Adolescent pregnancy and labor

Adolescent pregnancy and labor

The issue of adolescent pregnancy is complex and draws attention for concern. This is because of the nature of risks involved both during pregnancy and in the stages of labor. Girls in adolescent stage are likely to engage in unplanned sexual intercourse without protection and hence get pregnant. Some of the risk factors that a 15 year old pregnant girl is likely to encounter include economic disadvantage, single parenting, poor performance in school, and labor uncertainties (Abma JC et al. 2010). This paper seeks to address adolescent pregnancy and stages of labor.

Girls at adolescent stage are advised to avoid engaging in sexual intercourse. However, the society today exposes girls as young as 10 years old to adult content programs and television shows, intriguing their curiosity. Due to these unpreventable possible causes of engaging into unprotected sex, a 15 year old pregnant girl or in labor requires help. Some of the problems such a young girl needs include: family or community support, discussion and counseling, and several visits to health care center. When in labor, there should be sufficient parental care offered to the girl. This can be done through programs specializing in teen pregnancies in order to ensure a healthy baby. The girl should be assessed for alcohol use, smoking, and drug use and support provided to quit (Elfenbein & Felice, 2011).

A 15 year old girl in labor requires adequate nutrition. This could be implemented through community and education resources. Emphasis should be put on adequate sleep and appropriate exercise. Information about contraception and services are of great importance, especially after delivery to ensure the teen do not become pregnant again. This girl should also be helped and advised to seek educational services and programs in order to equip her with parental skills, and have a financial security and stability. As a teen, affordable and accessible child care will be very important factor to the 15 year old (Abma JC et al. 2010).

Adolescent pregnancy is characterized with higher rates of mortality and morbidity. This is applicable to our case: the 15 year old girl in labor. The girl is most likely to engage in unhealthy habits that may pose great risks to the infant’s growth and development. This may lead to either chemical dependence or infection. These risks get higher when the teen mother is younger. The infants are more likely to die when mothers are in labor at a much younger age. Of more importance is that teen mothers and adolescent girls on labor need to have adequate and early parental care. Some of measures that could be taken to prevent teen pregnancy include: abstinence education programs, programs focusing on knowledge of kids’ bodies, clinic programs to give access to counseling and information, and peer counseling programs involving older teens (Elfenbein & Felice, 2011).

Stages of labor

Every woman has a unique labor. This happens even from a pregnancy to the other. In some instances, labor takes up to few hours, while in other instances, labor can take so long to test the emotional and physical stamina of a mother. A 15 year old girl in labor is not an exception. She undergoes through all the stages of labor. Basically, there are three stages of labor, with the first stage divided into two stages: early labor and active labor (Abma JC et al. 2010).

Stage one: early and active labor

The initial phase of labor takes place when cervix dilates and effaces in order to allow the baby to come out through the birth canal. The first stage of labor is the longest among the three and therefore, is sub divided into two sages: early labor and active labor. During early labor, cervix begins to open. There are mild contractions experienced at this stage. Such contractions come at regular intervals for about 30 to 90 seconds. The contractions become less than five minutes apart when early labor is nearing end. This stage is unpredictable. For teen mothers, especially when it is the first time, the early labor takes about 6 to 12 hours. The duration of the stage becomes shorter with subsequent deliveries. Active labor stage is where the real labor begins. The cervix dilates to about 10 centimeters. Contractions experienced are much longer, regular, stronger, and closer together. Nauseous feeling and cramping of legs are possibilities at this stage. Some sort of pressure might be felt at the back. Active labor takes about up to 8 hours of contractions. The stage might last longer for some women. However, it may be shorter for those who have had several deliveries in the past (Elfenbein & Felice, 2011).

Stage two: the birth of the baby

This is the stage where a woman delivers the baby. This stage is likely to take from several minutes up to a number of hours of pushing the baby. However, it normally takes several hours or longer for teen mothers, especially first time mothers (Abma JC et al. 2010).

Stage three: placenta delivery

This stage is characterized with a sense of relief. Although a mother can hold the baby at this time, a lot of things are still going on. This is the stage where the care provider delivers the placenta and controls bleeding. Delivery of placenta takes about 5 minutes. It may take up to 30 minutes in some cases for some mothers (Elfenbein & Felice, 2011).

 

 

 

 

References

Abma JC et al., (2010). Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and

childbearing, National Survey of Family Growth 2006–2008, Vital and Health Statistics, Series 23, No. 30.

Elfenbein DS & Felice ME (2011). Adolescent pregnancy. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE,

Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;

 

 

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