faced by a teenager who is pregnant include premature labour, fetal death, problems associated with the blood pressure which could be low, swelling among others.

Teenage mothers are also bound to face health risks which include AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, inability to add weight and hypertension, anemia, renal disease and depressive diseases. Moreover, the accessing of health care facilities and resources is limited to these teenage mothers since they knowledge about this is also limited. These teenage parents also lack parenting skills because of immaturity hence they are unable to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for their children.

This therefore leads to many teenage mother experiencing metal and other emotional problems as they try to cope with parenting. The babies born to these teenage mothers are also at higher risks of physical abuse and neglect, substance abuse and also face the risk of being teenage parents again. Teenagers who fall pregnant often drop out of school and this could result in the long-term unemployment of these mothers or they could opt for job options that pay poorly. They could also experience stigmatization from their families and friends.

In addition, these teenagers have a high degree of complications during pregnancy and also at delivery time (Hunt, 2004). Those aged over 14 years are linked with smoking, inadequate diet and poor antenatal care. Whereas those that are under the age of 15 years could experience complications related to their biological maturity. On the other hand, these teenage mothers have also a greater – risk of contracting postnatal depression than the older women and they are more prone to many risks during their pregnancy than a twenty or thirty year old woman (Jackson, 2001).

The outcomes of teenage pregnancies could also be determined by various social and economic factors. Poor economic situation has been a major risk concerning teenage pregnancy and also single parenting. This has been coupled up with the fact that most teenage fathers have not lived up to their responsibilities of taking care of their teenage babies, have not taken their sexual relationships at a serious level and have always remained adamant in terms of creating a family even if their teenage partners became pregnant.

This has prompted the pregnant girls to always remain close to their parents while facing all the problems concerning parenting their own children with or in the absence of support and understanding (Jones & Battle 1990). It is also noted that those living in poverty are more likely to become pregnant that one girls from good and professional backgrounds. Therefore these children are at greater risk of growing up in poverty and experience poor social outcomes and health.

The teenage mother’s future prospects of development are also affected as regards their careers and other potential achievements. This is because most of the time they are tied down into parenting as they do not have adequate time to further their studies hence advancing their careers while at the same time engaging in other productive but non-academic work that could be beneficial to them such as games (Luker, 1997). There are also a lot of great risks that are connected to babies such as weaknesses and undevelopment since the majority of teenage girls drink alcohol, take drugs and even smoke.

As a result this is a great risk for babies’ health and this could result in problems such as blindness, cerebral palsy, deafness, respiratory problems, mental disabilities among other diseases. These diseases pose a risk of increasing the infant mortality rates in the country. Moreover, children born out of teenage pregnancies more often receive limited healthcare because of the money shortages that teenage mothers face and this also applies to the extent in which these mothers are able to cover medical expenses for their children including other necessities such as quality clothes, food, shelter and so forth.

(O’Brien & Brannen, 1996). Teenage mothers have not been able to provide these basic needs to their children because of the financial constraints that they experience as neither their parents nor friends are willing to help them as they accuse them of being a burden to them. This is a form of stigmatization that these teenage mothers have held to encounter during and after pregnancy. In addition, these young parents are not in a position to master well the skills involved in parenting and also ways of satisfying the needs of their children and as a result, they have always failed and performed poorly as parents (Queenan, 1999).

Teenage parents in addition face several risks that are connected to conflicts arising from possible violence, families, tendency to continue having teenage pregnancies in the family history, neglect and child abuse, emotional problems, poor performance in their private lives as well as in schools, depressions, stresses just to mention. Lastly, negative social tendency in our society has been as a result of teenage pregnancies.

This has led the government into spending billions of pounds in initiating programmes that help in tackling this issue of teenage pregnancies as a way of supporting them including their families and children as well as putting in place necessary measures that could be useful in preventing teenage pregnancies among the adolescents and the youth in the U. K. This therefore has been a major challenge that the government has had to face in order to reduce the current high rates of pregnancy (teenage pregnancy) in the U. K.

which has a greater number of teenage pregnancies as compared to other countries in the Western Europe. Therefore teenage pregnancy is associated with a number of risks which include violence and sexual abuse in childhood, poor school performance, low maternity education, unsuitable housing regular conflicts between members, low esteem. Therefore, although it could be an exciting and beautiful thing to become a teenage parent as a result of teenage pregnancies, this has created a frightening and uncertain times for these teenage mothers majority of whom had not planned to get pregnant.

