How to Deal With Children Pregnancy Strategically and Effectively

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How to Deal With Children Pregnancy Strategically and Effectively 7

Children pregnancy can be a dilemma for them and their families. Normally, anger and sadness are reactions the children get. When you experience one, how will you deal with it?

What Are the Main Causes of Children Pregnancy?

· Lack of information

Reproductive health is an important topic to be learned by everyone including males. According to a study, communicating the information about sex does not just inform the young girls about it but also helps them understand the possible causes and effects of engaging in sexual activities such as the different sexually transmitted diseases.[1] The young males are also involved here. Sometimes, young males are expressing their emotions without understanding their capabilities. This happens because they are not knowledgeable of their reproductive physiology. They may know something but they do not know the whole. According to a study, a lack of true knowledge about sexual health can be harmful to young children.[2]

· Sexual violence

According to a study, sexual violence or abuse is another reason why children pregnancy is happening in society today.[3] Exploitation or forced sexual intercourse can lead to pregnancy.

· Early marriage

Forced marriage or early marriage is another cause of children pregnancy. Some parents take a step or a role in choosing the life partner of their children. According to a study, children pregnancy and marriage are intertwined.[4] An early marriage may cause early pregnancy and early pregnancy may lead to marriage. When the latter happens, we cannot deny it, but another children pregnancy may happen again.

· Substance use

Children are very curious and their curiosity may lead them into trying different dangerous substances such as alcohol and drugs especially when they are partying with their friends. When their minds are no longer functioning well, coitus can happen and this leaves two persons unaware that they are at risk of being pregnant.

· Economic status

According to a study, poverty is a big factor when talking about children pregnancy. Families who have low-income make them more prone to miss the opportunity to learn about sexual health and pregnancy. This is because having a low-income is a reason for them to not afford to get their children to go to school or enter programs about sexual health and pregnancy.[5]

· Peer pressure

Your children’s peer groups can change their behaviors and thoughts about sexuality. According to a study, peer pressure is associated with pregnancy specifically for children of ages 13 to 19 years old.[6] This means that your children’s friends or the people they socialize with affect their views about life including activities that are not suited for them.

· Media influence

Technology today greatly affects your children’s choices about their lifestyle. Some children may be tempted to watch pornography and other adult videos. Sadly, in real life, they also try it. According to a study, being exposed to sexual videos or movies can contribute to children pregnancy.[7]

· Engaging in sex at an early age

According to a study, a child who engages in early sex can indeed cause them to get pregnant early, too.[8] Say for example your child once tried to have intercourse and was amazed by a result of a negative pregnancy test. This will trigger your child to do it again unaware that the next time they will engage in sexual activities, it is possible to be pregnant anytime.

· Lack of goals

A child without goals is also at risk of having a pregnancy. Children of a young age do not see their future. Additionally, they tend to get distracted because of love especially when they lack goals and this distraction may lead to children pregnancy.

· Low self-esteem

According to a study, self-esteem and pregnancy are associated. When children feel they are not worthy, their desire to be pregnant increases.[9] If children do not feel their value, they tend to do things without thinking. One risk factor why children pregnancy happens is because some children have low self-esteem. When they feel this, they feel hopeless and settle for what they do not deserve.

· Negative thinking about contraceptives

There are a lot of things that may enter anyone’s mind when it comes to contraceptives and most of these are worries. A child may have negative ideas about these control methods such as they may affect their overall health, may get imbalanced hormones, or sometimes, they just feel shy about taking them.

· Poor school performance

When a child knows that they are failing at school or their academic performance is not acceptable for their parents, they tend to completely shut down. Instead of doing better, a child may feel like it’s better to enjoy and forget about studies as they are failing anyway. A child’s poor academic performance may change his or her direction in life and sometimes this may lead to early pregnancy.

· Family history

Children pregnancy is experienced by a lot of people and according to a study, children pregnancy history by a family is a risk factor for a child to have it experienced too.[10] According to another study, this happens because a child may feel sad and thinks that they are the same as their parents and this gives them no fear of being pregnant.[11]

· Lack of family communication

According to a study, having poor communication and relationship with parents is a risk factor for children pregnancy.[12] Parents are the children’s supervisors and it is necessary to discuss sex openly with children. When this supervision and communication is poor, a child may have bad decision-making skills.

