Sometime in February, a lady messaged me after reading few of my articles. In the course of our discussion, I asked if she was pregnant and she answered YES. I have made it a habit to call to check on her time to time since she is willing to keep the baby. She is just in her early twenties, and ever since then I have always wondered why teenage girls and ladies involve in sexual activities while they are unmarried and how they will cope with life afterwards.
I read a comment in a group on Facebook about a girl who gave birth at age 13. When I read that comment, I was like Jeez! 13 years is far too early. I woke up this morning feeling really down with the fact that so many girls are victims, either by rape or by will. I can’t fathom how a 16 year old girl will act when she finds out she is pregnant. While I kept dwelling on the girl after the action, I tried to think of what her parents would do. Stuck with my thoughts, I had to put myself in her shoes and I must say it is too tough for anyone’s leg to fit in.
Here are Some Tips to Help your Teenage Daughter
- You need to be calm. It is enough to be mad at her, overwhelmed and disappointed that your teen is pregnant. You need to take your time and calm your nerves, never allow anger take a part of you by doing something nasty or silly.
Resist throwing blames at her, or your spouse. Don’t blame the father because she got pregnant, don’t blame the mother that she knew about her relationship and never said anything.
Don’t blame your daughter for also getting pregnant. At times, parents are even the cause.
Imagine yourself in her shoes. Don’t compare her with anybody. This is really killing and may prompt her to commit suicide.
Ask about her plans. I understand that most teenagers know nothing about the future. You can draw out options for her, tell her abortion is not legalised in Nigeria and quackery kills.
Ask her about the boy who impregnated her, this will help you know the baseline of the situation.
Ask if she is willing to keep the baby
Ask if she is willing to take responsibilities for her mistake in future
Focus on the future. She is 16years old now, and she is yet to get into a tertiary institution. Check out options for her to get the best. If you can’t keep her and keep the baby alone due to finances, inform the guy in question, meet with his parents and talk about the unborn baby’s future.
Teach her skills to become independent. Here is where some Nigerian parents miss it. The milk has been spilled, the best thing to do is search for an alternative to milk or get another one rather. Why crying over a spilled milk?
If you can’t send her to school again, enrol her into something that is worthwhile. Teach her to focus on the bull’s eyes which is the future and not her past. Teach her to stay strong, rather than thinking her life has been ruined.
Be a shoulder she can cry on. A typical Nigerian parent will show their teenage daughter pepper for getting pregnant. Some won’t feed her, they make her do odd jobs, make her sleep on cold floor, treat her like slaves. Ill treatment may prompt her to attempt suicide. Watch her closely. You need to encourage her always.
You need to know that there are health risks attached to teenage pregnancy, especially teenagers below 15. Some of which includes:
- Anaemia can lead to premature birth. It can be as a result of blood vessel disorders or malnutrition.
- High blood pressure/ pregnancy induced hypertension.
- A high rate of infant mortality
- Poor nutrition due to how her is still developing. She will need a lot of nutrition to develop to its full potential.
- Possible risk of Cephalopelvic disproportion (the baby’s head is wider than the pelvic opening)
- Depression: I mentioned this earlier, she might suffer anxiety disorders or other mental related disorder.
- STD: First question you should ask from her when you detect she is pregnant is how long she been sexually active. Go further and ask if she has been involved with more than one person. Ask if she has always used protection during previous sex.
These questions may look awkward for you as a parent but that is the best way to get results and knowledge of what has been happening. After answering the questions, take her to the hospital for pap test, any STD and also HIV/AIDS test.
- Get her registered in a good hospital for antenatal. Antenatal may look abstract to you but will help her. She will get to learn about womanhood during her sessions with nurse or doctor, she will be able to interact with other pregnant women who are either married or like her. She will get vaccinated at the right time.
It is really disappointing to find out your daughter who is barely 18 is pregnant for a boy who is just 20years old or more. This is why you need to teach your children what is right. Show them love and tell them about God.
I hope someday teenage pregnancy with be reduced as more unmarried people will choose to be sexually pure, but until then, engage your children to know about their sexual health. Teach them how to protect themselves.
I hope this helps?
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