Free Essays

Analysis on Teenage Pregnancy in the UK


Teenage pregnancy is a major concern in the UK, and for the last 20 years it has the highest rates in the European Union; other countries with similar rates are New Zealand and Australia (Maticka, 2001 p. 15). The UK is found to have the highest live birth rates among people with the age of 15-19 in Western Europe. It is estimated that even the most prosperous zones in the UK surpasses Netherlands and France in national rates of teenage pregnancy. Between the 1970s and 1980s, there was a record decline with the rates in many European countries. However, these rates did not go down in UK in the period 1979 and 1999 (SEU, 1999), while conception among under 16-olds rose by 1% between 2002 and 2003 (Office of National Statistics, 2005).

The common factors found to influence high levels of teenage pregnancy includes but not limited to: Social economic status especially income distribution across societies, gender equality levels within the societies, the availability of sex education and prevention strategies at schools, access to sexual heath services that meets the needs of teenage persons, normalized expectation of continued education beyond the age of 16, Exposure to unhealthy media materials amongst others.

In the year 2000 alone, 38,690 under the age of 18 years got pregnant in England. 44.8% of these underwent legal abortion as the conceptions were not planned for. Surprisingly, 7,617 of the total conceptions involved girls under the age of 16 years out of which 54.5% ended in legal abortion (Office for National Statistics, 2000).

Many factors influence teenagers’ choices to become sexually active and to use contraception considering their ability to obtain them and make use of contraception their choice. These factorsoperate are exercised at individual’s level (e.g. attitudesand beliefs, knowledge, substance abuse and future expectations), the intra-familiallevel (e.g., social economic factors, family structure, parent–child communication), the extra-familial level (e.g., health services, peer influences,sexual health education at school) and thecommunity level (e.g., values and norms relating to teenage pregnancy).Most of these factors can be changed with time and within respective social institutions individualknow-how concerning sexual health, while others are difficult to change or cannot be changed at all.

In most cases, physician groups are left the role to lobby for policy initiatives aimedat changing sexual risky trends among teenagers which includes;enhanced sexual education at schools. However, the important rolefor physicians is to offer suitable sexual health informationand services in their practices when they are providing clinicalservices to youths (Botting, 1998 p. 21). It is necessary that physicians be familiar with the realityof teenage sexual activity. Conducted studies have indicated that, by completion of high school, the majority of teenagers will have had sexualintercourse (Maticka, 2001 p. 3) and approximately 10% have had intercourse beforeage 15. It is therefore much important to include as part of the general enquiry into their well-being, their sexual activity too,use of contraception and condoms, their history of sexually transmittedinfections and pregnancy. There is need to acquire information abouttheir other sexual health concerns. Adolescents are not necessarily the ones to initiate discussions about sexual healthissues, since to them the process of seeking sexual health advice is a complicatedone, and therefore physicians must be proactive in making suchan enquiry.

When contraception, including emergency contraception, is indicatedfor teenagers, it should be provided. Like other women, adolescentsalso have a right to abortion services, although the availabilityof such services is not uniform across the country, and teenagedgirls of low socioeconomic status or from visible minoritieshave particularly limited access. Teenagers have the rightto confidential health care, including receiving sexual healthservices, provided their emotional and cognitive maturity allowfor this. Their parents do not have an automatic right to know.The right to confidentiality is not always understood by teenagersand should be appropriately communicated during patient encounters.Finally, when teenagers choose to continue their pregnancy toterm, exemplary care should be provided before, during and afterdelivery, to help minimize the risk of negative outcomes thatmay occur.

Lack of consensus on ways of counterchecking pregnancy problem and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in respect to teenagers is one of the factors contributing the high rates of teenage pregnancies in the UK. There are no proper installed structures advocating favorable comprehensive sex and its related education. Low expectations in education which is greatly attributed by the perception that there are few or no employment opportunities lead to teenagers absconding education, engaging in unplanned sex due to exposure in their neighborhoods and subsequent pregnancy (BBC NEWS, Friday, 27 May 2005).

Ignorance about the use of contraceptives despite their availability often leads to unplanned conception. Although most of the teenage girls are well conversant with the importance of condom use, a large number would go on and engage in sexual activity hoping the worst does not happen. The youth have been found to be inefficient users of contraceptives even when they are offered for free (BBC NEWS, Friday, 27 May 2005). One Jan Barlow was quoted by BBC attributing three factors that help alleviate teenage pregnancy and STI rate as being: better access to young people friendly services, comprehensive sex and relationship education, and offering more open attitudes to sex aimed at influencing young people in making sound decisions (BBC NEWS, Friday, 27 May 2005). The England government for instance had advocated for sex education training but the school authorities are only focused at teaching other subjects. According to him, Sex and relationship that lacks in school curriculum ought to be made a compulsory unit in personal social health education studies. A study conducted for the NHS at the University of York concludes that education prior to sexual activity makes individuals delay in having sex and makes them more likely to use contraception when they do. However, sex education offered in schools is criticized as being too biological and in-adequate to arm the youths with the relevant sex information (Barlow, 2005 May 27).

Teenage girls and boys are misguided approach from TV programs relating sex with celebrities and portraying it as a fashioned activity. It is noted that teenagers particularly those not participating in co curricular activities are likely to spend most of their time watching romantic programs. The media sets them adrift in the sexualized society without giving them the tools to look after themselves. The outcome is indirect influence when the affected youth fail to differentiate action scenes from real life (BBC NEWS, Friday, 27 May 2005).

Teenage pregnancy comes handy with various complications. The adverse effects include miscarriage, premature births, babies are born underweight for gestational age whereas others are born small (Horgan, 2007). Teenage mothers are also found to have higher risks of contracting STIs, being victims of alcohol and substance abuse, smoking and poor nutrition in addition to suffering higher rates of postnatal depression (Horgan, 2007).

Gynecological immaturity in teenage mothers is one of the reasons attributed to the adverse effects following births. Adolescent girls continue to grow when pregnant. The babies they carry faces food and nutrients competition required for their growth with the growing bodies of their mothers. There is also increased risk of obstructed labor during birth because of their undeveloped small pelvises (Horgan, 2007).

These effects are adverse and their effects are prone to have a long term effects therefore preventive measures are by the far advisable measures. Family planning and sexual health clinics should be easy to access amongst these women and facilitated with a wide range of the relevant services, including diet advice, cessation on smoking behavior and embarking back to studies after birth. As a matter of fact, they should be encouraged to attend antenatal classes and care which should offer them medical care as well as social support. It is believed that postnatal management for teenage mothers is placed better in offering essential counseling and education on crucial aspects of motherhood such as breastfeeding and nutrition for babies. As many teenage mothers tend to be single and often feel isolated in bringing up their babies, they require special attention from the health and social services (Horgan, 2007).

An Obstetrician and Gynecologist; Louse Kenny working at Cork University Maternity Hospital attributes that the figures indicates that death rate for babies from very young mothers is 60% more higher than those from the older women. Further, teenage mothers are more likely to be faced with postnatal depression as compared with their counterparts-the older women. Some 44% of mothers under the age of 20 breastfeed compared to 64% amongst 20-24 and up to 80% in older mothers. There is a need therefore to conduct further studies to ascertain whether the poor outcome from teenage mother births is entirely a link with biological challenges resulting from their bodies not being fully developed; or it is a combination of other factors such as social demographic factors (Horgan, 2007).

Teenage mother are at risk of indulging with malpractices that poses unconducive environment to their newborns like smoking due to the associated stress and their vulnerability to peer pressures. At their age, they are not entirely dependent in making sound decisions, a reason why close attention should be directed to them to safeguard their heath and that of the newborns. Awareness towards the dangers associated with smoking for instance is paramount to them, risks of contracting sexually transmitted infections and the need to use contraception in future sexual activities (Horgan, 2007).

There is challenge presented by teenage mothers toward heath workers. Most stay for a long time before presenting themselves to health facilities for diagnosis, only to avail themselves at the late stages in the pregnancy. They thus fail to receive timely attention to any possible presenting risk and guidance on how to take care to ensure healthy newborns and safe delivery.

Both the teenage mother and the child are prone to undergo negative short term, medium and long term health and mental health outcomes that are as a result of unprepared ness in the encounter and dilapidated exposed conditions thereafter (Botting et al., 1998). The mother’s education and future employment may be brought to prejudice. There is more likelihood of teenage mothers running into trouble in school before getting pregnant and possible failure to complete studies after delivery. As a result, they may not be having academic qualifications at the age of 33, a situation that renders them find difficulty in looking for a job or subject to low payments and poor benefits as opposed to their peers (SEU, 1999).

An estimated 80% of teenage mothers do not own their own housing arrangements. They are either housed by their parents, relatives or others sponsors who are added an extra burden towards meeting additional expenses. This is more likely to result into domestic conflict in addition to failure to provide the desired space environment for both the mother and the child which may the related cost may not be within reach (SEU, 1999). Young fathers also face similar difficulties although their extent isles severe compared to that of young mothers. They are however faced with similar economic and employment outcomes in their post parenthood (Kiernan, 1995).

Children of teenage mothers are more likely to have the experience of being lonely in the family. They are further faced by generalized risks of poverty, poor housing, and poor nutrition and consequently face inadequate upbringing standards. Evidence shows that daughters of teenage mothers are likely to become teenage parents themselves (Botting et al., 1998).

It is thus noted that having children at a young age can damage a young woman’s health and well-being. Her education and career prospects are severely affected too. While young people can become competent parents, a variety of studies reveal that children born of teenagers are more likely to experience a wide range of negative outcomes later in life. They are also three times more likely to become teenage parents themselves (Hughes, 2010). As a matter of fact, at the age of 30, teenage mothers are 22% more likely to be living in poverty than mothers giving birth at the age of 24 years and above. They are less likely to be employed or be living with a partner (Hughes, 2010).

Teenage mothers are less likely to have academic qualifications at the age of thirty as compared to mothers who get children after having attained the age of 24 years. Due to their vulnerable condition, they are more likely to partner with men who are poorly qualified and less likely to secure employment (Hughes, 2010).

Statistics have shown that teenage mothers have three times the rate of post natal depression compared to older mothers and at higher risk of poor mental health for at least three years after birth. In addition, the infant mortality rate for babies born to teenage mothers is 60% higher than for babies born to old mothers. Compared to older mothers, they are likely to smoke throughout their pregnancy while 50% are found not to breastfeed both which poses negative health consequences to the child (Hughes, 2010).

Children born of teenage mothers have approximate 63% increased risk of being born into poverty compared to babies born to mothers at their twenties. They have higher mortality rates and are more likely to have accidents and behavioral problems (Hughes, 2010).

Owing to the increased the increased teenage pregnancy as a social problem in the UK, policy makers, politicians and health educators have been borrowing measures applied in Netherlands to alleviate the situations. These measures are selected on the merit of their suitability.


In 2000, the birth rate to young women with the age of 15-19 was 37.7 in every 1000 in England and Wales Compared to 5, 5 in every 1000 in Netherlands. On the other hand, the conception rates were four times higher at 62.2% per 1000 compared with 14.1 % in every 1000 in the Netherlands. (Figure insert)

Sex Education

Sex education in schools is greatly attributed to the reduced teenage pregnancy occurrences in many countries where it if effectively applied. This hypothesis have been assumed and highly promoted in the media by birth control and abortion lobbies and without the support of the research evidence. In the UK; Sex education has been politicized in many educational centers and political leaders too. The UK parents are not free to set up their own publicly fund schools independent of the state according to their own beliefs and values where there is a high degree of autonomy in terms of curriculum development and policy making. UK lacks diversity in didactics, pedagogical strategies and content and influences of the churches and the involvement of parents are not much stronger. As a result, sex education has nut impacted a lot towards reducing teenage pregnancy (LDM, 2003). It is found that:

Sex education is not open as it is often suggested though it is often taught within a firm moral framework.

The most liberal and open classes were found in the more social and economically derived areas where teenagers were already more sexually active and teachers felt there was little they could do to compensate for family structures that were inadequate to guide streetwise young people in the increasing sexual culture.

Of the teachers interviewed, none was comfortable with the idea of opening up open classes for sex education curriculum which would entail sexually explicit materials.

The schools where the sexual activity was less a problem were not on the welcome of sex education but were positive on building on the moral frame work provided by parents within stable family structures

Further evidence has exposed sex education as not being that permissive as it is often perceived. A considerable figure of sexual health experts are critical of traditional views of sexual morality widely held among teachers and parents. The experts are concerned that an emphasis on setting the expression of sexual morality firmly within the context of committed enduring relationships is too restrictive when teenagers may want to experiment which sexual activity (LDM, 2003).

There lacks evidence to support the ascertain that the teenage pregnancy rate has been reduced by easy availability of contraception to the young people in what is described as an almost imperfect contraceptive population where condom use rose among the sexually active from 17% in 1981 to 85% in1994 (Ketting, 1994). There is no corresponding relationship found in the reduction rates of either teenage pregnancies or abortions whereas there are early signs of an overall rise in the rate of sexually transmitted infection (STIs) occurrences: in particular, Chlamydia which affects the young people disproportionately (Van der Laar, 2002). More findings show that during the 1990s, the abortion rate rose despite a wide increase in contraceptive use (CBS, 2000).

It therefore cannot be attributed that the decline trend of teenage pregnancy is a result if sex education, open culture and contraception use rather a combination of factors not related to the above. Since teenage pregnancy is a result of teenage sex, then it goes hand in hand that a society that has more of one of the two is going to experience more of the other. It is thus necessary to consider factors that are known to influence the age at which young people starts sexual relationships (LDM, 2003).

Sexual attitudes among young people

Casual attitude to physical relationship is ever growing. However, the UK teenagers appear not to be guided by moral principles to a large extent than their counterparts in for example the Middle East that abstain from sexual intercourse until a much later age. A comparative study of sexual attitude among teenagers found that a majority of both males and females in Netherlands for instance gave love a commitment as their primary reason for first intercourse. Physical opportunity and attraction and peer pressure are not leading factors to sex in Netherlands. In UK however, while love and commitment have high ranking in girls, boys are found to be more influenced by peer pressure, opportunity and physical attraction (LDM, 2003). From the perspective of young people in such circumstances, early parenthood can appear a rational choice, providing a means for making their transition to adulthood or having somebody to love in their lives.

Welfare benefits

A welfare benefit is another factor that makes teenage pregnancy level to be high in the UK. The teenage parents receive income financial support from the government when they are less than 18 years and do not have to depend on their parents. The babies born are put under the care of a legal guardian who happens to be the parent of the teenage mother in most circumstances. The legal guardian becomes the receivership of the governments support allowing their mothers to continue with schooling. In addition to this, the teenage parents enjoy housing benefits, educational opportunities, employment training and free medical care. With the provision of all these, a disincentive to engage in irresponsible sexual behavior lacks (LDM, 2003).