· Single-parent families

According to a study, children pregnancy is associated with a family chart.[13] This means being born and raised in a single-parent family structure is a risk factor for children pregnancy. Some other people say that this happens to children who are lonely in their family especially if they do not have any sibling to reach out to. Eventually, a pregnant child living in a single-parent family structure is also prone to raise a child alone.

What Are the Risks of Children Pregnancy?

· Interrupted education

A pregnant children’s life can change when she gets a baby inside her and of the effects is that this child’s education may be interrupted. According to a study, pregnant children are prone to have an interrupted education, and when this can also lead to unemployment.[14] So, when you think of it, how would children raise their daughters and son without an adequate income?

· Health risks

Not all pregnant children are vulnerable to have health risks but there are many children who may be affected, too. The causes of children pregnancy do not only focus on the mother but also on the baby inside her.

For mother

When a child gets pregnant, she often thinks first about the things she should do. This may cause her to not get a prenatal check-up as soon as she found out that she is bearing a child. When this happens, it may cause her to be anemic especially if she is under 15 years old. Another thing that may happen if a child failed to get a check-up is that she may get pregnancy-related hypertension and in the long run, this can be dangerous.

For children

A child will not know that she is pregnant until her menstruation due date. Without knowledge of this pregnancy, she may continue doing her social activities like drinking and smoking. Sadly, this is dangerous for the baby because the baby might have a premature birth and other complications including birth defects.

· Maternal upstanding

Honestly speaking, what does a child know about parenting? A pregnant child may only know few things about motherhood and the reality is a pregnant child’s morality about being a mom is not yet completely whole. This may stress the child and eventually, the child may pass her stress to her baby.

· Financial burden and complex relationship

Children come unprepared when they get pregnant. Because of their young age, they may get this unemployment status until they reach their legal age. This is a stressor and burden for them as they do not know where to get financial supports for them to give the needs of their babies. Additionally, children are not that mature when it comes to relationships. By saying this, it is possible for a pregnant child’s relationship to get destroyed especially during the days the couple is stressed. This may lead to a child becoming a single parent in the future.

Children Pregnancy: What are the Risks for the Baby?

· Perinatal Mortality

Perinatal mortality means the death of a neonate past 22 weeks inside the womb of a mother. This risk happens during children pregnancy. Perinatal mortality may happen depending on the age of the mother. Below 20 years old women are at a higher risk of having perinatal mortality. Additionally, it is important to know that women of ages 40 and above are also at risk. According to a study, this happens because the physiological features of a child are still immature.[15]

· Neonatal Health

Babies of young mothers are likely to be born with relatively low weight. According to a study, the younger the parent is, the higher the risk for the baby to be born with low birth weight. Additionally, this allows for the baby to be at risk for different health issues and even death.[16] However, it is important to understand that proper prenatal and postnatal care can decrease the level of this risk.

· Infant Health Status

This risk only applies after birth and those involved here are usually those who come from low-income families. Infant health status is at risk when their medical health is not regularly being checked. Normally, a baby gets monthly check-ups to get some medicines, vitamins, and vaccines. However, when a young mother is not able to provide for the needs of the baby because of financial problems, the baby’s health status is at risk.

· Birth Complications

The health complications of a baby born from a child mother can be usually seen when the baby turns one year old. The common issues are the baby’s physical health such as cerebral palsy, asthma, intestinal disorders, eating problems, and vision and hearing problems. It is important to know that good prenatal care and a good environment for the baby before and after being born can decrease this risk.