Others on the other hand, have abusive parents who are not in any way ready to often any financial, social or even spiritual support for these teenage mothers. The biological father of the child unfortunately is often not prepared for marriage or parenthood hence abandoning the teenage mother at the crucial time when she really needs any form of support from the father of her child. Parents on the other hand have not been supportive as these teenage mothers have to frequently bear with the hostile environments at home (Tremayne, 2001). Teenage pregnancy rates have been high in the U. K. for various reasons.

They include; low expectations on employment opportunities and education for a number of teenagers, mixed messages that these teenagers get concerning sex, ignorance about use of contraceptives among other factors. In explaining about the low expectations, we find that in the U. K. teenage pregnancy is commonly found among the young people mostly teenage girls who are disadvantaged because of poverty and this result in their poor expectations concerning their education and even the job market. These young people who mostly do not foresee any prospects concerning the job incurred or their future are increasing at an accelerating rate in the U.

K. poverty has had adverse effects on these teenagers since they find that having children is the only remaining consolation in their daily lives and moreover majority of poor people have had to drop out of school. Another factor that has contributed to the increased rate of teenage pregnancies in the U. K. is ignorance. Majority of young people in the U. K. do not have any basic knowledge concerning the use of contraceptives as well as knowledge on sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea, do not have any idea as to what parenthood entails and they are uncertain of what to get or gain from a relationship.

They have a rosy knowledge and view concerning what parenthood is. The rate of use of contraceptives is low in the U. K. as compared to countries such as Netherlands and Denmark. Since these teenagers do not have adequate knowledge concerning contraception they have resulted into engaging in unprotected sex hence increasing their chances of getting pregnant at an early age and risk of contracting various sexually transmitted diseases such as STIs (Sexual Transmitted Infections). HIV?

AIDS as well as other infections that could end up endangering their lives as well as those of their babies whether already born or unborn. Ignorance is a bad thing because knowledge leads to being wise hence enabling one to make decisions that benefit their lives. Ignorance leads to poor choices and knowledge concerning major issues that could be useful to a person’s life. This therefore remains another challenge that the government needs to keenly look into and address this issue.

Mixed messages that young people experience concerning sex is also another major contributing factor that concerns teenage pregnancy. They are surrounded by a lot of images and messages that are mostly sexually from the adult world that portray that engaging in sexual activities is a norm. Moreover, some public institutions as well as parents have been embarrassed on how to best deal with young people especially concerning on their sexually and hence they mostly try their very best to ignore the situation.

Therefore, this is a very dangerous path to follow as this could have adverse effects on teenagers as early teenage pregnancies are bound to occur and increase because teenagers do not use contraceptives hence engaging in unproductive sexual activities, risk of contracting sexual diseases, dropping out of school because of early teenage pregnancies, stigmatization from students, parents and teachers as well as other psychological and physiological effects (Wakley & Chambers, 2001).

Lack of sex education and proper healthcare in the U. K. schools and colleges can also be another reason as to why teenage pregnancy rates have been on the increase. It is essential that sex education is introduced in these schools so as to create awareness about sex among teenagers especially the youth and adolescents.

Specialists have also underlined that talking freely about sex and the problems involving sexual relationships with their parents, friends as well as teachers is a way of preventing this teenager freely about sex and the problems involving sexual relationships with their parents, friends as well as teachers is a way of preventing this teenagers from engaging in early sexual activities as well as parent hood.

Hence, it is important to introduce programs that will enable these teenagers to be aware of sexuality and sexual relationship problems and as a result the rate of teenage pregnancies will be reduced as teenagers are in a position to make vital decisions and choices. It is surprising that today approximately more than a billion teenagers aged between 10 – 19 years old are unable to get reproductive health care that they require hence being left out of the decisions that certainly will affect their lives.

From the fact file concerning the sexual health of young people, the risk of death that a child from a teenage mother aged between 15 – 19 years is twice as high as compared to mothers aged 20 years and above. It is stated that 500,000 people who are under the age of 25 have been able to contract a sexually transmitted disease everyday and the United Nations has been able to estimate that nearly 50% of the young people between the ages of 15 – 24 have been infected with HIV (www. globaleye. org. uk/secondary-summer2002focuson/teenage. UK. html).