Social-economic deprivation

Teenage pregnancy is strongly associated with the most deprived and socially excluded young people. Difficulties in young peoples’ lives such as poor family relationships, low esteem and unhappiness at school also put them at higher risk. It is in record that acute levels of social economic deprivations are associated with high frequency of teenage sex activities and associated risks behavior. The concentration of areas with magnificent levels of poverty and social inequality in some areas of the UK has lead to the emergent of a desperate culture in which there is only little to lose in early parenting. The loss is further reduced from compensations of social welfare benefits that alleviate the costs of living and upkeep. An income support and housing allowance for instance makes the cost of having a baby not too much (LDM, 2003).

Lack of Stigma

In recent years, teenage pregnancy relatively lacks stigmatization in the UK. Stigmatization is known to discourage undesirable habits where the involved persons are subjected to humiliation in the past. Social services makes it hard for one to access most services, people disregard one making him/her always indebted. Lack of stigma associated with pregnancy in the UK is a major contributory factor to higher teenage pregnancy rates (LDM, 2003). There are also some communities in which early parenthood is seen as normal and not a concern.

Lone parenthood

In the year 2000, single parents in Great Britain accounted for 21% of all families that had children. Children in Britain are more likely to be raised by a lone parent as compared with other European countries. A study of over 2000 young people in England aged 13-15 years found that in families headed by married couple, only 13% of the children were sexually active. The number doubled for young people living within single families. The figure was 24% for the children of cohabiting couples, 26% where the children had separated, 23% where the children divided their time between two parents living apart, 24% where the parents were divorced and 35% where the children did not live with either of the parents (Hill, 2000). Evidence is therefore placed in increase of teenage sexual activity in lone parenting or no parenting at all. Great Britain having single parent’s levels of 21% (in relation to year 2000) inclines that the sexually active youths are very many.

Out of wedlock births

In western Europe, children are more likely to be born to an unmarried mother. Children born in this context are prone to be raised in poorer environments where sexual activeness is high. Daughters from single mother are also likely to bear children out of wedlock during their teenage years.


In the year 2000, 12.7 in every 1000 married men obtained a divorce in England and Wales. Children in Britain are more likely to have experienced the divorce of their parents. This is important considering that people not living with both biological parents are more sexually active in their early ages than those from intact families. Other factors like race, religion, age and social class are closely based from a family setup (Demo, 1998).

Working mothers

The UK had 18.3% of mothers with children under the age of five employed full time in the year 2000. The figure was higher for mothers with children aged between five and eight years with 31.9%. Europe, 75% of the population believes that women should contribute to the family income (Schulze, 1999). In the year 1999, UK had approximate 35% of the mothers of pre school children using some form of daycare and approximate 27% of mothers of children aged between 5 -12 using some form of out-of-school care (SCP, 2000). This finding suggests that many children in Britain are left under the care of a third party having no one at home. Once out of school, they have low levels of parental supervision and are more likely to indulge in reckless behaviors, premature sex included.


Teenage pregnancy poses a societal problem in the UK with the statistics of cases recorded alarming. Teenage pregnancy is caused by a wide range of factors surrounding young people. However, parenting and social economic issues are the major categories that contribute towards the high levels of teenage pregnancy. Due to the adverse effects experienced by the young mothers some of which are long term, it is vital that collective measures that best suit the phenomenon are adopted. By doing this, many teenagers will be saved the misery of upbringing children while being disadvantaged by numerous factors discussed.

Free Essays

Study of the Support avaliable for women with myasthenia in pregnancy


The myasthenia nurse specialist can play a vital role in supporting patients with myasthenia who wish to conceive, who are pregnant and who have had babies. Within the specialist role supporting patients and their families is already a high priority, be this supporting patient choices, information giving, psychological support and facilitating patient pathways.

The clinical nurse specialist role encompasses transforming practice to support and improve patient care and nursing practice, through education, research, audit, clinical leadership and using evidence–based care (Mayo et al, 2010 and Muller et al, 2010). The clinical nurse specialist may be the link/key point of access for patients within a service, co-ordinating care and management of patients through complex pathways and providing information and support to ensure informed decision making.

The level or type of support may change when the patient with myasthenia decides to have a baby. This support may involve helping make the right choices regarding timing the pregnancy, medications and expectations during and after pregnancy. Most of the support given will be information and practical advice and during pregnancy the specialist nurse can liaise with the obstetric team to provide them with any information they may require.

The specialist nurse can also act as the link between the maternity and neurological services to provide a safety net for patients who are experiencing problems with their myasthenia. Several reports into pregnancy in patients with myasthenia suggest that there is an increased chance of relapse of symptoms in the first trimester and in the month after delivery, (Briemberg, 2007, Ciafoloni & Massey 2004, Batocchi et al 1999). The recommendations from the above authors are that patients with myasthenia have a collaborative approach to their obstetric care. The myasthenia nurse is in a good position to ensure that appointments can be made if medication adjustments or assessment of the myasthenia is needed as the pregnancy progresses.

The specialist nurses can provide Pre-conception support. Myasthenia gravis affects women mainly during the childbearing years therefore it is important to discuss family planning early; especially when starting on immunosuppression/disease modifying treatments, (Ciafaloni & Massey 2004 and Williams Sax & Rosenbaum 2006). Women may express concerns about the impact that these medications may have on the development of their baby. Williams Sax & Rosenbaum (2006) go on to suggest that patients should be advised not to plan pregnancy within a year or two of diagnosis as the risks of relapse increase if the disease is not stable. This view is also supported by Ciafaloni & Massey (2004) who suggest that maximising stability should be the main goal before planning pregnancy.

The role that the specialist nurse has is vital therefore in monitoring the symptoms and overall stability of the myasthenia through regular contacts and when the patient is planning pregnancy discussions can be centred around the implications of treatment on the pregnancy. Women and their partners often ask about the impact that pregnancy may have on the myasthenia, especially if there was a problem during/following a previous pregnancy. There is evidence to suggest that subsequent pregnancies may have differing patterns of relapse, where one may be rocky another may be uneventful, (Briemberg, 2007, Batocchi et al 1999), this then emphasises the need for close, collaboration between the neurology and obstetric teams. Barber (2008) supports the above view as close monitoring during pregnancy may prevent complications and may identify and manage problems early, while Thierry (2006) emphasises the importance of preconception advice to determine what support systems need to be considered for post delivery and supports the view that a collaborative approach to pregnancy management can support better patient outcomes.

Antenatal support:

Once a patient is pregnant, the nurse can help co-ordinate care by linking the neurology and obstetric teams, providing information about MG and medications. The nurse can provide support to manage the symptoms of fatigue (pregnancy related); and any problems that may arise during the later months. This may involve bringing the patient to clinic to monitor medications, as doses may need to be altered due to the pregnancy related renal clearance, expanded plasma volume and the changes in medication absorption; this is supported by Stafford & Dildy, (2005) who suggest that monitoring should also include signs of increasing weakness or the potential for a myasthenic crisis.

The specialist nurse can link with the midwife and get the health visitor involved early, as this may be beneficial as there is potential for relapse in the first few weeks/month post partum, at a time when sleep deprivation and hormonal fluctuations may make the myasthenia worse. Regular follow up – either telephonically or in the nurse led clinic may help to detect the potential for relapse post partum. The nurse is also able to consider referral to the obstetric physiotherapist for the assessment and support for changing mobility needs as the pregnancy progresses. The myasthenia nurse may be able to provide advice on practical things that may help with their baby; such as baby slings for women who have upper limb weakness.

The challenges faced by new parents such as sleep deprivation, hormonal changes and dealing with a small infant can be magnified in patients with myasthenia. If a new mother and her partner are not given sufficient support there is a 10-15 % risk of post natal depression in patients without a chronic condition (Horowitz & Goodman, 2005 and Lumley, 2005) and this has a huge impact on the family unit. Therefore it is well recognised that early support for the couple through ante natal classes and access to health visitors who have been trained in mental health issues, decreases the chances of post natal depression developing or may promote early recognition of symptoms (Brugha et al, 2000, Misri et al, 2000).

The Royal College of Nursing produced some guidelines on Pregnancy and Disability (RCN, 2007) for midwives and nurses, which encourage care providers to be aware of the potential for post natal depression in patients with disabilities. These guidelines provide useful information for nurses and midwives who are caring for long term conditions.

Post natal support:

The myasthenia nurse may help by being available at short notice for advice if in the immediate post partum period, the patient develops worsening of her myasthenia. This may involve liaising with the neurologist if the patient runs into trouble; bringing them to clinic early and facilitating appropriate admissions. Another aspect of support would be liaising with the health visitors with regards to issues around fatigue, breastfeeding (medication), monitoring for signs of post natal depression. It is important to ensure support for mums who are not able to breast feed due to weakness in their arms, making sure they are not stigmatised for not breast feeding.

If a woman’s initial presentation of myasthenia occurs after delivery the support needed increases, as not only does the woman have to deal with the myasthenia weakness, but also a small baby and an anxious partner. The information needs at this time need to be balanced with the need to ensure that the patient is able to bond with her baby and not get over exhausted. Over time the support will be tailored according to the needs of the woman and her partner. This may involve follow up in nurse led clinics, out reach and telephone support.

It is important to acknowledge the physical and emotional impact that being diagnosed with a long term condition has on a new mum and that all partners in the provision of care need to be balanced to ensure maximum support when needed.

Myasthenia nurse specialist network:

Provision of telephone support to a specified region and then support for patients within their designated NHS Trusts

Glasgow: Scotland

Oxford: Midlands

Southampton: South West England

Liverpool: North England and North Wales and Northern Ireland

London: South East England

Dublin: Ireland

Resources available for women and their partners:

Most patients with myasthenia will be aware of the support available through the website, the MGA Branch network and the Regional Organisers.

Information and support network for antenatal patients, post natal with classes and courses. breast feeding support support for mums – play groups to healthy eating advice and support for pregnancy and post natal period information about breastfeeding, medications in breastfeeding and support for baby and toddler activities and resources for parents/grandparents networking and support for new mums both on and off line information about use of real nappies and service provision across the UK. directs to local child information service for childcare provisions in local area national childminding association helps find registered, Ofsted inspected childminders national council for one parent families professional association of nursery nurses – employing a nanny sure start children’s centres and the services they provide to parents local support groups for lone parents supporting single parents to return to work

A literature search was carried out using Medline, Cinahl and embase using the following search terms: support in pregnancy, pregnancy and long term conditions, nurse role in support, pregnancy and disabilities, postnatal depression, postpartum depression, myasthenia and pregnancy.

Barber, G., 2008. Supporting pregnant women with disabilities. Practice Nursing, 19, 7, pp. 330 – 334.
Batocchi, A.P., Majolini, L., Evoli, A., Lino, M.M., Minisci, C., Tonali, P., 1999. Course and Treatment of myasthenia gravis during pregnancy. Neurology, 52, 3, pp. 447- 452.
Briemberg, H. 2007. Neuromuscular diseases in pregnancy. Seminars in Neurology,Nov 27,5, pp. 460 – 466.
Brugha, T.S., Wheatly, S., Taub, N.A., et al. 2000. Pragmatic randomised trial of antenatal intervention to prevent postnatal depression by reducing psychosocial risk factors. Psychological Medicine, 30, pp. 1273 – 1281.
Ciafaloni, E., Massey, J.M., 2004. The Management of myasthenia gravis in pregnancy. Seminars in Neurology, 24, pp. 95 – 100.
Horowitz, J.A., & Goodman, J.H., 2005. Identifying and treating postpartum depression. Journal of Obstetric, Gynaecologic and Neonatal Nursing, 34, pp. 264 – 273.
Jani-Acsadi, A., Lisak, R.P., 2010. Myasthenia Gravis. Current Treatment Options in Neurology, 12, pp. 231 – 243.
Lumley, J., 2005. Attempts to prevent postnatal depression. British Medical Journal, 331, pp. 5 – 6.
Mayo, A.M., Agocs-Scott, L.M., Khaghani, F., Moti, N., Voorhees, M., Gravell, C., Cuenca, E., 2010. Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice Patterns. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 24(2), pp. 60-68.
Misri, S., Kostaras, X., Fox, D., et al. 2000. The impact of partner support in the treatment of postpartum depression. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 45, pp. 554 – 558.
Muller, A.C., Hujcs, M., Dubendorf, P., Harrington, P.T., 2010. Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice and Magnet Designation. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 24(5), pp. 252-259.
Pregnancy and Disability; RCN guidance for midwives and nurses. 2007. Royal College of Nurses: London.
Roth, T.C., Raths, J., Carboni, G., Rosler, K., Schmid, R.A., 2006. Effect of pregnancy and birth on the course of myasthenia gravis before or after transsternal radial thymectomy. European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery, 29, pp. 231 – 235.
Stafford, I.P., Dildy, G.A., 2005. Myasthenia Gravis and Pregnancy. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 48,1, pp. 48 – 56
Thierry, J.M., 2006. The Importance of Preconception Care for Women with Disabilities. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 10, pp. S175 -176.

Williams Sax, T., Rosenbaum, R.B., 2006. Neuromuscular disorders in Pregnancy. Muscle & Nerve, 34, 5, pp. 559 – 571.

Free Essays

Smoking in pregnancy


The purpose of this essay is to identify a public health issue with a woman I cared for in practice. Using a health promotion model to critically analyse the woman’s needs and outline the midwifery care given to address the issue. Discussing health promotion, theories influencing midwife practice and the role of the midwife in public health and health promotion.

For the purpose of maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) the code: standards of conduct performance and ethics for nurses and midwives (NMC 2008), the pseudonym Miss will be used to refer to my client. Different source of literature will be used to support my discussion throughout the essay.


Miss Yardley, a young woman of white British origin, twenty one year old primipara, eleven weeks plus four days gestation according to her last menstrual period. She attended the maternity booking clinic with her long term partner for history taking. She lived with her partner in a private accommodation though recently both she and her partner had moved in with her mother who lives in a council rented apartment, as they could no longer afford payment for their flat. She was unemployed due to a recent redundancy from the company she had worked in since leaving secondary school aged sixteen. Her partner is employed but on a low paid salary as a call centre operator. On several occasions she had searched for new employment with no success. She expressed not to have any medical or obstetric problems. Miss Yardley expressed that she used to drink alcohol only on social occasions but stopped when she became aware of the pregnancy. She willing expressed when asked regarding smoking that she smoked up to fifteen cigarettes a day or more depending on how she was feeling emotionally. She tried quitting on one occasion though due to overwhelming personal issues at the time was unable to give up smoking. Her partner never smoked but her mother smoked up to ten cigarettes a day. She expressed willingness to quit smoking but felt worried that she may not be able to completely give up as she tends to be drawn to smoke more when stressed and now that she is unemployed there is more time available for her to smoke.