· Fatal Infant Accidents

This is a surprising risk to understand as it may sound unusual. According to a study, children of young mothers whose age is below 19 years old are more prone to die due to accidents and this happens because a young parent, especially those who failed to get a complete education, has no idea about parenting. This means that an educated mother gives a lower mortality rate for children under one-year-old compared to mothers who failed to attend schooling because of pregnancy. Usually, the causes of death are suffocation, improper sleeping position, and vehicular accidents.[17]

· Cognitive and Motor Development

Brain damage and improper bone growth can also happen to babies born from parents of ages below 16. According to a study, 36 weeks old babies bore from children below 16 years old shows a delay in their cognition and their reaction to stimuli is relatively low. Interestingly, a baby boy is more prone to get this risk compared to a baby girl.[18]

The verbal development and IQ level of a child also depends on the age of their mothers. The younger the mother, the lower level of IQ and delay in verbal development may happen. This also means that when a child starts to go to school at the elementary level, there is a higher risk for that child to fail and repeat the grade level. Thinking about it, the possible reason why failing happens because young parents also fail to guide and teach those little children on their school activities as they are drop-out individuals, too. According to a study, those pregnant children who returned to school are more likely able to guide their babies compared to those pregnant children who decided to stay at home.[19]

· Emotional Effects

Being born to a young parent also has emotional effects on babies. This risk increases especially when there is no emotional stability in the family. Because of being pregnant at an early age, pregnant children do not know the process of parenting including emotional support to their child leading to a low potential result for the babies as they grow older. Starting at birth, emotional skills are also developing but a young parent fails to help in allowing this development to happen. So, what happens is that the self-control and self-confidence of babies also fail to develop.

How do you prevent children pregnancy?

According to a study, children pregnancy is still a problem in the health industry because of the effects it may give on the babies, child mothers, and their families. With this strategies such as programs can be implemented to prevent early children pregnancy.[20]

· Youth Social Development

Programs that can help in enhancing the psychological skills of children are necessary for them to avoid being involved with sexual activities at an early age. It is important to know that parents and relatives are also involved with these programs by acting as supervisors of the children. These kinds of programs concentrate on giving the children educational information and aspirations. Additionally, programs like these may also deepen the relationship of parents with their children as they may bond more while doing the activities.

· Abstinence-only programs

Teaching the children to avoid being involved with activities that may harm them is called abstinence. With these kinds of programs, going activities such as sexual acts, smoking, and drinking can be restrained. These do not just teach morality but also aids in improving the health of every child. Actually, reading books about abstinence can give your child an idea about it.

A Girls' Guide to Abstinence
Best book to teach young children about abstinence

· Sex-education programs

Allowing your children to be educated about sex is a great way to prevent early pregnancy. These kinds of programs will widen your children’s knowledge about sexual activities and their effects on health including sexually transmitted diseases. Reading books about sexually transmitted diseases can scare and keep your child away from sexual acts.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Gives great information about STD and its dangers

· Contraceptive counseling

Contraception is one of the choices when a couple is preventing pregnancy. Interestingly, knowledge about contraception is essential for every child. Counseling can be fully given by health care professionals and with the guide of parents, this can be a very effective way to educate your child about pregnancy.

Contraceptive Choices in Preventing Children Pregnancy

Knowing about contraception, you also have to open your mind and learn to be matured when it comes to the terms and ideas about sexual health and activities. Reading good books about contraception may open your child’s mind about them.

Contraception Made Easy
Knowing the different types of contraception in an easy and understanding way

· Condom

This a common type of contraceptive and it does not only prevent pregnancy but also helps in preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms work by acting as a barrier. So, when a male lets his fluids get out, this condom will prevent the fluid from getting inside the vagina.

Quality condom at a cheaper price

· Oral contraceptive pills

These small pills are very effective in preventing pregnancy. They may come in a pack with 21 pieces or a pack with 28 pieces. These little pills are taken once a day and for them to be 100% effective, the time in taking these pills should always be the same. These pills do not only prevent pregnancy but also gives many different health benefits. However, it is important to remember that before choosing and taking them, a discussion with a physician is always recommended.

· Intrauterine device

This is a small device that is implanted in a female’s uterus. The process of implantation is only done by a health care professional. Additionally, this type is very effective and long-lasting contraception.

· Contraceptive injection

This type of contraception comes in an injectable form and may last up to 3 months. However, this may cause irregular bleeding and do not give protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

Tips for Parent in Teaching Children about Avoiding Pregnancy

Teaching your children about pregnancy at an early age is very essential especially nowadays where children are becoming more aggressive. At first, both children and parents may be aloof when talking about sensitive topics but according to a study, talking about sex and pregnancy with your children can mature their mind about it, and in the future, they will understand what it means to be a parent.[21] Interestingly, talking about it actually deepens your relationship with them.

