Teenage pregnancy is common, preventable, and associated with negative consequences for both the teenager and the baby. Babies born to teenagers compared to older mothers have “lower birth weights, increased infant mortality, and increased risk of hospital admission, less supportive home environments, poorer cognitive development and if female, a higher risk of becoming pregnant themselves as teenagers” (“Teenage pregnancy: trends, contributing factors and the physician's role.,” 2007, para 1.). Teenaged mothers have a tendency to feel isolated because their friends are out having fun and these mothers are at home taking care of the baby. They also have an increase in ...view middle of the document...
Attitudes, Biases, and Stereotypes
My personal awareness of teenage pregnancies is that they tend to happen to uneducated girls looking for love or a way out of what they perceive as a bad situation. I have noticed a trend with teenage pregnancies. It seems that when a teenager gets pregnant and keeps the child, when that child gets into their teenage years they seem to become teen parents like his or her parents. People are biased by nature, however with self-awareness they can learn to accept thing they do not agree with. Becoming aware of ones beliefs helps to isolate thoughts when confronted with making decisions for patients. According to Dovidio & Fiske, (2012), “Prejudice and stereotypes do not have to be consciously endorsed to produce discrimination; people often respond automatically—frequently without awareness—to others’ race or ethnicity, activating stereotypical beliefs, emotional prejudices, and discriminatory tendencies” (p. 945). Health care professionals when under time constraints or have other demands on their time are likely to have the same biases that occur among the general population even though they are devotion to helping others. Many prejudices and stereotypes are involuntary and unintentional (Dovidio and Fiske, 2012).
According to Jumping-Eagle, Sheeder, Kelly, and Stevens-Simon, (2008),”Studies that have controlled for mainstream societal conventions have found no association between commonly promoted assets, such as ‘‘positive peer role models’’ and ‘‘good family communication,’’ and more consistent use of highly effective contraceptives during adolescence” (p. 74). Health care providers sometimes look at teenage pregnancies as unruly, defiant girls. Research has proven that this is not the case. This attitude can cause the providers not give extra information to teens about what to expect during pregnancy.
Jessica is a 17-year-old single mother of a one-month old baby boy, Ryan. Jessica’s has had no contact with Ryan’s father after she was four months pregnant. Jessica was raised by a single mother, not knowing her father because he left when Jessica was seven-years-old. Jessica did not finish high school however; she just completed her GED. She is going to school to be a cosmetologist at the local community college and is working nearly full-time as a server in a restraint. Jessica struggles financially to support her and Ryan. Jessica’s mother Evelyn helps Jessica by watching Ryan a few hours each day. Jessica also receives WIC coupons and Medicaid. Jessica does not take care of herself, she eats fast food, does not exercise, smokes about one-half packs of cigarettes a day, and drinks alcohol socially. Ryan experiences colic, cries almost every night, and spits up often. Jessica feels overwhelmed trying to take care of Ryan, going to school, working, and worrying about a stack of bills. Jessica’s situation is common with teenagers who become pregnant. She would benefit...