The public health issue from the case study

The importance of smoking as a public health issue has been identified in various key policies and strategy papers. The government white paper on tobacco 1998: smoking kills targets pregnant women as a priority group requiring intervention. According to the Department of Health (a smoke free future) ‘smoking remains one of few modifiable risk factor in pregnancy’ (DH, 2010, p.22), it states that smoking rates are highest in routine and manual groups, lower socioeconomic groups and certain minority and vulnerable groups. In the mid 1950 smoking levels between socioeconomic groups were similar, however since the 1960 onwards the more advantaged socioeconomic group acted in response to increasing evidence about the harmful effects of tobacco use (DH 2011). Figure 8 (in appendix) in the strategy shows correlation between the prevalence of smoking and net income. Therefore reducing smoking rates in these groups of people has been identified as a critical factor in reducing health inequalities. The good practice guide 3 (Public health agency 2010) also indicates a clear link between smoking in pregnancy and social disadvantage, it states evidence indicates while women know that tobacco use is damaging their health, for many smoking is a means of coping with poverty, disadvantage and lack of control over aspects of life. In contribution to social disadvantage, the highest prevalence of smoking is noted in the 20-34 age group (Office for National Statistics (ONS), 2006).The most recent white paper Healthy lives, healthy people (DH 2011) sets to reduce national rates in smoking amongst pregnant women to 11 percent from the current 2009/10 rate of 14 percent. It states that tobacco smoking remains one of the most significant public health challenges in England.


Smoking has remained prominent in public health globally and it continues to be a major factor for health inequalities in the UK. The world health organisation (WHO), 2011) states over the cause of the 21th century, tobacco use could kill a billion people or more unless urgent action is taken. The need for support identified in various literature and government strategy to enable pregnant women to maintain healthy lifestyles during and after pregnancy has impacted in my decision to identify smoking as a public health need for my client.

Impact of smoking in pregnancy

Maternal smoking is not only harmful during pregnancy but has a long term effects on the baby after birth, 4000 chemicals of which some are marked irritant properties and some 60 are known or suspected to be carcinogenic can be found in tobacco smoke (WHO, 2004). Some of the risk associated with smoking during pregnancy includes intrauterine growth restriction, placenta previa, and abruptio placentae (Vanderhoeven and Tolosa 2010). Poor outcomes such as preterm rupture of membranes, low birth weight and perinatal mortality have been highlighted (Vanderhoeven et al, 2010). Lagan and Casson 2010, indicates smoking to be associated with increased risk of miscarriage, respiratory problems for the child and sudden infant death (SID). Research carried out by University College London (UCL) concluded that babies born to women who smoke are at increased risk of having certain birth defects such as missing or deformed limbs, clubfoot, gastrointestinal, skull and eye defects and cleft lip or palate (Campbell 2011). Babies born of mothers who smoke have frequent respiratory problems at birth and in their first year, they are at risk of developing asthma and a higher rate of stillbirth is noted (Viccars, 2009).

Miss Yardley smokes 15 or more cigarettes a day and her mother is also identified as a smoker, this puts the unborn baby at risk of effects due to direct smoking and passive smoking. Mitchell et al (citied in Viccars, 2009) states that babies of women who smoke 15 cigarettes a day have 15 times greater risk of dying from SID compared to babies of non-smokers.Further research showed a link between smoking during pregnancy and low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in children whose mother’s smoked whilst pregnant. It concluded that they had 10-15 percent risk of experiencing heart disease compared to children with non smoking mothers (Health express, 2011).

From the discussion above it is evident the issue of smoking would need to be addressed at each opportunity with Miss Yardley when providing care and advice. This would enable screening and monitoring of smoking status, education on the effects of smoking to the outcome of her pregnancy and adequate support to ensure effects to pregnancy and the general health of mother and baby is eradicated or minimised.

Health promotion models

WHO defines health promotion a process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve, their health. It implies that the ideology moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions. Naidoo and Wills (2010), states ‘health promotion is based on theories about what influences people’s health and what are effective interventions or strategies to improve health. There are five different approaches to health promotion, medical, behaviour change, educational, client approach and societal change approach (Scriven 2010). Different health promotion models have been developed to enable a planned intervention to improve health.

Tannahill model (Downie et al 1996 citied in Naidoo and Wills 2009), addresses health promotion over three overlapping spheres of activity, preventive education, prevention and health protection. The model suggest that all approach interlink, in practice this could be difficult to implement and due to the overlapping of spheres, focus on what needs to be achieved could be confused. The prevention sphere of the model relies mainly on the medical approach , Barnes (2009) suggest that medical approach could be perceived as a top down approach and that when providing health promotion intervention client involvement is necessary to help maintain individual focus (client centred care).

In comparison, the Tones model which is an empowerment model sets to enable people to gain control over their own health (citied in Naidoo and Wills, 2009). ‘Tones consider education to be the key in empowering both lay and professional people’ (Naidoo et al 2009).The empowerment approach relies on educating client and the information conveyed would be highly medicalised to show importance of the issue. In relation to Miss Yardley who has tried but failed to quit smoking, empowering her through the use of education to convey the risk of smoking though unavoidable as a health professional, could have a counter active effect. Dunkley (2000), states that the aim of mass campaign is to raise awareness, however it may increase feeling of guilt and stress which may be relieved by the aid of another cigarette. Therefore the effectiveness of this model’s approach for my client is questioned.

Tones and Tannahill model both mainly makes use of the medical and educational approach, this makes it difficult to address socioeconomic factors that have documented risk with smoking. As my clients issue is related to smoking and there is a socioeconomic factor present, it would be inapplicable to use these models of health promotion.

During the booking appointment, Miss Yardley willing expressed to have tried quitting with no success and that she would like to quit though factors such as not having a job contributed to her smoking. ‘Nicotine addiction is identified as a major factor for women continuing to smoke during pregnancy’ (Lagan et al 2010). There is a link between stress and the use of tobacco as a relieve method. Gorman (2008) states ‘that smoking represents a significant challenge for pregnant women, as it compounds the stress of pregnancy and may be further complicated by additional factors such as disadvantage’. McCurry et al 2002 (citied in Lagan et al 2010) also indicates smoking to be a mechanism of coping with disadvantage, stress and perceived lack of control over life. According to Earp and Ennett (1991) an ecological perspective implies that behaviour results from interaction of both individual and environmental factors (Citied in Lagan et al, 2010). Various literatures have made use of behaviour model when planning intervention for smoking. Prochaska and DiClemente’s trans-theoretical model (Naidoo et al, 2009); will be used to manage the care of Miss Yardley. The model describes the process of change; it is derived from their work on encouraging change in additive behaviours (Naidoo el at, 2009). This model is applicable to my client has it addresses her behaviour which is the main attribute in smoking and enables a woman centred approach. Woman centred care is expressed as choice, control and continuity of care in the Changing Childbirth report (DH, 1993 cities in Leap 2009).Behavioural change approach enables the use of communication and counselling, empowerment, decision making, fostering community groups and social support networks (Dunkley 2000). The process of change includes precontemplation, contemplation, preparing to change, making change and maintenance.

The woman’s needs and midwifery care involved

All care given was in accordance with the National institute for health and clinical excellence (NICE, 2010): public health guidance 26.

Precontemplation: in this stage change to lifestyle has not been considered. Miss Yardley has progressed from this stage has she identified willingness to try quitting. This shows the limitation of the model when used with an individual who is thinking of changing.

Contemplation: the individual is thinking about change. The client’s willingness indicated readiness for change, adequate information was giving during the booking appointment through leaflets and other forms of resources. Due to the step by step structure of the model, it was easy to identify the stage of change.

Preparing to change: Miss Yardley has read all the information given and had taken up the referral. Though she continued to smoke but expressed to have cut down to 10 cigarettes a day. This shows the effectiveness of the model, though she is not at the point of change the use of counselling and information regarding risk has empowered some form of change.

Making the change: a date was choose. She had cut down from 10 to about 8 a day depending on her moods; she maintained her appointment with the specialist.

Maintenance: there is a possibility of relapse at this stage as change is not a smooth process (Naidoo et al, 2009). In Miss Yardley’s case change would have to be assessed through to the postnatal period, in order to determine adequate health improvement.According to

At booking, Miss Yardley’s pregnancy was considered low risk, which meant that her care was given mainly in the community. Her exposure to smoking was identified through discussion. Carbon monoxide test was not carried out as it is unavailable in the located hospital. Information regarding the risk of smoking in pregnancy to her and the unborn child was explained and information leaflets and contact numbers to relevant smoking services given. Passive smoking was addressed and the effects pointed out. The benefits of stopping smoking to her health and that of the pregnancy outcome were highlighted, financial benefit was also explained. The need to quit, rather than cut down was explained. Informed consent was given and referral made to the community smoking cessation midwife. Encouragement and praise was given at this stage. As she identified her mother to be a smoker, information on how to reduce passive smoking was explained and relevant stop smoking service contact were given to help her mother. The pregnancy book by the Department of Health was given for general education on pregnancy and the section on rights and benefits was highlighted to help with benefits as she was unemployed. Care given was accurately recorded in accordance with NMC code (2008) to enable continuity of care.

At 28 weeks plus four days, she was seen for a routine follow up antenatal appointment with the midwife. She expressed to be well, no concerns regarding fetal movement noted, no abnormalities detected with other routine examination such as symphysis fundal height measure. The appointment was used as an opportunity to assess her exposure to smoke, and to identify whether smoking cessation was maintained. Benefits of quitting were further stressed and encouragement was given. From her appointment with the smoking specialist, it was evident from documentation that improvement were being made in regards to the carbon monoxide readings as she had reduced the amount of cigarette smoked and was preparing to achieve a set date.

The role of midwife in public health and health promotion

Midwives have been identified as health professional responsible for identifying this target group of smokers (pregnant women).Midwives have access to the life cycle of very important group of people; therefore they play a part in the government target of reducing smoking in pregnancy (Pollock 2003). Partnership with woman is essential in achieving health promotion and maintaining government set public health targets. According to Leap, (citied in Ebert et al, 2009), ‘midwives reported their role as facilitating choice and empowering women through partnership and effective communication’. the midwifery partnership model of care Communication is an important role for midwives, in health promotion it enables continuity of care through adequate documentation, verbal interaction with women enables relationship to be formed which further improves women centred care approach. Byrd (2006) ‘states that relationship are able to persist trust and attachment developing as long as people fulfil perceived obligations of behaviour and communication’ (Ebert et al 2009). Multidisciplinary team working to enable adequate care is provided is also a vital role of midwives in health promoting and improving public health.Midwives and nurses frequently utilise holistic concept of health to underpin practice (Beldon and Crozler 2005). Therefore when provide health promotion it is important that the women’s needs is addressed holistically in accordance with midwifery practice and not based on medical interpretation.


In conclusion, it is evident that smoking during pregnancy is an important aspect of public health and therefore an important part of midwifery practice. In particular, health promotion in daily practice is required to prevent any further complication to mothers and their unborn babies. Smoking is a major public health issue that continues to contribute to social and health inequalities.Working with Miss Yardley enabled me to provide care tailored to her needs and goal set to quit smoking and were identified by the client. Though I was unable to follow her care care through, I feel adequate support provided through the smoking cessation referral would enable her to maintain her set goal and improve her health and that of the unborn child.

Free Essays

How do the rates of teenage pregnancy in Croydon compare to other London Boroughs?


Research studies have suggested that teenage pregnancy is a major global issue and it needs to be addressed accurately due to the health, social and economic risks associated with this issue (Baker, 2007; Roth et al., 2009; Kamberg, 2012). Decline in the number of teenage pregnancies have been reported as a result of the strategies undertaken by governing bodies across Europe to reduce the number of unplanned teenage conceptions. However, England still has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies which are mostly unplanned (Teenage Pregnancy Associates, 2011). Teenage pregnancies are a major cause of poor health conditions in teen mothers and their babies, it has an adverse economic impact and play a crucial role in increasing child poverty (WHO, 2012).

2. Individual Factors

Research studies have suggested that individual factors play an important role in teenage conceptions (Imamura et al., 2007). Children of teenage lone mothers are more vulnerable to become teenage parents (Botting et al. 1998). Members of some certain ethnic groups such as Caribbean and Asian are more likely to become teenage parents in comparison to white teenagers (Botting et al., 1998; Berthoud, 2001). Underperforming children at school who show little or no interest in learning and eventually drops out at early ages are also at a risk of becoming teenage parents (Kiernan, 1995). Research evidences have suggested that increased number of teenage pregnancies have also been observed in young children living in care or those who leave care (Imamura et al., 2007). According to Haldre et al. (2009) alcohol abuse in the family and lower levels of sexual knowledge also lead to higher number of teenage pregnancies.

3. Socio- Economic Factors

According to Baker (2007), socio-economic disadvantages are one of the major causes of teenage pregnancies. Teenagers who are detached or detach themselves from the society as a result of discrimination or lack of support from the society are highly vulnerable to early pregnancies. Social disadvantages as identified by England’s Social Exclusion Unit includes unemployment, poor quality of health, living in deprived areas, having lower levels of skills, poor housing facilities, family fall outs and low income (SEU, 2001). Gruber (2009) argued that individuals become socially disadvantaged when they are denied their basic rights and the opportunities to become an active part of the society which leas to involvements in crimes and other illegal activities. Research studies have suggested that children of socially disadvantaged young parents live in poverty (Baker, 2007). However, not many evidences are present in the literature about the contribution of poverty to teenage pregnancies and this area needs more exploration. According to a research study by Arai (2009), poverty is common in households where the head of the household is a teenager. MacPhail and Campbell (2001) identified that poverty pose an influential impact on the decisions of teenagers to buy contraceptives leading to unintended teenage pregnancies which further leads to lack of finance and support. Trapani (1999) found out that in most cases of teenage pregnancies boyfriends of teenage pregnant girls hesitate from taking the responsibility of the child due to its impact on their educational and employment opportunities. This rejection from partners can cause depression in teenage mothers and their children could significantly suffer in many ways as a result of this depression.

It is clear from the preliminary literature review that individual, social and economic factors play an important role in increased number of teenage conceptions. Recent reports published by NHS (Wilpers,2011) suggest that government has taken a number of steps to reduce teenage pregnancies; however, despite of these measures the success rate is low. This leads to the formulation of the research question for this study which is to understand why is teenage pregnancy increasing and what more factors are contributing to this problem in addition to the ones identified by previous research studies.