· Know your values

If you are a parent who wishes to teach your children about avoiding early pregnancy, you have to be honest with yourself. Being clear about your own values will make it easier to let your children understand what you are trying to impart.

· Let your children learn about sex and love

It is okay to open your children’s mind early about these two. As much as possible, regularly talk about this with your children. Listen to their ideas and discuss with them ideas too. Talking to your children about these two will not push them to be active sexually and in love. Instead, at a young age, they will be able to understand the real meaning of relationship and the wonders of their bodies. Let your children know that you are open and do not make them feel aloof when they want to talk about these things. One way to make your children understand these two topics is by allowing them to read good books about these two.

Chasing Love
Best book to understand what is sex and love especially in the times today

· Supervise and monitor

Supervising and monitoring your children is not a trap for them especially when your intention is all about their safety.

· Know their company

As a parent, it is important to know the company of your child including their parents. This way, you have contacts or connections with people especially when you are worried about your child. Additionally, knowing your child’s company gives you an idea about their possible activities. With this, it is also important to be open with your child’s friends. Let them have you as their parent, too.

· Allow them to visualize a beautiful future

Try as much as possible to discourage early dating. Instead, help them open their mind and see the beautiful future that is waiting for them. Teach them to focus on their studies and eventually make them realize what can happen when they get a great job. Help them understand that education must go first and love can wait. If they are already in a relationship, teach them to use their partner as inspiration to do better at school.

· Manage their devices

Go block those adult websites! It is fine. In fact, because of the technology today, parents have control over their children’s screen.

How do you deal with your children being pregnant?

So, let us get to the point. You have a child whose age is ranging from 13 to 16 years old and you just recently found out that she is pregnant or if your child is a boy, how will you deal with it as a parent?

1. Stay Calm

Of course, you cannot do it after hearing about the news but as much as possible, try to stay calm. This is an important time for you to listen to your child. Try to be positive and remember that what is coming is a blessing!

2. Confirm

Learning about the news, the first thing to do when everyone is calm is confirming. A test may be done using urine or blood and if you are at home, you can use an accurate and quality urine pregnancy test to confirm. It is recommended to check twice to be sure about the result. Anyway, you won’t lose anything from being sure.

Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Smart Countdown
This is an accurate pregnancy test and it can be used on the day you missed your period

3. Assume you are in the position of your child

What would feel if at an early age you got pregnant too? Feel your child’s fears whether your child is a girl or a boy. Know that your child is scared and their mind is foggy as well.

4. Be patient

Of course, at a young age, your child would not understand the process of pregnancy. Have a lot of patience and educate your child about it. To help your child understand the pregnancy process, handling them good books will be of great help.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Best book to understand what pregnancy is and it includes questions with answers

5. Stand up and help

Your child will feel a little better when she or he knows that you are journeying with them. Let them know and feel this by sharing your insights and perceptions about pregnancy. Show your child wonderful options such as marriage and flexible school courses and schedules.

6. Provide support

This situation may be considered as a crisis for your family but only for the initial days. As a parent, you should be there to provide support especially emotional support for your child. Providing support also means helping your child explore the different support available for her and her little family.

7. Respect your child’s decision

It is important to always remember that the decision of your child should be considered. This is your child’s fight and you are there for back up. One way of backing up is by respecting your child’s decision.

8. Find support

Support for you and your child is essential. Find a professional or a counselor with whom you can both speak. These professionals can help you in making correct decisions and may help you relax and stay calm.

9. Encourage both parties

If you are the parent of the young mother, ask your child if she is willing to get the help of the other party. On the other hand, if you are the parent of the young father, encourage your son to participate in the activities of her partner. This will teach him responsibility.

10. Seek for care

You also went through it and you know that prenatal care is important. Encourage your child to seek proper care for her and the baby. Additionally, birth classes may be considered especially if your child is below 15 years old. Initially, your child may feel like avoiding prenatal care, and to make your child understand its importance, allowing them to read good books about prenatal care will do.

