Let’s be honest – going through pregnancy as a teen mom is probably not going to be easy particularly if you are young person in the foster care system. However, it is definitely possible.
Our young women in Newburyport push through the trials of teen pregnancy every day. Many people say it is hard enough just being a teenager by itself – add in pregnancy and all that planning and preparing that comes with it, and it becomes even more challenging. Sometimes, “challenge” can be an understatement.
Though women are able to give birth at a very young age, there are some possible risks when you have a child early on in your teen years. Here are a few risks that are greater if you are pregnant before the age of 15 or you do not seek prenatal care: low birth weight/premature birth, anemia (low iron levels), high blood pressure/pregnancy induced hypertension, PIH (can lead to preeclampsia), a higher rate of infant mortality (death) and the possible greater risk of cephalopelvic disproportion.
However, our Newburyport team works with our pregnant and parenting moms to help them with high quality prenatal care. They connect them to top obstetricians who make sure our girls are getting the right amount of nutrients including prenatal vitamins, take them on regular prenatal visits, help them pursue a healthy lifestyle while taking childbirth and parenting classes.
Our team of professionals work tirelessly to ensure that our young moms are going to be able to complete their high school education while also trying to gain some financial independence. We work in partnership with the public schools to make sure that there is frequent and quality communication between our pregnant and parenting mom to avoid any struggles be they academic or scheduling. We also work in partnership with local community colleges if our teen moms are interested in continuing their education. In order to prepare our young mothers for transitioning from our program to their own apartment, we work to help them learn about budgeting. We talk about planning for expenses like food, rent, utilities, medical care for your baby, food and other expenses that can be challenging to manage.
We know that all of these challenges are not going to be easy, but we work to encourage our teen moms to work around the various obstacles that are in their path. We make sure they are familiar with all of the resources, help, and support that is available. We try to stay close to our girls so they are around positive, supportive people who will be able to push through and become a part of the growing community of teen moms.
Some of the content for this blog was taken from this journal.