4. Rationale for the study

According to a recent press release, London Borough of Croydon recorded 50% increase in the teenage conceptions; and the borough is still amongst the regions with highest teenage pregnancy rate (Croydon, 2012). In order to further reduce the rate of teenage pregnancies in Borough of Croydon it is crucial to identify the factors causing the increase in teenage conceptions. Therefore, the aim of this research study is to effectively recognize the factors causing the higher rates in teenage pregnancies in the London Borough of Croydon, and the chosen organisation is Croydon Health Services NHS Trust.

Research question identify the factors causing higher rates in teenage pregnancies through a systematic literature review
Aims of the study
To identify the factors causing higher rates in teenage pregnancies in the London Borough of Croydon.
To identify the strategies that could be adopted by the governing bodies in London Borough of Croydon to address the issues of higher rates in teenage pregnancies.
Study population

The target population for this research study are the pregnant teenagers attending antenatal clinics in Croydon and the sample size would be 15. Initially contact over the phone was established with a supervisor of midwives to arrange a meeting in order to explain the benefits of this research study. It was decided in the meeting that the invitation for participating in the research study will be given to the pregnant teenagers by the midwives attending antenatal clinics in local medical practices. Pregnant teenagers willing to participate will be given a date and time for the interviews after consulting the researcher and all the interviews will take place in a room within the medical practices so that an assuring environment could be provided to the participants.

Study design – justification of methodology

An exploratory case study research strategy has been undertaken for the accomplishment of the aim of this research study because of its effectiveness in exploring the problem understudy and because of its proficiency in unveiling new issues (Walsh and Wigens, 2003). This research strategy is extremely time consuming and provides no control over the information provided by the participants; however, according to Kumar (2008) the researcher can effectively overcome these problems through his/her competent research skills.

A qualitative approach has been adopted for this research study. Qualitative research which is robust in its detail and empiricism will facilitate the collection of quality data, having high validity in a natural setting (Belk, 2008). Research approach can be inductive or deductive depending upon the type of the research study and for this qualitative research study inductive research approach has been adopted. The advantages of inductive research approach include its flexibility and its ability to inform insights from the study as it develops, so we can recognise the relationship and connection between insights.


Primary as well as secondary data will be collected for this research study. Secondary data will be collected from the reports published by NHS, books, journals and news articles. Both the primary and secondary sources of information will be explored. The advantages of these include time effectiveness, cost effectiveness and the ease of access to the information. Invalid or incomplete pieces of information and possible confusion due to the availability of huge amount of information are few limitations of this data collection method (Kumar, 2011). Primary data will be collected by conducting individual semi- structured interviews because of its efficacy in establishing an informal two way conversation between the researcher and the participant (Carter and Thomas, 1997). A qualitative approach is suitable for this project, as qualitative research has numerous advantages that will be suitable for a subject that requires significant levels of nuance and detail in order to fully understand it. Crucially, qualitative research is able to focus on how a subject is affected by specific phenomena and social forces and can help to produce detailed experiences and information that can produce robust insights. It seeks to explore the “why’s”, “what’s” and “how’s” at play in situations and how people think, act and behave in the manner they do, “Qualitative research involves the studied use and collection of a variety of empirical materials- case study, personal experience, introspective, life story, interview, observational, historical, interactional and visual texts that describe routine and problematic matters and moments in the lives of individuals” (Denizen and Lincoln in Gordon, 1999:21). Individual interviews are especially effective at achieving this as they are often used to explore step by step processes that inform decision making and how situations unravel. (Gordon, 1999). Due to the highly sensitive nature of the subject matter semi-structured face to face interviews will serve as the most appropriate means of collecting information. Semi-structured interviews have the advantage of being able to combine predetermined questions in an order that can change and be adapted to information that the participant (Robson, 2000), discuss details relating to their experiences candidly, and without any fear of being judged by others. This will also be achieved by the researcher doing their utmost to make the participant feel relaxed, valued and comfortable. In order to do this, it will be necessary to find a location in which participants feel comfortable, and therefore participants should be consulted for their preferences in which interviews should be conducted ( Gage in Hammersley, 1999).

Although the interview will be semi structured, the subjects for discussion will be informed by the literature review, and a topic/ discussion guide will be drafted beforehand to ensure that the interviews run smoothly. In order to create a topic guide that addresses all the relevant topics and subjects, it will be useful to conduct a pilot interview, which can also help to ensure that the topic guide is clear and unambiguous. As a means of collecting the detailed information that is necessary for a project of this nature, the duration of interviews should last for at-least 60 minutes, and participants must be advised of this beforehand. However whilst the researcher will aim to engage the participants in lively and frank discussion there may be situations in which the participant is unable to express themselves articulately, or does not have the communications skills to do so. This can be overcome by the use of projective and enabling techniques, and the use of them can sometimes allow participants to open up. This is achieved by asking questions in a manner in which the participant is able to project themselves to someone or something else that is disengaged from the research process, “Projective techniques consist of a situation or stimulus that encourages a person to project part of themselves or an idea system on to an external object, or to bring it into the interview itself”. ( Gordon, 1999:165). An effective means of achieving by this is with the use of completion exercises such as sentence completions, for example, the interviewer may ask something along the lines of, “ People think organic food today is good because…..” which can enable participants to reveal opinions in an alternative guise. (Gordon, 1999). Once projective and enabling techniques have been conducted, it is always extremely worth-while questioning them on their responses in order to provide additional insights (Silverman, 2011).


The target population for this research study are the pregnant teenagers attending antenatal clinics in Croydon and the sample size would be 15.

Ethical Considerations

Participation will be voluntary, anonymity will be maintained by attributing data to fictional names during the final report, information about the study will be provided to the participants and written consents will be taken prior to the interviews. Information collected will only be used by the researcher, and we will ensure that participants who are under 16 have formal consent from their parents, in order to take part in the project. All participants under the age of will also have a chaperone or legal guardian onsite.

Data management and protection

All the data will be kept confidential and utilised only for research purposes. The data will be safeguarded by the researcher and securely archived once the project has been completed.

Data analysis

Data will be analysed in a step wise manner (Maykut and Morehouse, 1994). Firstly all the responses will be carefully examined followed by the unitization and categorisation of different pieces of information and subject to a rigorous qualitative content analysis. Finally the responses will be interpreted. Prior to undertaking analysis, it is important to draft an analytical template, so that findings can be systematically ordered in a manner that enables the researcher to identify patterns, similarities, differences, key themes, narratives and other relevant details of interest. The template should be informed both by primary and secondary research and is often influenced by the order of topics included in the discussion guide used during the interview stage (Silverman, 2011). It is necessary to do this as the researcher can often feel overwhelmed by data and detail once they have completed the interviews on a research project, and drafting an analytical template can help the researcher to feel organised and stay focused. In order to do this the template can be coded so the responses from different participants are immediately recognized, structured based on a series of phrases, terminology, sequences and themes – so that dominant themes can emerge and that a “big picture” can start to come into focus. Once the main themes have been identified, it can be useful to add direct quotations, specific experiences and anecdotal information in order to bring the findings to life ( Miles and Huberman, 1994).

Research Timetable


Generalisations are the potential limitation of the research study as the results might not completely reflect the condition in other Boroughs of England. Also when embarking on research that is informed by a qualitative approach, it is important to recognise that objective reality truth does not exist, and that all insights will on some level be shaped by a range of factors including, “ a personal history, biography, gender, social class and race and ethnicity” (Gordon, 1999:21).

Researcher bias

To maintain the reliability and validity of the data all the measures will be taken to avoid the chances of errors during face-to-face interviews and when analysing the data.

Presentation of findings

The observations of the research will be presented in form of interview transcripts. Analysis and thoughts over the research will be in the form of detailed report in style of journal.

Dissemination of results

Regular updates on the progress of the work will be informed to the supervisor. Any suggestions over the improvements will be sought after disseminating results to the supervisor. The research will be done entirely by me with the suggestions of supervisor and the intellectual rights will belong to me and the university.

Project management

It will be ensured that the progress of the study coincides with the research time table. If in case of any delay or unexpected observations, permission of the supervisor and the awarding body will be sought for extension and help as /when needed.


In conclusion, despite of the limitation this research study will effectively contribute towards the information present in the literature about the factors causing the increase in the number of teenage conceptions.


Arai, L. 2009. Teenage Pregnancy: The Making and Unmaking of a Problem. Bristol : The Policy Press.

Baker, P. 2007. Teen Pregnancy and Reproductive Health. Dorchester: The Dorchester Press.

Belk, R.W. 2008. Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods . Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

Berthoud, R. 2001. Teenage births to ethnic minority women. Population Trends summer, 104, pp. 12-7.

Botting, B., Rosato, M. and Wood, R. 1998. Teenage mothers and the health of their children. ONS Population Trends, 93, pp. 19-28.

Croydon, 2012. Croydon Teenage Pregnancy Rate Halves. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Feb 2013].

Gordon,W. 1999. Good Thinking. London: Admap.

Gruber, J. 2009. The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press.

Haldre, K., Rahu, K., Rahu, M. and Karro, H. 2009. Individual and familial factors associated with teenage pregnancy: an interview study. Eur J Public Health, 19 (3), pp. 266-270.

Hammersley, M.1999. Social Research. London: Sage.

Imamura, M., Tucker, J., Hannaford, P. et al. 2007. Factors associated with teenage pregnancy in the European Union countries: a systematic review. Eur J Public Health, 17 (6), pp. 630-636.

Kamberg, M. 2012. Teen Pregnancy and Motherhood. NY: The Rosen Publishing Group.

Kiernan, K. 1995. Transition to parenthood: young mothers, young fathers – associated

factors and later life experiences. LSE Discussion paper WSP/113.

Kumar, 2011. Research Methodology. New Delhi: APH Publishing Group.

Maykut, P. and Morehouse, R. 1994. Begining Qualitative Research. London: The Falmer Press.

MacPhail, C. and Campbell, C. 2001. I think condoms are good but I hate those things: condom use among adolescents and young people in a South African township. Social Science and Medicine, 52(6), pp. 1613-1627.

Monsen, E.R. and Horn, L.V. 2007. Research Successful Approaches. USA: ADA.

Robson,C. 2002. Real World Research. London: Blackwell.

Roth, J., Hendrickson, J., Schilling, M. and Stowell, D. W. 1998. The Risk of Teen Mothers Having Low Birth Weight Babies: Implications of Recent Medical Research for School Health Personnel. Journal of School Health, 68: pp. 271–275.

Social Exclusion Unit. 2001. Teenage Pregnancy: Report by the Social Exclusion Unit. London: Stationery Office.

Teenage Pregnancy Associates, 2012. Teenage Pregnancy: The Evidence. [Online]. Available at : [Accessed 23 Feb 2012].

Trapani, M. 1999. Reality Check : Teenage Fathers Speak Out. NY: The Rosen Publishing Group.

Carter, Y. And Thomas, C. 1997. Research Methods in Primary Care. Oxon: Radcliffe Medical Press Ltd.

Walsh, M. and Wigens, L. 2003. Introduction to Research. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Limited.

WHO, 2012. World Health Organisation. [Online]. Available at : [Accessed 22 Feb 2013].

APPENDIX-1: Questionnaire to be used in the study:

Who do you live with
Was this pregnancy planned
Are you attending school
How do you intend to support your baby financiallyAre you or your partner working
Do you know what choices of contraceptives are to you and how important is it to use contraceptives
Are you and your partner mentally ready to take the responsibility of the baby

Free Essays

Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy Policy in the UK


This essay will discuss the current policies in place to prevent teenage pregnancy in the United Kingdom. Firstly, it will introduce the key concept of teenage pregnancy and discuss it against the context of the problems it creates. The current teenage pregnancy policy will then be presented and critiqued. Finally, a number of recommendations and conclusion will be drawn.

Definition and Background

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), teenage pregnancy is defined as pregnancy in a woman aged 10 – 19, whilst Unicef (2008) define it as conception occurring in a woman aged 13 – 19 (Unicef, 2008). On the basis of this definition, Unicef calculated that the teenage pregnancy rate in the UK is the highest in Western Europe (Unicef, 2001), and aside from a slight decrease in the birth rate to teenage mothers during the 1970’s it has remained relatively constant since 1969 (DoH, 2003). In 1999, the Labour Government’s Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) presented its report to parliament acknowledging the scope and seriousness of the problem, particularly with reference to damage to the mother’s academic and career progression, and the health of the child.

The National Teenage Pregnancy Strategy

The SEU implored the Government to commit to reducing teenage conceptions by 50% by 2010, and to address the social exclusion of young mothers. To meet the first aim, the SEU championed improved sexual education, both inside and outside school and better access to contraceptives. To achieve the second, it recommended the implementation of multi-agency government programmes designed to provide support in housing, education and training.

To implement the recommendations of the report, the Government set up the Teenage Pregnancy Unit (TPU), which was located in the Department of Health, but required local authorities (LA) to produce their own strategies to reduce teenage conception by 50% by 2010, with an interim target of 15% by 2004. The majority of prevention strategies focused on four key areas; the use of mass media to increase awareness of sexual health, sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools and community settings, easily available services and information on sexual health and better-quality support for young parents to drop social exclusion (DCFS 2009). In 2000, the Department for Children, Schools and Family (DCSF) issued directives to all schools to ensure that SRE in schools aimed to enable young people to make responsible and well-informed choices about their sexual lives and desist from risky behaviours which influence unintended pregnancy (DCSF 2009c). LA gave their strong backing to ensure inclusion of complete SRE programmes into personal and social education lessons in all schools (DfES 2006).

The methods of administering SRE differed across LAs. For example, the services of sexual health specialists were stretched outside clinical environment to encompass schools and community settings. Programmes outside of the school environment were implemented to expose teenagers to the realities of parenting and the advantages of sensible sexual choices, and included Choose your Life, Body Tool Kit, Teens and Tots, and the Virtual Doll Plan. The varying needs of culturally diverse communities were measured, and programmes were tailored to meet them. In LA containing the most at-risk teenagers, advanced SRE plans involving parents, teachers, school nurses, teachers and vanguard staff were made. Southwark LA for example, sought to improve the information of young people on early gestations, direct them to making reliable choices and in turn decrease the rate of teenage pregnancies ((NHS Southwark 2007; Fullerton et al 1997).

The actions taken were in line with the goals and purposes of the agenda; studies have demonstrated that teenagers value a forum to discuss sex and relationship issues, and such forums are beneficial as they decrease the chances of earlier sexual contact (Allen et al. 2007; Fullerton et al. 1997). Nevertheless, local differences occurred that hampered with the distribution of SRE in the schools in some areas. Not all schools embraced SRE in their teaching syllabus, some of the teachers were uncertain of the degree to teach and were either uncomfortable or awkward about young people’s sexual matters. Some schools had a syllabus that excluded social or emotional topics, which play an important role (Chambers, 2002). Some areas included mixed sex classes; these were less successful as some teenagers, particularly females, felt inhibited (Stephenson et al. 2004). Additionally, some parents refused to support the policy and withdrew their children from SRE classes (Lanek, 2005). In reaction to these difficulties, the Health & Social Care Scrutiny Sub-Committee (2004) made further recommendations, emphasising the responsibility of schools (particularly faith schools) to include SRE in the curriculum.