Prenatal Care
Helps you understand the importance of prenatal care and shows different options to relieve discomfort

11. Higher Ground

Remember God. Rest in Him and always remember that His plans for you are great. There is hope and help with the Almighty One. A book about resting in God’s hand can keep you and your child calm.

Creating with God
Best spiritual book during pregnancy

Tips for Pregnant Children

A pregnant child may only know little things about pregnancy during the first few days. However, it is important to let your child know the first steps or tips when being pregnant.

· Start a prenatal care and get tested

As soon as you confirmed that your child is pregnant, seek prenatal care. It is essential to get your child tested for possible sexually transmitted diseases. This will not only make her safe but will also make the baby inside her secure, too.

· Healthy Diet

Consider giving your child a healthy diet. During pregnancy, your child needs more vitamins and nutritious foods as this time, two people are snacking already. Prenatal vitamins help a lot especially when your child is picky. Healthy foods during pregnancy can be read in books so, you can also consider this.

The Whole 9 Months
Pregnancy guide with healthy and nutritious food recipes for a pregnant person

· Stay physically active

Your child may feel a little discomfort as her belly starts to grow. With this, it is important to encourage light exercises. With this, try reading prenatal yoga exercises. However, consider talking to a healthcare professional first before engaging with such activities.

Yoga Mama
Best Yoga Guide for pregnant woman

· Avoid unsafe substances

Alcohol and smoking are more dangerous when pregnant because they can affect the health of the baby. Additionally, avoid taking medications without consulting with your child’s physician.

· Attend those appointments

Do not miss a single appointment as much as possible. Every appointment with your physician is necessary for your child and the baby. If your child is quite timid to attend by herself, attend with her.

· Supplements

Supplements are most essential during the first three months of pregnancy. They are proven safe and effective in nourishing you and the blessing inside you. There are times when you do not get the right nutrients from the food you eat and to fill this gap, supplements are considered as an alternative. Taking supplements can decrease the risk of having nutrient deficiencies.

Best prenatal vitamins with complete minerals

Additionally, fish oil is helpful during pregnancy as the active component in fish oil helps in the proper development of the brain of the baby.

Garden of Life Oceans Mom Prenatal Fish Oil Dha
Provides optimum DHA and enhances the quality of breast milk

· Get comfy shoes

It is important to consider wearing comfortable footwear during pregnancy. During the process, your feet will tend to be swollen and this may discomfort you.

Skechers Women's Performance Go Walk
Lightweight shoes best during pregnancy

· Get a comfy pillow

Irritability and discomfort are normal during pregnancy. It is important to know that te discomfort gets worse when the belly is getting bigger. However, options like comfortable cushions and pillows can be used when sleeping.

PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow
Risk-free with lifetime warranty pillow for pregnant women

Effects of Children Pregnancy at School

When a child becomes pregnant, her education is greatly affected. Although there are many possible scenarios to happen, the common one is the termination of education. According to a study, children pregnancy leads to drop out. As soon as a child learns about their pregnancy, they become delinquent and eventually decide to stop attending classes. Other pregnant children continue to attend classes but as their belly gets bigger, they decide to drop out.[22] In another study, it is reported that around 13,000 young women drop out of school every year. This means that indeed, children pregnancy is very prevalent in society.[23]

Children Pregnancy Should Not Be a Reason to Stop an Education

It is always important to help your pregnant to finish her education. Sometimes, a pregnant child may feel like it is the end of her dreams when actually it is not. Consider the following when you feel discourage about finishing education:

· Distance education

This type of education is usually done through online classes. If your child is pregnant or she just gave birth, you can consider this choice.

· Alternative centers

There are centers that are friendly with pregnant children. Find a center that can give this benefit to your pregnant child. Some centers even have childcare while the mother is still inside the classroom.

· Return to school

After giving birth, encourage your child to go back and study. Remember, education is important for her to be able to raise her baby well.

Is Children Pregnancy The End?

Indeed, knowing that your child is pregnant may be hard during the first few days but put in your mind that what is coming may be the biggest blessing of your life!

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[2] Meena, Jitendra Kumar, et al. “Sexual and reproductive health: knowledge, attitude, and perceptions among young unmarried male residents of Delhi.” International journal of reproductive medicine 2015 (2015).

