Unwanted Pregnanciesin Adolescence and Negative Repercussions
Pregnancy in adolescence is an impact of considerable magnitude in the life of young people, in their health, in that of their child, their partner, their family, and the community as a whole. One of the predisposing factors for teenage pregnancy is the early onset of sexual life. “In the United States in the year of 2017, a total of 194,377 babies were born to women aged 15 to 19, with a birth rate of 18.8 per 1,000 women in this age group” (“About Teen Pregnancy | CDC”, 2018). Most teenage pregnancies are considered unforeseen or unwanted pregnancies, caused by peer pressure, low income, and low level of schooling.
Peer pressure is always difficult, especially if it’s about sex. Some teens decide to have sex prematurely because their friends think it’s cool. Young people not only have to fight against the direct pressure to have sex with whom they are dating, but there is also a group pressure implemented by friends who want to know if they have done it or not. They may also feel an internal pressure to stay at the same level as their friends since they are not well seen if they are the last of the group to lose their virginity as if it were a competition to lose their virginity.
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According to the survey conducted at Ashland Youth Center in San Leandro, 60% of the teenagers belong to low-income families. Teenage pregnancies are more likely to occur in the low-income communities; this may be because contraceptives are too expensive for them or because of their socioeconomic status they do not have medical insurance. The lack of opportunities for personal development, sexual education, access to contraceptive methods together with the impossibility of aborting in a legal, safe and free manner, further increase the gap of possibilities for adolescents with fewer resources.
Another cause of juvenile pregnancy observed in the Ashland Youth Center in San Leandro is the low level of schooling. Many of the adolescents, reported having little or no knowledge about the functioning of the human body with regard to procreation and the different contraceptive methods that exist in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The low level of education greatly influences youth pregnancy since access to information and education are determining factors for the use of contraceptive methods and consequently the prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
In the survey conducted at Ashland Youth Center in San Leandro, there is evidence of a relationship between low economic resources, low level of schooling, peer pressure and teenage pregnancy, thus generating a growing circle of poverty in our country, a social situation that will have a negative impact on the future of the country. Therefore, the health professionals should provide the necessary care for the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of this problem.
Nursing professionals must perform a global approach in order to prevent pregnancy in adolescents, provide timely and quality care to reduce complications once this has occurred and limit their long-term negative consequences. This approach can be carried out through the education provided to young women about their sexuality and about the implications it can bring for them, for their family and even for the child, to be mothers at this stage of their lives. Within the most relevant problems that occur in adolescence, pregnancy can be mentioned, currently considered a public health problem worldwide.
Once the pregnancy has occurred, nursing care should be oriented to provide an interdisciplinary approach, where comprehensive biopsychosocial care is provided and the couple, family or caregiver is involved. Likewise, it is crucial to identify the care needs of adolescent pregnant women, with the purpose of providing nursing care consistent with this population group. Strengthen self-care in the pregnant adolescent, in order to carry out the necessary care to preserve their well-being, and at the same time to ensure that it leads to a pregnancy, delivery, and puerperium without complications.
Additionally, strengthen education for health in teenage pregnant women, couple and family during prenatal care, offering training on knowledge of risk factors during pregnancy, counseling in breastfeeding, care during pregnancy, childbirth, puerperium, and newborn care, as well as promoting or strengthening the bonding process mother-child. Provide counseling in contraception, with the purpose of preventing new pregnancies in adolescents and the complications that this entails.
In conclusion, it can be said that adolescence is characterized as a difficult period and great emotional lability that can be even more affected when a pregnancy is assumed. In some cases, teenage pregnancy brings with it several negative repercussions for both the newly pregnant woman and the child. It is important to provide education to adolescents in order to prevent pregnancies at younger and younger ages. It is necessary as nursing professionals to educate to contribute to the reduction of the number of teenage pregnancies and therefore avoid complications of both physical and mental health in future teenage mothers.