Post 2010, the policy aims and objectives were to build on the existing strategy, and enable young people to receive the knowledge, advice and support they need from parents, teachers and other specialist to deal with the pressure to have sex, enjoy positive and caring relationships and have good sexual health.

Policy Type

Birkland (1984) and Lowi et al. (1964) have argued that knowing the type of policy one is dealing with will enable one to predict what may arise after the policy has been implemented. However, Wilson (1973) has criticized categorising policies, as some are too complex to be so simply defined. This is a criticism that can be fiarly levelled at the policy under discussion, which is both preventive and self-regulatory. It aims to reduce and prevent pregancies to bridging health and education inequality gaps that teenage mothers face, reducing child poverty and reducing the cost of teenage pregnancy on public funds. It is both distributive and pragmatic; distributive in that it permits benefit to a particular group (Birkland, 1984), and pragmatic in that it was designed to be practical and workable (Maclure, 2009).

The Political Context

According to Leichter (1979) contextual factors that can affect policy production can be political, social, economic, cultural, national and international, with some factors becoming major contributors to the policy. Taking the example of international factors, Levine (2003) states that interdependency of nations with the same social problem can affect the policy of the adopting nation takes to solve their problem. In the UK, international influences such as the European Union, WHO and countries facing the same high teenage pregnancy rate have all impacted UK policy on the same issue (Baggott, 2007). As a member state of European Union, the regulation of our national law by the Union takes priority in informing and sharpening our policies (Mclean, 2006).

Politically in Britain, the ‘teenage mother’ has come to symbolise social decline. This began with the Conservative government in the 1990’s, who first politicised the single mother by describing her as typifying the prevalent moral standards (particularly amongst the lower social classes) that threatened society (Macvarish, XX). Following the election of the Labour party in 1997, this political perception was altered in line with the New Labour vision; a more optimistic national mood teamed with traditional Labour views on social equality. Under this perspective, issues such as poverty and unemployment were viewed as symptoms of ‘social exclusion’ whereby individuals were unfairly excluded from participating fully in society. Such communities were to be viewed sympathetically instead of being blamed, and it was within this context that the strategy evolved: reducing teenage pregnancy was one way of making the excluded included (Macvarish XX).

Against this backdrop of poitical ideology, the UK has a democratic system of government whereby decisions and policies are made based on the influence of the stakeholders. The teenage pregnancy strategy had pluralist influences including the director of public health, consultants in public health, the director of social services, specialist midwifes and parents of teenagers. These contributions were multi-level; nationally, regionally and locally. At a national level, financial support and endorsement was provided by senior ministers, guidance and monitoring was provided at a regional level, and participation by young people and their parents provided the local input.

Policy implementation

Implementation is the process of turning policy into practice (Buse, 2005). The implementation of the teenage pregnancy policy was two phase: the first launched in 1999 and depended on ‘better’ sex education both in and out of schools, and improved access to contraception. The second phase came 10 years later in 2008 and relied upon different government programs designed to assist teenage mothers with returning to education or training, gaining employment or providing support with other social factors such as housing.

The implementation of teenage pregnancy policy was also top-down. The purpose of the policy was to reduce and prevent teenagers from becoming early parents through support and increasing implementation of preventative guidance by the government and to combat social exclusion of teenage mothers. The policy can be seen to be self-regulatory because it was behavioral and aimed to provide the individual with the skills to make informed decisons regarding their sexual health (Bartle & Vass, 1998).

There are additional factors that help to facilitate the implementation of policy; actors in policy, and experts in the agenda. Actors generally are individuals with power that can be excercised through influencing policy. They may be lobby or pressure groups and can include politicians, civil servants, and members of an interest group (Buse, 2005).

The involvement of experts in the agenda setting was clear from the outset. The National guidance allowed the local areas to enlarge the scope of the policy using guidance. The involvement of local actors and the use of data from the local areas helped to motivate local action. Taking advantage of local knowledge or information facilitates matching policy to the specific needs of the teenagers.

Analysis of policy success

Strategy implementation related success

Following the publication of the policy, the earliest the strategy could begin to be implemented was early 2000, but this was highly dependent on the employment of local teenage pregnancy co-ordinators. By the third quarter of 2000, 75% of these posts were staffed, rising to virtually 100% in 2001 (TPSE, 2005). With regards the communication strategy, the percentage of local areas that used media campaigns to reinforce the messages of the national campaign grew steadily from 2% in 2000 to 40% in 2001 (TPSE, 2005). The number of areas with at least one sexual health service dedicated to young people increased consistently from 68% in 2000 to 84% in 2001, while support for young parents with emphasis on reintegration into work and training rose to 70% according to TPSE (2005). Over the course of the strategy, 10,000 teachers, support staff and nurses were trained to deliver Personal, Social and Health Education in schools (TPAIG, 2010).

Prevention related success

The original ambition of the teenage pregnancy strategy was to achieve a 15% reduction in under-18 conception by 2004 and 50% reduction by 2010, accompanied by a downward trend in the under-16 conception rate (TPSE 2005). The first phase of the strategy came to an end after a period of ten years without achieving its entire target. In the early part of tits implementation, the policy appeared to have moderate success. By 2002, the conception rate for under-18s had fallen by 9%, reversing the upward trend seen prior to the strategy implementation, and contrary to the relatively static rates observed over the past 30 years (TPSE, 2005). Success varied across the UK, but a steeper decline in conception rates in socio-economically deprived areas suggested that it had targeted the most ‘at-risk’ areas. For example, Hackney council reported a decrease in the rates of repeated abortion from 49% to 27% in under-18s, and they report that the majority of under-16s report not having sex due to understanding of abstinence. How successful the policy had been depended greatly on how robustly it was implemented across various local areas. In general, there was a reduction in areas that have carried out proper implementation, with some areas able to report a 45% decline, while other areas performed poorly due to poor implementation, with no reduction, or in some cases, an increase (TPAIG, 2010).

However, the follow-up report ‘Teenage Pregnancy Strategy: Beyond 2010 found that the overall conception rate had fallen by 13.3% since 1998, falling well short of the projected 50% reduction. However the DoH add that births to under-18s had fallen by 25% over this period (DoH, 2010).They also point to the increase in access to sexual health services, information and advice as an additional indicator of success. The new phase goes beyond the original 10-year target, adding more content added to the policy, following an incremental process according to TPSE (2005). Incrementalpolicy according to Lindblom (1993) is a major achievement that is attained as a result of small steps taken which guarded against policy disaster. However, the new phase exists within a climate of austerity. The current downtrend of conception rates in the under-18 age group will be difficult to maintain against a backdrop of disinvestment, which has already led to widespread closure of specialist sexual health services for under-18s.

Gaps in the policy

In applying teenage pregnancy policy to the present situation, it can be said that the policy did not really look inward into the situation that the country was facing. It looked at the success rate of other countries without tailoring their measures to curb the problems specific to Britain. The policy is a social policy and as such it focussed on the social aspect of the problem without looking at the health issues that come with teenage pregnancy. Addiitonally, the time frame given to meet its target of a 50% was too short. Teenage pregancy is inextricably linked to both poverty, a social issue too wide to tackle in one decade. It is also strongly related to culture, and specifically the need to foster a culture of openess regarding sexual behaviour and health. This again is too complex to challenge in 10 years.


In the first instance, the coalition Government must address the shortcomings currently seen in sexual relation education (SRE). The former Government elected to not make SRE part of the compulsory curriculum, and as a result provision of SRE across the country is patchy. The Government should pass legislation ensure good practice such as SRE becomes compulsory. Additionally, refinements to existing SRE need to be made. In particular this should include devising ethnic and faith-based SRE programmes, which will better address the diversity of beliefs held in a modern multi-cultural Britain. Also, the deliberation of same-sex SRE classes should be completed and implemented (Fullerton et al 2001). More use should be made of robust team-working within communities, health sectors and schools in encouraging SRE, and the creative use and further training of more peer-educators to deliver the strategy within schools should be considered.

Secondly, an approach which combines measures to prevent teenage conception and support teenage mothers must be in tandem to wider measures to address poverty and social exclusion. The loss of the Education Maintenance Allowance and the closure of many Sure Start centres disproportionately disadvantage the socio-economically deprived, and widen the gap in attainment between the rich and poor.

Thirdly, the coalition government must be invested in making reductions to teenage pregnancy rates a priority. Ring-fencing of funds for specialist sexual health services and training in SRE must be guaranteed in order to not lose the small, but significant reductions in teenage pregnancy rates seen to date. Relatedly, strategies to address teenage pregnancy should be integrated into all future policies.

Finally, the patchy nature of strategy deliverance across local authorities must be addressed. Areas that neglect to implement the strategy effectively should be identified, and supported according. Sharing of good practice across local authorities should be made routine.


In conclusion, this essay has outlined the teenage pregnancy strategy devised in 1998, its background and political context. It went on to discuss the outcomes of the first ten-year phase. At this point, it is still too early to say whether the second phase will meet its overall target, especially in the current economic climate, although the strategy focused attention on the problem and provided materials to help local, regional and national implementation of the strategy. As Britain remains a culturally diverse country, addressing this with regards teenage sexual health should remain a priority. In particular, adequate training of all personnel that will help and support teenagers in and out of school, increasing parental involvement in sex and contraception, and ring fencing specialist sexual health services should all be seen as important and complimentary factors in continuing to address pregnancy in UK teenagers.


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Free Essays

Critical Review of a Paper Investigating the Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour to Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy


The paper to be reviewed is an investigation by Duncan, Forbes-McKay and Henderson (2012)
into the application of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB, Ajzen, 1988, 1991) and its effectiveness in predicting intention to carry out health related behaviours. The TPB is a social cognition model, meaning that it seeks to predict intention to carry out a behaviour and to understand why individuals may fail to adhere to a behaviour to which they were once committed. The theory claims that three variables can be used to predict an individual’s behaviour: the individual’s attitude toward the behaviour, the attitude of significant others toward the behaviour and the individual’s perceived control over a behaviour. Perceived control over behaviour is governed by both internal factors such as an individual’s skills or available resources, and external factors such as actual opportunities to carry out the behaviour. Unlike the individual’s attitude toward the behaviour and the attitude of others, perceived control over the behaviour is believed to influence both the intention to carry out the behaviour and the behaviour itself. In particular, the authors were investigating whether the TPB could be used to predict intention to consume alcohol during pregnancy. Previous research has found the TPB to be useful for predicting a range of other health related behaviours (Godin and Kok, 1996) and alcohol consumption behaviours in particular (Marcoux & Shope, 1997; McMillan & Conner, 2003). The authors focused on the role of TPB in being able to predict the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Drinking during pregnancy is a major health issue. It has been found to influence a number of outcomes for the child including maladaptive behaviours (Sood et al., 2001) and weight at birth (Mariscal et al., 2006). Despite its relation to negative outcomes for the child, up to 54% of women in the UK have claimed to have consumed alcohol during their pregnancy (Bolling et al., 2007).

Study Description

130 women based in the Aberdeenshire area returned a questionnaire that was distributed to them at their 20-week pregnancy scan. Of these, analysis was carried out on 116 women. The questionnaire included questions designed to gather information on demographic details, past and present alcohol consumption, and TPB variables. The TPB variables included measuring the participants’ intention to engage in the behaviour, their attitude toward the behaviour, their beliefs about the subjective norm and their perceived behavioural control. The study found that the majority of participants made changes to their drinking behaviour once they found out that they were pregnant, with these changes taking the form of a reduction in alcohol consumption. 64.7% abstained from alcohol altogether during their pregnancy, 34.5% continued to drink to some level and 0.9% did not answer. Of those women who continued to drink during their pregnancy, 13.4% were drinking above the recommended maximum levels whereas the rest were drinking one to two units between two and four times per month. It was also found that although most participants received information about drinking during their pregnancy, 12.9% received no information.
In relation to the TPB theory, it was found that women who abstained from drinking after finding out they were pregnant had significantly higher scores on the intention scale, suggesting that they had a significantly greater intention to quit alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Abstaining participants also had significantly higher scores on the subjective norm scale, indicating that they felt more pressure from what others thought about drinking during pregnancy. Abstainers were also found to have significantly lower scores on the attitude scale, suggesting a much less positive attitude toward the behaviour of drinking during pregnancy. In contrast,, the scale that measured perceived behaviour control did not show any significant differences between those women who abstained and those who continued to drink during their pregnancy.

Attitude toward the behaviour and the influence of what others thought of the behaviour were found to be strongly and significantly correlated with intention to carry out the behaviour of abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy. TPB was able to explain 59.3% of variance in intention to drink during pregnancy. Furthermore, the theory was able to correctly classify 91.8% of cases and as a result, was statistically able to distinguish between drinkers and abstainers. The authors concluded that as attitude was found to have the greatest statistically significant contribution to predicting intention and to contribute significantly to predicting actual behaviour, it would be an ideal candidate for intervention focus. As perceived behaviour control was the only TPB component found not to contribute, the authors suggest that the model without this component would be appropriate for predicting intention to consume alcohol during pregnancy.

Critical Review

The reviewed article addressed an important health issue, namely investigating how drinking alcohol during pregnancy could be reduced by understanding what drives or stops women from having the intention to carry out this behaviour. The finding that attitude toward drinking whilst pregnant has a significant impact on both intention to drink during pregnancy and actual drinking during pregnancy could have wider clinical and educational applications. Nevertheless, the authors are vague in how their findings could be applied in the real world and fail to make useful suggestions based on their data. The finding that some women were not provided with information pertaining to the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is also an important one because it highlights that some health trusts are failing to help women make informed decisions about this subject. However, it is not touched upon in the discussion.