The U. K. comprises of 39% who have been infected with AIDS are in their 20’s hence this means that majority who had contracted HIV infections were teenagers by then. In addition, more than 90,000 teenage girls become impregnated yearly 7,700 of who are under the age of 16 years. Therefore teenage mothers are forced to drop out of school or simply give up their jobs because of the unplanned pregnancies. it is only a few who have other means of support hence they already know where to get support for their unborn babies during parenthood (www.

globaleye. org. uk/secondary-summer2002focuson/teenage. UK. html). On the other hand, young men have also lacked support concerning the issue of teenage pregnancies because they have mostly been sidelined by the services offered by family planning. However those young men also need to take responsibilities that concerns sexual activities which also includes the diseases involved in this as well as being able to learn and comprehend the roles that they need to play as teenage fathers (www. globaleye. org.

uk/secondary-summer2002focuson/teenage. UK. html) Teenage pregnancy and teenage motherhood has remained one of the controversial issues in the U. K. which has resulted in the attraction of the consistent monitoring and attention from various agencies, academics, policy-makes as well as the media. This therefore, calls for the need of a number of approaches in the U. K. that could be helpful in preventing the rate of teenage pregnancies. The U. K. government has tried to tackle this issue in various ways.

In 1999, it announced its plans to have the rate of which teenage pregnancies occur by the year 2010 and reproductive health-care has been selected as one of the important ways that could be helpful in attaining this target. This is because the availability of an effective reproductive health care can help these young people to be able to learn about sexuality and the different choices that they could apply in helping them tackle issues concerning pregnancy and their prevention and these teenage mothers can also be in a position to acquire support (www. globaleye.

org. uk/secondary-summer2002focuson/teenage. UK. html). This also calls for a multidisciplinary approach to be undertaken by professional in order to tackle the issues that have resulted in the adverse effects of the current level of teenager pregnancies in the U. K. as a result of increased sexual activities. The problem of teenage pregnancies in the U. K. has taken a wide range of dimensions coupled with a number of causations hence the strategies to be used in amelioration and remediation should be multi-dimensional, multi-faceted and multi-objective.

The professionals also need to acknowledge the non existence of instantaneous solutions. They should also be able to establish long-range goals that have outlined measurable objectives that are essential in meeting these goals (Hunt, 2004). The multidisciplinary forces and approaches also need to establish effective to enhance planning at both the macro and micro levels which need to be undertaken simultaneously both at the local community level and at the federal level.

In addition, there needs to be a sharing of the outcome of the mentioned programmes with all those who are concerned either through related professional vehicles or the mass media. Duplication of successful programmes also need to be performed nationally. The state also needs to show commitment together with the local community in order to make this issue of teenage pregnancy a top priority. The government also needs to allocate more funds to enable the support of these programmes and also in the demonstration and research projects.

The evaluation and analysis also need to be supported. This multifaceted programmes should also include programmes such as education so as to improve the basic skills and knowledge concerning teenage pregnancies, focus on skills concerning jobs so as to prepare these teenagers to be well incorporated in labor force. Extra curriculum and social support is also essential in building and enhancing the self-esteem of these teenagers as well as their development of a strong knowledge concerning family values among the teenagers.

Parenting skills as well as sexuality is also a vital component in the provision of a comprehensive healthcare (Hunt, 2004). To be able to tackle this issue of increasing rates of teenage pregnancies in the U. K. , schools colleges in the U. K. therefore need to offer good comprehensive sex as well as education on relationships, the youth should be able to access services that are people friendly and lastly there should be an open altitude as regards sex as this will enable these young people to make informed decisions and choices.

The youth also need to be motivated in order to be able to achieve higher education levels. This motivation and availability of comprehensive knowledge that concerns sexuality will enable the youth to be aware of the use of contraceptives, their practice and other greater social support services that are provided for the prevention of both diseases and pregnancies among the youth. Peer education is considered to be one of the most positive influences that lead in the reduction of teenage pregnancies.

On the other hand, television are also found to be the most effective tools that help young people in the definition of cultural norms hence influencing the young people’s perception concerning the real world and other social behaviours that are acceptable. Radio, televisions, magazines and newspapers are popularly known for conveying messages about preventive health hence regarded as appropriate ways that can help keep the youth engaged in moral activities (Jackson, 2001).

To conclude, since the society is constantly on the move, it is essential that comprehensive approaches are set to be able to reduce the current trends in teenage pregnancy. This will also be helpful in reducing risks such as unprotected sex early pregnancies as well as school drop-out rates Teenagers should also be able to access a variety of life choices so as to be in a position to address the existing real economic barriers that exists in the U.

K. Therefore reduction in the rates of teenage pregnancies calls for the existence of widely available information concerning the use of contraceptives together with their services, education on sex and relationships as well as the existence of an open and agreeable attitudes as regards sexuality among children.

The key factors that contribute to increased rates in the teenage pregnancies also need to be eliminated. Such factors include; deprivation and poverty, low expectations, poor achievements in education among others. It is therefore essential to take seriously the views and experiences that teenage mothers experience by setting up effective programmes that could be helpful in addressing these issues.

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