[3] Boyer, Debra, and David Fine. “Sexual abuse as a factor in adolescent pregnancy and child maltreatment.” Family planning perspectives (1992): 4-19.

[4] Hidayana, Irwan M., et al. “Factors Influencing Child Marriage, Teenage Pregnancy and Female Genital Mutilation/Circumcision in Lombok Barat and Sukabumi Districts, Indonesia.” (2016).

[5] Penman-Aguilar, Ana, et al. “Socioeconomic disadvantage as a social determinant of teen childbearing in the US.” Public Health Reports 128.2_suppl1 (2013): 5-22.

[6] Ochen, Anthony Mark, Primus Che Chi, and Stephen Lawoko. “Predictors of teenage pregnancy among girls aged 13–19 years in Uganda: a community based case-control study.” BMC pregnancy and childbirth 19.1 (2019): 1-14.

[7] Panting, Albeny Joslyn, et al. “Potential Social Risk Factors for Teenage Pregnancy in Sarawak.” Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities 27.1 (2019).

[8] Magnusson, Brianna M., Saba W. Masho, and Kate L. Lapane. “Early age at first intercourse and subsequent gaps in contraceptive use.” Journal of Women’s Health 21.1 (2012): 73-79.

[9] Fedorowicz, Anna R., et al. “Associations of adolescent hopelessness and self-worth with pregnancy attempts and pregnancy desire.” American journal of public health 104.8 (2014): e133-e140.

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[11] Sámano, Reyna, et al. “Family context and individual situation of teens before, during and after pregnancy in Mexico City.” BMC pregnancy and childbirth 17.1 (2017): 1-16.

[12] Lloyd, Susan L. “Pregnant adolescent reflections of parental communication.” Journal of community health nursing 21.4 (2004): 239-251.

[13] Stammers, Trevor. “Teenage pregnancies are influenced by family structure.” Bmj 324.7328 (2002): 51.

[14] Gyan, Charles. “The effects of teenage pregnancy on the educational attainment of girls at Chorkor, a suburb of Accra.” Journal of Educational and Social Research 3.3 (2013): 53.

[15] Hofferth, Sandra L., Cheryl D. Hayes, and National Research Council. “The children of teen childbearers.” Risking the Future: Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy, and Childbearing, Volume II: Working Papers and Statistical Appendices. National Academies Press (US), 1987.

[16] Carlson, Elwood D. “Social determinants of low birth weight in a high-risk population.” Demography 21.2 (1984): 207-215.

[17] Wicklund, Kristine, Sheila Moss, and Floyd Frost. “Effects of maternal education, age, and parity on fatal infant accidents.” American journal of public health 74.10 (1984): 1150-1152.

[18] Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, and Frank F. Furstenberg Jr. “The children of adolescent mothers: Physical, academic, and psychological outcomes.” Developmental review 6.3 (1986): 224-251.

[19] Furstenberg, F. F., and A. G. Crawford. “Social implications of teenage childbearing.” Adolescent Pregnancy: Perspectives for the health professional.” Boston: GK Hall & Co pp48-76 (1980).

[20] As-Sanie, Sawsan, Angela Gantt, and Majorie S. Rosenthal. “Pregnancy prevention in adolescents.” American Family Physician 70.8 (2004): 1517-1524.

[21] Ashcraft, Amie M., and Pamela J. Murray. “Talking to parents about adolescent sexuality.” Pediatric Clinics 64.2 (2017): 305-320.

[22] Rosenberg, Molly, et al. “Relationship between school dropout and teen pregnancy among rural South African young women.” International journal of epidemiology 44.3 (2015): 928-936.

[23] Osulah, Winnie. The impact of teenage pregnancy on school dropout among secondary school girls in Embu Municipality. GRIN Verlag, 2012.

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Diana Lucas

Diana Lucas

Hi, Diana here. Welcome to my blog and hope you like my sharing. I am a mother of 2 boys, 3 years old and a 1 year old. I dedicate my career in child development research and I focus on parenting tips, positive parenting, educational toys for my babies. Your time here means a lot to me! Diana A. Lucas