The study’s introduction is a little weak in that it does not make an overly convincing argument as to why their chosen topic is important and worth investigating. It makes only a brief reference to the negative impact that alcohol consumption can have on both mother and baby, and the literature to which it refers is quite outdated. This suggests that a thorough and recent literature review may not have been carried out. Furthermore, the study could present a much stronger argument as to why the TPB may be applicable to this health behaviour in particular. There is some justification in that the authors of the paper chose this particular theory on the premise that a socially-based theory such as TPB could highlight risk factors for the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy that could be more easily influenced than previous risk factors that have been identified such as drinking habits before pregnancy and socioeconomic status (Stewart & Streiner, 1994; Yamamoto et al., 2008). Risk factors such as these cannot be easily changed. In contrast, risk factors based on attitudes toward a behaviour can be more easily altered through education or government interventions. The discussion does not flow particularly well and the overall conclusions of the study are not entirely clear. An advantage of the TPB is its holistic approach. It attempts to understand the behaviour of an individual in the context of both an individual’s attitude toward a behaviour, their perceived control over that behaviour and how they perceive others to judge the behaviour. However, our intentions to carry out a behaviour or not are the result of an incredibly complex process during which many variables are taken into account. Although the limitations of the study’s methodology are touched upon in the discussion, the authors fail to explore the limitations of the TPB and how these may affect their findings. For example, McKeown (1979) argued that negative health behaviours are determined on the individual level by the choices we make to behave in a certain way. Therefore, the theory may place too much emphasis on the importance of what others think of a behaviour. Indeed, in the current study, individual attitudes toward a behaviour were found to be more influential than subjective norms.

One criticism of this study is its potential lack of representativeness, both culturally and geographically. Ethnic minorities made up only 6.9% of the sample, meaning that the results may not be generalisable to ethnic minorities. Furthermore, the sample was collected from only one geographic area, although the authors argue that their findings are in keeping with previous studies that used samples from a much wider geographical area (Anderson et al., 2007; Bolling et al., 2007). There may also have been a bias in the way in which participants were recruited. Women were approached by the researchers whilst awaiting their 20 week antenatal scans in hospital. The scans are designed to screen for any anomalies in the baby and to check that development is normal. These scans are not compulsory, potentially creating a bias in the sample. For example, Alderdice et al. (2007) found that women without qualifications or women from areas of high deprivation were significantly less likely to uptake an offer of a 20 week screen for Downs Syndrome than women from affluent areas or women with degree-level qualification. This suggests that the women who were approached by the researchers in the current study may have been under-representative of women from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Furthermore, the study does not provide detail on the demographic information of the women who responded to the questionnaire, which would have been useful in evaluating generalisability.

The measure used to ascertain TPB variables was developed using guidelines for the development of questionnaires designed to measure TPB behaviours (Francis et al., 2004). However, the measurement used was not a validated questionnaire. Furthermore, the authors do not provide examples of how they measured the three variables of intention, subjective norm and perceived behaviour control. This means that the measure cannot be opened up for scrutiny or re-used in later studies to assess its validity and reliability. Before the main study, a small pilot study was carried out with seven pregnant women to ensure that the questionnaire was easy to understand. Pilot studies are essential for establishing a sound study design (van Teijilngen & Hundley, 2001). Although, it should be noted that the authors did not report the results of any reliability or validity tests. As part of the test battery, the study did use the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, a reliable and valid measure for gathering information on alcohol consumption that was developed by the World Health Organisation (Saunders et al., 1993, Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, 2004). This measurement has been reported to be superior to other measures designed to collect data on the same subject (Reinert & Allen, 2002).

Self-report measures in themselves have a number of limitations. Firstly, they are subject to social desirability bias. Social desirability bias acknowledges that participants may report carrying out behaviours that are socially desirable or may cover up being involved in behaviours that are frowned on. Based on the finding that subjective norms had a significant impact on both intention and behaviour, social desirability bias may have affected the results of this study. If participants were so influenced by what others thought of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, then they may have been likely to cover up occasions on which they did drink during their pregnancy. This means that the number of participants who did drink during pregnancy may have been higher than the study reported.

Recommendations for Improvement and Future Research

If this study is to be replicated, it could be improved in a number of ways. Firstly, ethnic minorities must be better represented. Great Britain is now a multi-cultural country and research must reflect this. The authors must provide more information or a copy of the questionnaire designed to measure TPB variables so that reliability and validity can be assessed. A useful future study would be to assess the impact of an intervention designed to change the attitude of women who do not perceive drinking alcohol during pregnancy to be an issue. As attitude was found to be the most important factor in intention to carry out this behaviour, the currently reviewed study would be strengthened if an intervention based around attitude was found to change behaviour.


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Free Essays

Causes of Teen Pregnancy

Causes of Teen Pregnancy Lack of sex education is the most important but not the only cause of teenage pregnancy. Following are some other teenage pregnancy causes that can not be ignored. First is the psychological factors. The immature and irresponsible behavior arising due to complex teenage psychology is another important cause of teenage pregnancies. Teenagers often go through a number of emotions because of their own transition from childhood and peer pressure. In addition, weak family relationships fail to provide the emotional support that teenagers require.

This lack of attention and affection from family resulting in depression forces them to seek love and support from other people, especially members of the opposite sex. The next cause of teen pregnancy is the adolescent sexual behavior. As adolescence marks the onset of sexual maturity, it is but obvious that both the sexes show interest in and explore the much hyped topics of sex, thank to the irresponsible and careless approach of mass media. This makes them vulnerable to teenage sex and pregnancy without adequate sex education.

Lack of sexual education causes teens to get abortions as they ultimately realize their inability to bear the responsibilities of being a parent at such a young age. The another cause is lack of discipline and control. Factors like alcohol and substance abuse accompanied by unrestricted interaction with the opposite sex can ignite the sparks of lust and passion in youngsters very easily ultimately leading to teenage pregnancy. Nonetheless, at times, parents put too many restrictions of their children, especially girls to protect them from dangers.

This overprotection gives rise to frustration and a feeling of not being loved and cared for. Thus, balance is the key to avoid this problem. Moreover, sexual abuse of teenage girls is also one of the most disgraceful causes of teenage pregnancy. Sexual relationships between teenage girls and older men are more likely to end up in teenage pregnancy as compared to sexual relationships between teenage boys and girls. Last but not least is the socio-economic factors. Childhood environment, lower educational and income levels have also been associated with high rates of teenage pregnancy because of negligence towards birth control methods.

Free Essays

Teenage Pregnancy

GCSE Humanities | Teenage pregnancy | | Are young people represented fairly by the media in British society? | | 0900001846 Haleema Shafi | 2/3/2010| Deadline 17/03/10| Contents page Sections Page number * Abstract * Introduction * Methods * Results * Discussion * References * Appendices Abstract Introduction This research is an investigation into whether the media in the UK represents young people accurately. The media have been constantly running stories about young people binge drinking, being involved in knife crime, gang culture and drug taking, amongst others.

The daily mail has run headlines such as ‘British Teenagers are the Binge Drinking Champions of Europe’ (Hope, 2009), ‘The Face of Britain’s Knife Crime Scourge: Teenage Mutilated during Vicious Assault With Three-inch Blade’ (Daily Mail Reporter, 2009), ‘Inside Feral Britain: a Blood Chilling Journey into the Heart of Teenage Gang Culture’ (Malone, 2007). These stories give readers the impression that young people are violent, did not have respect of other or the law moreover they did not have respect for the society. This research will investigate whether media stereotype young people in this way or whether media reflect reality.

This is done in the context of teenage pregnancy. In the Daily Mail the article ‘Time to get tough on teenage mums’ by Katie Hampson (2006) is saying that teenagers think that they can get an attractive lifestyle by getting pregnant. This includes getting free council flats and finical rewards which is provided by the tax payer. Hampons also suggests that young mothers have different values to the rest of society. One example is that teenage mums go out night clubbing and are sexually promiscuous (Johnston, 2008). This provides readers with a stereotypical view of young mothers.

Stereotyping is when people are put into groups and are classed as something, for what they do or what they wear. One example from Rosenhan (1978) where she said ’on being sane in insane places’ this shows how people behave according to someone is labelled or stereotyped. Research has shown that the media has stereotype social groups in the past for example Stan Cohen (1980) shows the different type of stereotyping views that are used by the media. In his study he describes how the media are categorizing young people into groups which are ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’.

From this the media nowadays is using the same thing with teenage pregnancy. The media is saying that young teenage girls are ignorant and did not think about others, or society as they get intoxicated and pregnant and are using the tax payers money and getting support from the government to help them. This can also lead to prejudice, discrimination and persecution. Prejudice- A prejudice is an implicitly held belief, often about a group of people. Race, economic class, gender or sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and religion are other common subjects of prejudice ( en. ikipedia. org/wiki/Prejudice) Discrimination- Discrimination toward or against a person of a certain group is the treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit. (en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Discrimination) Persecution- Is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. The most common forms are religious persecution, ethnic. (en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Persecution) For example, Stuart Hall’s stereotyped black males as muggers. People then believe the stereotype and behaved differently.

People were afraid of being mugged by black males, and were scared to go out at night people called for the government to do something about the supposed problem of black males mugging. The government bought in the suss laws they were used to prosecute black males. ‘In Britain, the Sus law was the informal name for a stop-and-search law that permitted a police officer to act on suspicion, or ‘sus’, alone. ’(en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sus_Laws) Below is one article that I found about a sus law riot. SUS LAW SPARKED RIOTS By Emily Miller 28/05/2007 0’s Brixton (PA) NEW “stop and quiz” proposals carry disturbing echoes of deeply unpopular stop-and search laws that triggered mass riots in the early 1980s. Known as “Sus”, the law allowed police to stop, search and arrest anyone they chose as a crime prevention tactic. But it was widely believed to have been abused by officers to harass young black men. On April 2, 1980, police raided the notorious Black and White Cafe in St Pauls, Bristol, sparking the most serious riots on mainland Britain since before the Second World War.

And after Met police stopped and searched 943 people – the vast majority black and law-abiding – and arrested only 118 during a blitz on robberies and burglaries in the spring of 1981 trouble flared again in Brixton. Complaints of harassment and racism soared and riots on the streets left police cars and properties burned out. In July the same year Toxteth, Liverpool, was gripped by riots. Police were forced to withdraw as 150 buildings on a one-mile stretch of road were torched and 781 officers hurt. The law was hastily abolished that year.

The government in the UK have said that they would try to lower the teenage pregnancy but nothing is been done about it. In the article Tony Shadow the health secretary quoted ‘it is unlikely that the government will meet its targets to have teenage pregnancies by 2010’. In this article ‘How Labour is losing the Fight to cut teen pregnancies’, the media is saying that teenager’s pregnancy rate has risen over the decade by 12% over the past ten years. In 2004 the amount of teenage girls under the age of 18 who got pregnant was 39,545.

Teenage pregnancy has become a large problem in the UK, so bad that the government are using the tax payer’s money to help these teenagers to get abortion etc. In this article it shows that the total amount that the tax payers are giving is ? 138 million. In this same article it tells us the amount that the NHS are spending on teenage pregnancy a year, the amount is ? 63 million this is ‘more than 1 million a day’. Methods I have used primary and secondary recourses to help me with my project. For my primary researched I did a questionnaire.

In my questionnaire I asked nine questions. For my secondary research I used online articles from newspapers such as the Daily Mail. I did a questionnaire about teenage pregnancy to find out what people thoughts are about it and what their view were upon teenage pregnancy. I asked 10 people to fill in my questionnaire. 70% were female and 30% were male, their age group was the same percent to. The reason I did this was because I wanted to find out what young people thought about their fellow members in their same age group.

I also asked other people, the ages of 30 and over, I wanted to find out what the older generation thought about the younger generation and weather they were stereotyping young people. After getting people to fill my questionnaires in I found out and interesting results. In my results when I asked the first question which was on ‘how many teenage pregnancies do you think occur in the UK’, the majority thought 39,545 and they were correct, this showed me that people are not stereotypical toward teenage pregnancy and it is only the media that is making teenage girls look bad and horrible.

The second question I asked was where you think teenage mums are most likely to live. I found out that generally people thought they would live in a council house but a few thought that they live with their parents. This shows that many people are stereotyping all teenage girls and are saying that they live in council houses so they can get money. I found an article on in internet, which said that the government are planning on sending teenage mother to supervised homes where they are taught how to look after their babies.

When I asked do you think teenage mothers get married to the baby’s father, I found an interesting result because it showed me that more than half of the people I asked said they do sometimes and 40% said they don’t get married. Sometimes it depends on what kind situation the teenager is. Most of the time teenagers get pregnant to gain attention or to have responsibility, when I asked ‘what do you consider to be the reason for young females to get pregnant’. When analysing the results I found out that 80% thought it was done accidental which shows me that people are not stereotypical towards teenager girls. 0% thought girls get pregnant to gain attention, whilst the other 10% thought it was because girls get lonely. When I asked the question ‘do you think that teenage girls plan to get married’, the results showed me that 90% thought they don’t whilst the 10% thought they do. When I asked if people thought there was enough information to help young people to avoid becoming pregnant. 80% thought that there was loads of information out there for all teenagers but they ignore it and the other 20% said yes.

Bias- To incline to one side; to give a particular direction to; to influence; to prejudice; to prepossess. (http://thinkexist. com/dictionary/meaning/bias/) Results Figure 1 * 70% of female did my questionnaire and 30% of male did my questionnaire. Figure 2 * The highest age group that did my questionnaire were between the age of 17 to 20 years old, the other 30% were 30+. Figure 3 * My results show that 50% were British, 20% were Pakistani, 10% were Asian, 10; were Black African and 10% were others. How many teenage pregnancies to do think occur in the UK? Figure 4 For this question I got an interesting result, 50% of people thought that there were 39,545 teenage pregnancies in the UK, 20% thought there were 40,00, another 20% thought there were 55, 345 and 10% thought there were 85,567 teenage pregnancies in the UK. Figure 5| | * From the results I have found out that 30% think that teenage mums live with their parents, the other 60% think that they live in a council house and the other 10% think they own their own house. Figure 6 * 40% think that they don’t get married whereas the other 60% think they do sometimes. Figure 7 From the results it shows that 90% of people think that teenage mums don’t plan to get married and the other 10% think that they do. Figure 8 * From the results majority (80%) think there is enough information to help young people but they ignore it, (purple), and the other 20% think that there is plenty of information out there to help young females to avoid becoming pregnant. Figure 9 * The results show that 80% of people think that teenage pregnancy happens accidentally, 10% think that teenagers get pregnant to get attention, and the other 10% think it is because they are lonely. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Discussion and evaluation Are young people represented fairly by the media in British society? What is the focus of my evaluation? The focus of my evaluation is that I’m trying to study and find out how teenagers in Britain are being treated by the media. I will examine if young people are represented fairly in British society. I will give examples and study how people view young teenagers, moreover how we can change the representation of young teenagers. The topic that I have chosen to study on is teenage pregnancy in the UK.

How do I use sources of information in the evaluation? For my evaluation I will try to use different type of source to help me get different view by people. I will do some questionnaires for different type of people such as elderly people and middle aged people and teenagers themselves. I will also do some research on the internet, I will try to get less information from the internet and try to get more information about teenagers and how they are represented by using books, listen to the radio and television.

