The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy
The issue of teenage 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 among other effects (Arai 13). Girls in adolescent stage are likely to engage in unplanned sexual intercourse without protection and 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 (Arai 14-15). This paper seeks to address adolescent pregnancy, its effects, and stages of labor among other issue that emanate from teenage pregnancies such as abortion.
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; for instance, a 15 year old pregnant girl or in labor requires help. Some of the resolutions 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 (Alez 68). Therefore, it is right to say that when a teenager gets pregnant, she subjects everyone close to her to worrying of her well being, and more contemplate on whether she is in a position to bring another human being to this world.
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 is a very important factor to the 15 year old (McBride 97).
Adolescent pregnancy is characterized with higher rates of mortality and morbidity (Schalet 68). 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 (Berlatsky 123). Therefore, one can argue at this point that teenage pregnancy is not only dangerous to the mother, but also to her baby in the womb. 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.
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 (Alez 53).
Stage one: early and active labor
The initial phase of labor takes place when cervix dilates and effaces in order to allow smooth delivery. Child labor has many stages and the first one tends to be the 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. This experience is significantly painful and tiring more so to teenage mothers whose bodies may not have grown well to a baby accommodating size (Francome 98).
Stage two: the birth of the baby
This is the final delivery stage bringing forth 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 (Alez 64).
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. At this stage, care providers’ deliver the placenta and controls bleeding. Delivery of placenta takes about 5 minutes. It may take up to 30 minutes more so in young mothers cases (Aria 97).
Abortion as an effect of teenage pregnancy
The above stages are for teenagers who opt to keep the baby and see to its delivery. However, teenage pregnancy does not always lead to delivery, there are those who opt to get rid of the fetus before it could reach the natural delivery stage. This is what is referred to as fetus abortion. In defining abortion, it can said to be the act of pregnancy termination. It can an also be defined as the act expelling an embryo or a fetus from the uterus before birth, or before it is able to survive outside the womb (Francome 23). This definition is so because; an embryo or fetus may have attained a certain level of maturity or growth, which in return can allow it to survive outside a uterus. This is as long as the right life support practices are observed (Palmer 32). However, there are other pregnancies that come out of the uterus without any inducement or personal interferences. This is referred to as a miscarriage, since they occur spontaneously without necessarily being induced (McBride 08). However, in cases where a miscarriage is induced, it is also referred to as an abortion since if the pregnancy was not interfered with, it would never come out. Therefore, the term abortion generally means the terminating act of a pregnancy from a human being, and it has come to adopt many roles in the American society.
America has become one of the countries in the world whose high rates of abortion have caused alarm. It has become role player in this country’s culture for there are people who would want it abolished indefinitely, others would want to see it upheld. Others are divided and as they do support it, but on some condition, and also due to a number of reasons. There has been a lot of contention emanating from the federal government, the media, different legal groups and the public on the grounds to which an abortion can be performed and which it cannot (Palmer 12). The governments (both state and federal) have held numerous debates resulting in a political showdown on the matter, as each state feels this matter should be dealt with as a states matter and not as a federal one. Abortion was not legal in this country. This was until its illegality was challenged in the infamous Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court in 1973. By the 1980s, there were many women who were carrying out abortions all over the United States.
Effects of abortion on teenage mothers
This was the first time that abortion illegality was successfully challenged in court. This saw massive abortions carried out in health centers in the US. However, mankind has not gotten away with these abortions. Research statistics indicate shows that every year, more than final million women get admitted in hospitals for abortion. As if that was not enough, the world loses approximately 80, 000 women per year to unsafe abortions (Berlatsky 71). Other than these hospital admissions and maternal deaths, there is also a new study which show that more than 44million pregnancies termination procedures are carried out every year. However, this number is expected to drop, and in deeded it is dropping due to introduction of contraceptives, and family planning methods in the 21st century. As result of this number being this high, the world embarked on legalizing some abortion procedures. This is more so depending on the circumstances under which a woman became pregnant, or her health conditions (Waters, Roberts & Morgen 32). However, research shows that most women seek abortions are as result of unintended pregnancies, and not as victims of sexual abuse or medical problems. As a result, research now rates the percentage of the women with access to legal abortion procedures at 40 percent globally.
The American public has different opinion in regard to this matter. Most of the public still view abortion as privacy right although this point was dismissed after “the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case of 1992”. These people still feels that a woman reserves the right to have an abortion from a certified and licensed physician. They argue that many people have different reasons as to why they have abortions carried out in the states. Most of them cite economic challenges, especially with the deteriorating economy of this country (McBride 68). As a result, they feel that an American should be able to live the way he wants without being told by the government how to live because another uncertain member in a family. They say that in as much as the act is godly, what would be more ungodly would be to bring another child in the world to suffer from poverty and malnutrition among other challenges (Waters, Roberts & Morgen 56). They feel that is why we have many inmates in our recreational facilities as they involve themselves in life of crime in trying to make ends meet. They argue this is because their mothers brought them to this world without their parents having properly planned for them.
Some members of the public also feels that if a parent was forced to bring forth a child they did not want in this world, they would end up hating the child, pushing him/her away and subjecting them to a life of suffering. This would mean that such a child may also develop hatred feelings towards their parents either resulting into criminal acts like manslaughter and murder. There would also be hatred in our society if we filled it with families who hated one another with passions. This is because they would be blaming each other for their failures and misfortunes in life. The American public feels that even if a poor mother may want to keep her pregnancy, she may not be in a position to feed her child once born (McBride 18). They cite things like how programs like the Social Security and welfare have failed to serve their purpose in the United States of America. These are programs that were established the in the early 1930’s with the intention of keeping the Great Depression that happened then, from ever again attacking the united states of America. In as much as women have concerns on the well being an unborn child, they seem to forget worrying about themselves. They overlook medical, mental and physical complications that come with abortion. Some teenagers who either voluntarily or forcefully participate in abortions experience depression at an early age due to the guilt of performing the act leading them to an early grave. This is because some of them fail to cope with their guilt of the act and even end up committing suicides among other crimes such as stealing other peoples’ babies. Others never get to conceive again while others even develop medical complications from acts such as abortion.
In conclusion, there are many negative effects f teenage pregnancy. They range from complication during the pregnancy period and even during the period of labor for those who decide to keep the baby. There are those who terminate their pregnancies, but this does not mean they avoid the consequences of their mistakes. Some of them end up developing medial and physical complications, while others end up dead due to depression among other guilt crimes.
Alez, Gaby. Teenage Pregnancy: Causes and Impact. U.S.A: s.n, 2011. Print.
Arai, Lisa. Teenage Pregnancy: The Making and Unmaking of a Problem. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2009. Print.
Berlatsky, Noah. Abortion. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Print.
Francome, C. (2004). Abortion in the USA and the UK. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate.
McBride, Dorothy E. Abortion in the United States: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2007. Internet resource.
Palmer, Louis J. Encyclopedia of Abortion in the United States. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland, 2002. Print.
Schalet, Amy T. Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. Print.
Waters, J., Roberts, A. R., & Morgen, K. (September 06, 1997). High Risk Pregnancies: Teenagers, Poverty, and Drug Abuse. Journal of Drug Issues, 27, 3, 541-562.