I will give examples of how the teenagers are represented by asking them about their experiences, I will do this by going around college and meeting people outside of college and find out more. Arguments (against)| Arguments (for)| College- most teenagers are sensible, they might be doing A level in school or studying in college and focusing on their studies and their future, not out drinking and getting pregnant. There are many mature teenager in the UK, but the media are labelling them all saying stuff like they go out and party and get drunk etc. | | Beliefs- some people like myself don’t drink alcohol at all because of their religion.

As a Muslim myself i | | | | References * http://www. dailymail. co. uk/news/article-1165002/British-teenagers-binge-drinking-champions-Europe. html * http://www. dailymail. co. uk/news/article-1124104/The-face-Britains-knife-crime-scourge-Teenager-mutilated-vicious-assault-inch-blade. html * http://www. dailymail. co. uk/news/article-483249/Inside-feral-Britain-A-blood-chilling-journey-heart-teenage-gang-culture. html * http://www. dailymail. co. uk/femail/article-379738/Time-tough-teenage-mums. html * http://www. dailymail. co. uk/news/article-401824/How-Labour-losing-fight-cut-teen-pregnancies. html * http://www. dailymail. co. k/news/article-1217047/Teenage-mothers-sent-hostels-council-flats-vows-Brown. html * en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Prejudice * en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Discrimination * en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Persecution (en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sus_Laws) http://thinkexist. com/dictionary/meaning/bias/ Appendices Questionnaire * What’s your gender? F M * How old are you? 14-16 17-20 21-24 25-30 31+ * What is your Ethnicity? British Pakistani Asian Black African Indian others prefer not to say * How many teenage pregnancies to do think occur in the UK? 39,545 40. 000 55. 345 75. 75 85. 567 90. 143 * Where do you think teenage mum most likely to live? With parents council house have their own house * Do teenage mums get married to the baby’s father? Yes No sometimes * Do you think teenage mums plan to get pregnant? Yes No * Do you think there is enough information to help young people to avoid becoming pregnant? Yes No yes, but teenagers ignore them * What do you consider to be the reason for young females to get pregnant? Accidental To gain attention loneliness to have responsibility Secure relationship with their partner

Free Essays

Social Studies Teenage Pregnancy Questionnaire SBA




TITLE: An examination on Teenage Pregnancy in my community

TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgement Introduction

Task 1: Statement of Problem

Task 2: Reason for Selecting Area of Research

Task 3: Method of Investigation

Task 4: Data Collection Instrument

Task 5: Procedures for Data Collection

Task 6: Presentation of Data

Task 7: Analysis and Interpretation of Data

Task 8: Statement of Findings

Task 9: Recommendations and Implementation Strategy


I have taken effort in this project; however it would not have been possible without the kind support and help of many individuals and book publishers. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of them. I am highly indebted to Modules In Social Studies by Rampersad Ramsawak and Ralph . R Umraw for providing necessary information regarding this rese- arch. I would like to express my gratitude towards my family ,friends and the the persons in my community who participated,for their kind o-operation and encouragement which help me in completion of this project, And most of all to God for making this possible.


What factors contribute to the increasing problem of teenage Pregnancy?

How does this problem impact the lives of children?

What can be done to decrease the cause of teenage pregnancy?


This area of research was chosen because it is a prominent issue that could be address in a better light.

Similar essay: SBA on Drug Abuse

The researcher want to explore the options or me- asures that can assist these teenagers and also what can be done to eliminate the increase of teenage pregnancy in the community of Maroon Town.

TASK 3: METHOD OF INVESTIGATION The method of investigation chosen to implement data is in the form of a questionnaire that was shared randomly to persons within my community.

TASK 4: DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENT QUESTIONNAIRE Instructions: Please read the following questions and put a tick in the box provided or answer on the spaces.

1. Sex: Male Female

2. To which age group do you belong ? 9- 12 years, 13- 15 years, 16- 19 years, 20- 50 years

3. How long have you been a resident of this community? 3- 5 years, 7- 10 year,s 12- 15 years, Others

4. To which ethnic group do you belong? African decent, Indian decent, Chinese decent, Other

5. What is your level of education? Primary, Secondary, Tertiary

6. What is the highest grade you completed? 8- 9 grade, 10- 11 grade, Some college, Other

7. At what age did you become sexually active? 11- 13 years, 14- 16 years, 17- 18 years, 19- 20 years

8.How many children do you have? 1-2 children, 3- 4 children, Over 5 children, Others

9. How did you first find out about sex? Family, Friends, School, Media, Other

10. What is your main source of financial support? Own job, Spouse, Parents, Other

11. Are you currently working? Yes No

12. If not why?

13. Do you think that peer influences affect your opinion on sex? Yes No

14. What are the main causes of teenage pregnancy? Lack of parental guidance, Sexual assault or rape, Economic issues Poverty

15. How does teenage pregnancy affect a teenagers education?

16. What are the advantages and disadvantages or teenage pregnancy?

17. What were the challenges faced during your pregnancy?

18. What measures can be taken to reduce the cause of teenage pregnancy in my community?

TASK 5: PROCEDURES FOR COLLECTING DATA To gather information for this project the researcher constructed a questionnaire which consist of eighteen questions which were con- tributed to thirty teenagers in Maroon Town. The sample was selec- ted using the simple method by placing fifty names of persons in my community in a bag.

The bag was shaken and the first twenty names selected were given a questionnaire to complete. The questionnaire were contributed on the 30th October and collected the 6th of November. Of the respondents 70percent were female and 30percent were male.

TASK 6: PRESENTATION OF DATA Data was collected for this project using a pie chart, a histogram and a bar graph. Figure 1 Figure one is a pie chart illustrating the ages at which teenagers became sexually active in the community of Maroon Town. An estimate of 40% became pregnant at the age of 14 to 16 years

Free Essays

Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy

Around 12% of all pregnancies occur to women who continue to smoke throughout their pregnancy.

Two thirds of those involved in maternal smoking during pregnancy are Caucasian.

More than 500,000 infants each year are exposed to cigarette smoke in utero.

Maternal smoking during pregnancy has been heavily linked to many infant and toddler health issues.

Health issues are also apparent in women who do not smoke during pregnancy, but are regularly exposed to smoke during their pregnancy.  This applies most to those who live with a smoker, or those who work in smoking environments.

It is a known fact that maternal smoking during pregnancy produces more premature births and babies with lower birth weights.

Maternal smoking during pregnancy has also been associated with babies who have colic.

It has been found that tobacco smoke raises levels of motilin in the blood and intestines when maternal smoking during pregnancy is apparant. These raised levels causes contractions of the stomach and intestines to increase.

The increased levels of motilin can cause colic in infants, which can cause the infants pain and discomfort for months.

Studies show that infants who had colic at 3 months of age had more sleep difficulties and temper tantrums at 3 years of age in comparison with those children without colic.

Studies show that maternal smoking during pregnancy leads to more rebellious and aggressive infants and toddlers, helping to link smoking during pregnancy to behavior in infants and toddlers.

Mothers who smoked during pregnancy also reported more negative behavior from their infants and toddlers than mothers who did not smoke during pregnancy.

Studies show that maternal smoking during pregnancy can have behavioral affects on the infant well into adulthood.


Does maternal smoking during pregnancy affect the personality (behavior, mood) of an infant and continue to have an affect into toddler hood?


It is suspected that maternal smoking during pregnancy does indeed have an affect on the personality (behavior, mood) of an infant and continues to have an affect into toddler hood.

Conducting a study on the behavior of infants born to mothers who smoked during their pregnancy, and continuing the study through their toddler years can provide adequate research for this question.

This study would need to monitor the child in his or her normal environment as well as in typical social environments.

The child’s behavior would then be compared to the behavior of children of the same age and developmental stage that were born to mothers who did not smoke during the pregnancy.

By collecting all of the data and analyzing it, there may be a pattern of behavior differences between the children who were born to smoking mothers and those who were born to non-smoking mothers.


It may be difficult to pinpoint aggressive or negative behavior from children on the sole fact that their mother smoked during their pregnancy.

It will be difficult to factor in behavioral and discipline techniques used by guardians of these children.

It may be difficult to get mothers to admit they smoked during their pregnancy, as they may be embarrassed of their lack of attention to the health issues that may have been affected.

It may be impossible to set a standard and determine what is normal rebellious behavior for an infant and toddler and what is abnormal behavior.


Hitti, Miranda. “Tobacco Smoke May Increase Colic”. 4 October, 2004. Acquired on 22 June 2005.

“Infant Deaths Tied to Premature Births”. New York Times. 1 March, 1995.  Acquired on 22 June


“Prenatal Smoking Data Book: Smoking and Reproductive Outcomes”.

Acquired on 22 June 2005.

Schonfeld, Amy Rothman PhD.  “Dreading the ‘Terrible Twos’? Don’t Smoke, Mothers

Warned”.  13 April, 2000.

Acquired on 22 June 2005.



Free Essays

The Joys of Being Pregnant

On August 9, 2010, life as I knew it changed forever. It was a normal summer day at home, much like any other Monday that summer. Everything on the outside appeared to be the same as usual, but on the inside, I knew there was a change. I was two weeks pregnant and I wouldn’t know it until about 5:30 that night.

It was a very emotional discovery, finding that I would become a mother in a little less than nine short months. Not only did that discovery change my life, but it also changed the lives of many others who love and care about me. My mother, 33, would become a young grandmother and my step dad, 26, would become an even younger grandfather. My boyfriend of three years would have to throw away his childhood and become a man for his son or daughter. I was scared to death that the shock and severity of my situation would destroy any chance of gaining the support of them, but all three, along with the rest of my family, kept loving me and began to love the new life growing inside of me.

I am now eleven weeks pregnant and I have had the privilege of actually seeing my baby via ultrasound. He or she was almost a centimeter long on the first of September and resembled a peanut or a lima bean. Seeing the baby’s heartbeat flashing like a tiny strobe light hit me like a ton of bricks. The “embryo” that I had heard of in books and diagrams was now a child to me; a living, growing baby who was developing arms and legs and eyes. A baby that may grow up to have my dimples or my boyfriend’s blue eyes. He or she would call me “mommy” and love me unconditionally. And I would love him or her right back, as strong and as hard as I could.

I keep the pictures from the sonogram on the refrigerator, but my favorite one is in a little white frame in my bedroom. I look at it often and I wonder how much the baby has changed since that picture was taken. My next appointment is the 29th, and I am so anxious to be able to see how much this life inside of me has grown and be able to take home more pictures that I will treasure as much as the first one.

Free Essays

Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy is a growing epidemic in the United States. Teen girls are becoming pregnant at an alarming rate, with a lot of the pregnancies planned. With television shows broadcasting shows such as “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom”, it is giving teenage girls the idea that it is alright to have premarital sex and become pregnant. It is in a way condoning teen pregnancy. I am interested in discussing teen pregnancy and the options that are out there for the teens who find themselves in this situation.

I don’t think enough is being done to educate or prepare these teens about how their lives will change in the event of pregnancy. I am especially interested in this issue, because I found myself in this very situation when I was just seventeen years old. I made the decision that was best for me at the time, but wasn’t given all the support I think I needed. I didn’t have anyone to talk to who was going through what I was at the time. I think that teenagers wanting to grow up too fast, peer pressure and television, both reality and fiction, all play a huge role in this problem.

I think the answer to probably not solving this problem, but hopefully lowering the number of teen pregnancies is to better educate our teenage population. All in all, I would like to see teens better educated on teen pregnancy. Also to let them know if that is the situation they find themselves in, that there are options out there for them to choose from. There is someone for them to talk to and confide in about what they are feeling and how they want to proceed.

There have been numerous surveys of adolescent sexual behavior, but their results have often been inconsistent. There is, however, general agreement about one point: Young people are having sex at an earlier age than they did a century ago. Although this change is just one part of an overall trend toward more liberal sexual attitudes and behaviors, it poses some special problems. In the erotically charged atmosphere of today’s society, young people are often confused about how to deal with their own sexuality.

They see the overwhelming importance given to sexual attractiveness in the media-one study estimated that the average teenager ahs witnessed nearly 14,000 sexual encounters on television- yet they also hear their parents and religious advisers telling them that sex is wrong. As a result, many young people begin having sex without really intending to and without taking precautions against pregnancy. In the last decade or so, however, the growing awareness of the dangers of AIDS does appear to have contributed to a decline in the rates of sexual intercourse among teens.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that between 1991 and 2005 the percentage of teenagers who are sexually active dropped from 57. 4 percent to 46. 3 percent among males and from 50. 8 percent to 44. 9 percent among females. The rates of pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted disease among teens have actually dropped even faster than the rate of sexual activity. So it appears that, in addition to postponing sex, teens are also becoming more responsible in their sexual activities. For example, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 87. percent of teens were either abstinent or used condoms.

Of course, that means that 12. 5 percent of teens were still having unprotected sex, but that is a significant improvement over past decades. Similarly, although the rate of teen pregnancy has declined, more than 11 percent of the babies born in the United States are still born to teenage mothers. Of sexually active teens, 63 percent reported using a condom during their last intercourse, and 17 percent say they used oral contraceptives, but that still means that 20 percent of sexually active teens had no effective protection against pregnancy.

Why don’t more sexually active teenagers use contraceptives? In some cases, they may actually want to have a child, but most teenage pregnancies are accidental. Many teenagers are simply ignorant about sexual matters and believe such myths as “You can’t get pregnant the first time” or “You won’t get pregnant if you only have sex once in a while. ” Teenagers are also influenced by parents and religious leaders who tell them to abstain not only from having sex but also from using birth control.

Although birth control requires planning and forethought, it is easy to be swept into an unplanned sexual encounter in the heat of passion. Moreover, some teenagers feel that planning a sexual encounter is immoral but that if they are caught up in the heat of the moment and unable to stop, they can’t be blamed for their actions. Finally, teenagers often do not know how to get birth control devices or are afraid that their parents will get angry if they do.

Free Essays

Teen Pregnancy and Ways to Prevent It

Teen pregnancy is an important issue all over the country. This is an ongoing problem that must be dealt with. Teenage pregnancy can ruin a teen’s life and also the life of an infant. In this paper I will discuss the many aspects of teenage pregnancy and how it affects the life of a teenager. Each year in the US almost 1 million teens become pregnant. While the facts are clear, the issues of teenage pregnancy are complicated. Talk of sex is everywhere in our society and young girls are portrayed as sex objects.

Sex is used to sell everything from clothing to news and yet people are shocked at the rising number of teenagers who are sexually active. The concern about the welfare of infants and adolescents is so much that we must move beyond the denial and distinguish effective solutions that require us to come to a solution. Nowadays it is becoming more familiar to a teenager to be engaged in sexual activities. They have unprotected sex and have multiple partners. Today’s society is more open about the subject of sex than ever before.

It is all over the television, the internet, and even on the radio and in music videos. It is all over the media and therefore teens believe it is ok to be promiscuous and do not think about the consequences they could face with an unexpected pregnancy and how much it will change their lives forever. Even though the best way to prevent a pregnancy is to be abstinent, there are many teens under a lot of pressure to have sex and engage in it quite frequently.

Many seek the love and affection that they normally do not get at home and they usually find it in the form of sex with whomever they can get the attention from. They usually have a poor home life or low self esteem and may just be looking for love and acceptance in the form of sex to feel loved. Teenagers need encouragement to abstain from sex all together and they need to be given more information on the prevention of pregnancy if they are to become sexually active. Teens need to constantly hear strong messages about being responsible if they decide to engage in sexual activity.

Parents should be the primary givers of these messages to guide them in the right direction. If teens are given positive life options then they are given hope for their futures as well as the motivation to avoid early pregnancies. Teen pregnancy has been an issue for many years. Even with all of the education on the subject it is still an issue that continues to be on the rise. There are lots of parents that don’t sit down and talk openly with their kids about sex and all of the consequences of their actions if faced with a pregnancy.

Some teens don’t have the parental guidance they need to make the right choices, either because of single parent households that the parent works so much and does not have the time or can pay as much attention to them as the teen may like or parents that just plain don’t care what their kids are doing. Some of these kids go looking for love in all the wrong places and just want to fit in anywhere they can. They don’t think of the consequences if they are making bad choices.

The best way to prevent teen pregnancies is to not only teach them about abstinence but also to inform them about the risks they could face if they chose to have unprotected sex or any kind of sex at all. They should be taught all of their options about being safe if they chose to make the decision to have sex. Some of these teachings should include what protected sex is and how it not only prevents them from an unwanted pregnancy but also from STD’s. Teen pregnancy rates in the United States have jumped for the first time in more than a decade and a campaign mandated by the government to reduce the issue is faltering (Stein, 2010).

There are lots of political debates on teen pregnancy and the biggest debate is whether or not the federally funded programs on teaching teens abstinence are working or not and several experts blame the increase in teen pregnancies on sex education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence (Stein, 2010), instead of also teaching the use of contraceptives. Critics also argued that the disturbing data of the rise in teen pregnancies were just the latest in a long series of indications that the focus on abstinence programs was a dismal failure (Stein).

Abstinence –only programs received more than $100 million in federal funding annually and $50 million in federal funding was given to states that utilized such programs (Medical News Today). James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth thinks that abstinence-only programs deny young people life-saving information about condoms and other forms of prevention. They should be taught all of their options about being safe from an unwanted pregnancy and STD’s, because by teaching abstinence only obviously is not working.

Teens don’t realize that having a baby is a lot of responsibility financially as well as physically and mentally and they are not fully prepared to take on those responsibilities. So then it either falls in the hands of the teen’s parents or in the taxpayers in the form of welfare. Many teens that get pregnant not only suffer in school or drop out but they also could face other problems such as social or mental problems. Socially teen mothers have very limited social contact or friendships because their friends have moved on in school and with their social lives.

The teen mother has little or no time for a social life because all of their time is focused on their child. Another problem they face is because of the lack of social interactions it could lead to depression or some sort of mental anxiety. Teens do have many options if they are faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Many unfortunately have abortions. There is also the option of giving the baby up for adoption; this would be the best option as it gives another family the chance at raising a child that they otherwise could not have of their own.

That child may grow up very healthy and happy as opposed to growing up unwanted and possibly in poverty. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists adolescent mothers are significantly less likely to receive a high school diploma than teens that wait to have sex. They are also more likely to live in poverty, receive public assistance, and have long periods of welfare dependency. (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).

Teen Childbearing in the US costs federal, state, and local taxpayers at least $9. billion annually (Hoffman). Other issues of teen pregnancy is that it can be physically difficult for a teen girl to go through a pregnancy because she is still growing herself and her body may not be able to take the physical demand of being pregnant. They are less likely to seek medical attention such as prenatal care because many are afraid to tell their parents and it could prolong the much needed early prenatal care and if there are problems in the pregnancy, they could have been avoided with early care.

Other problems could be that the teen may have been smoking or drinking or doing drugs at the time of conception and those things could be harmful to the baby. In turn if the baby is harmed there will more likely be added medical expenses before during and even after delivery. Some of the most obvious consequences of a teenage pregnancy is that the baby will not receive the adequate support it needs either financially or emotionally because the mother or father has not fully matured and usually has dropped out of school to take a meaningless job that pay minimum wage.

Often times the baby will suffer from emotional problems ecause the parent or parents also have emotional problems from not being mature enough to raise a child. Some teenagers feel burdened by the child because they never had the chance to live out their teenage years and many times the child of these parents could feel this resentment. Another negative aspect could be that the children of teenage parents could suffer from neglect because the parent hasn’t matured enough to recognize the need for proper nutrition, or medical care or the child is usually left in the care of others while they go out, regardless of whether that person is trustworthy or not.

Children of teenage mothers have significantly higher odds of placement in certain special education classes and significantly higher occurrence of milder education problems, but when maternal education, marital status, poverty level, and race are controlled, the detrimental effects disappear and even some protective effects are observed (Sams).

In conclusion a teenager is not fully equipped to care for a child and there could be devastating consequences for that child to be raised by a teenager whether it is because of financial burdens or emotional problems. Teenagers need to be made aware of all of these consequences and what could happen to them if they make the wrong choice of having sex before they are ready.


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Teen Pregnancy

Subject:Argumentative Synthesis Research Paper Sheltering the youth from birth control does not decrease the percentage of teen pregnancy but it fact helps initiate unprotected sex. The increase in teen pregnancy is due to, inadequate sexual education available to adolescents, lack of knowledge and resources for birth control, and the environment the individual grew up around. Research Questions Does providing adolescents with birth control increase teen pregnancy 1 Is there enough information on the consequences of unprotected sex easily accessible to today’s youth 2 Is the environment a teen lives in a factor of getting pregnant at a young age 3 Are parents willing to inform their child(ren) about the consequences about unprotected sex 4 Are parents more excepting about their child having sex if they know they are using protection 5 How does having condoms at easy access for teens result in unprotected sex Sources ttp://www. solutionsforamerica. org/healthyfam/teenage-pregnancy. html http://www. escrh. eu/about-esc/news/young-people-report-high-levels-unprotected-sex-and-barriers-affecting-their-right-ob http://healthpsych. psy. vanderbilt. edu/condomConumdrum. htm * Write a brief paragraph here Three Supports for Thesis Statement * Teenage pregnancy and birth rates both dropped in the 1990s among all racial and ethnic groups.

Increased use of contraceptives and increased abstinence * Teenage pregnancy is linked to several risk factors including: being poor, living in a single-parent household, child abuse, and risky behaviors such as drug abuse and early or unprotected sex * On average, only half of young people surveyed across Europe (55%) receive sex education in school compared to three quarters across Latin America (78%), Asia Pacific (76%) and the USA (74%) Arguments and Rebuttals * With the easy access of condoms there is more risk for teen pregnancy * Some positive aspects of providing condoms included that providing ondoms could reduce incidence of unwanted, teenage pregnancy and the spread of STDs. Secondly, a comprehensive sex education program including condom provision accepts the inevitability of adolescent sex and encourages students to make wise, “safe” decisions if they do have sex. * There is enough sexual education available to the adolescents in our society * Comprehensive health education or sexuality education that includes information on contraception; this may delay sexual initiation and increase contraceptive use.

Youth development programs that include sex education along with other activities such as, volunteering, mentoring, and job training are associated with delayed first sex and lower teenage pregnancy rates * The environment that an adolescent is exposed to has nothing to do with the outcome of teen pregnancy * It was found in a study by the American Medical Association that “Teens who live in neighborhoods that have high levels of poverty, low levels of education, and high residential turnover are at a higher risk for teen pregnancy”(AMA,7).

A similar study found that family factors also contribute to the rising rate of teen pregnancy. These include the income level of the family, as well as the family structure. Teens that were born to teenage parents are also more likely to become teenage parents themselves Reference Page Reising, Michelle. “Condom Conundrum: Should Condoms be Available in Schools?. ” Health Psychology Home Page. Ed. David Schlundt. Vanderbilt University, n. . Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://healthpsych. psy. vanderbilt. edu/condomConumdrum. htm>. “Teenage Pregnancy Prevention. ” Solutions For America. Healthy Families and Children, n. d. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://www. solutionsforamerica. org/healthyfam/teenage-pregnancy. html>. “Young people report high levels of unprotected sex and barriers affecting their right to obtain trustworthy information about sex and

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Teen Pregnancy Research Paper

Charmagne Thomas October 31, 2012 English 1101 Roseanna Almaee Teen Pregnancy Teen pregnancy is a growing problem not only in the United States but worldwide. Our country has the highest teen pregnancy rate. Teen pregnancy occurs due to a number of reasons. Many young girls are uneducated about unprotected sex and the consequences. Teens should know the consequences of becoming pregnant at an early age before they become pregnant, not after the fact. Most pregnancies are unplanned, there are options to choose from and there’s always counseling to help choose what’s best for the mother.

Studies show that about 800,000 girls become pregnant each year, (www. datehookup. com/content-teen-pregnancy. htm). Three in ten teens get pregnant at least once before turning twenty years old. Pregnancy is the leading cause of teen girls to drop out of school. They can’t handle the stress between homework and a baby. Not even half of teen mothers graduate and it’s less likely for them to earn a college degree. Some girls think that a baby will save their relationship. Eight out of ten fathers aren’t with the mother of the child. In most situations they can’t help the baby’s mother because they’re not financially stable themselves.

The daughters of teen mothers are more likely to become teen mothers themselves and their sons are more likely to end up in prison, (www. stayteen. org/teen-pregnancy). When a teen finds out she’s pregnant it could be worst moment in her life. It brings a lot of stress, physically and emotionally. The thought of telling parents is what hurts the most. Most girls are ashamed and afraid to ask for help. They feel like they’ve let everybody down, could’ve been more careful, and their future plans are now just dreams. Denial will only cause more problems.

There are options to choose from and there’s always counseling to help choose what’s best for both, the mother and the baby, (http://www. teenpregnancy. com/). Birth rates are beginning to increase again. Most pregnancies are unplanned, that’s one of the reasons the mother doesn’t know she’s pregnant and doesn’t seek medical assistance. There are facilities to go to if you don’t have the money to go to a physician and the information will be kept confidential. A teen body is still growing so it’s not healthy and could cause problems with the baby so you have to take in more food and nutrition then you usually would.

A lot of teens do drugs and alcohol which could harm, the baby in many ways, mainly premature birth, (http://pregnancy. about. com/od/teenpregnancy/a/Teen-Pregnancy. htm). My friend Jakeria is a teen mother so I decided to interview her. She found out she was pregnant the first semester of our sophomore year. She said “when I took that pregnancy test I didn’t think it was real, I was in denial so I took a couple more but the result didn’t change. ” Jakeria felt like her life was over and it was the end especially with her senior years coming up and all the events that would be taking place.

She really didn’t think she could handle being a mother. Jai’dyn, her son was born April 1, 2011. It was a life changing event for her but was the best moment of her life. She came back to school the last couple of weeks to take her finals and get caught up on some work. She graduated with me May 26, 2012. Jakeria said “I didn’t plan this but I knew I had to face the consequences after the risks I took and after looking at my son I now have a reason to strive to be better so I can prevent him from making the same choices I did. ” She’s now attending a technical school and doing whatever it takes to take care of her and her little one.

There are no stupid questions to ask when it comes to sex. There are many forms of birth control and there’ no reason teen pregnancy can’t be prevented. Some girls plan to get pregnant for other reasons. Media has a big impact on teen pregnancy. Some girls just think it’s cute but don’t know all the complications that comes with being pregnant. Girls don’t think it could happen to them until it does. . It’s better to be educated on sex and know the answer before making any decision, (http://teenadvice. about. com/od/sex/tp/All-About-Teen-Pregnancy. htm) Teen pregnancy is a common issue today.

Schools should educate more on sex and the consequences. Planned parenthood also offers low cost birth control to teens which is positive. It could happen to anyone but its best to use prevention, it’s worth the wait. In the future, each teen should be aware of the risks involved and know of ways to prevent pregnancies. Works Cited Jakeria Neal, friend that experienced teen pregnancy www. datehookup. com/content-teen-pregnancy. htm http://pregnancy. about. com/od/teenpregnancy/a/Teen-Pregnancy. htm http://teenadvice. about. com/od/sex/tp/All-About-Teen-Pregnancy. htm http://www. teenpregnancy. com/

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Maternal smoking during pregnancy

The Research Question would be “Are babies born from mothers who smoke during the pregnancy have greater chances of developing low-birth weight, compared to those born from mothers who do not smoke?”

A study was conducted on pregnant women that belonged to a Maternity Hospital in Haguenau, France, in 1974.  248 pregnant women that smoked at least five cigarettes a day were defined as ‘cases’, and 196 pregnant women who did not smoke were defined as ‘controls’.

Tests conducted on the placenta demonstrated higher incidences of defective trophoblasts in smokers compared to non-smokers.  The signs of intrauterine hypoxia, low birth-weight and low placental weight, were also higher in smokers compared to non-smokers.  However, the study was not able to establish a relationship between low birth-weight and low placental weight or intrauterine hypoxia (Shipra, A. Et al, 1977).

Another study conducted demonstrated that mothers who smoked during one pregnancy had produced infants with lower birth-weight, compared to those infants born during pregnancy when they did not smoke.  This was irrespective of the birth order and other factors that affect the growth of the unborn baby in the utreus.  The reduction in the birth weight was directly associated with the number of cigarettes smoked.

Mothers, who smoked less, produced infants on an average 90 grams less than normal, whereas those who smoked heavily developed babies on an average 533 grams below normal.  Smoking brought about the development of several lesions in the placental due to under-perfusion (which was usually periodic).  Besides, pregnancy during smoking was on an average 1.5 days shorter than without smoking (Naeye, R.L., 1978).

A study was also able to demonstrate that women who quit smoking during pregnancy are able to reduce the several risks associated with pregnancy such as low birth-weight, preterm labor, spontaneous abortion, etc, and period of breastfeeding also improved (Giglia, R.C. Et al, 2006).

A study conducted in Johannesburg and Sweto, in 1990, demonstrated that women who smoked (6.1%) and used snuff (7.5%) during the pregnancy, produced babies who weight an average 2982 grams compared to babies of non-smokers who weighted 3148 grams, on an average.  However, environmental pollutants (such as passive smoking) did not significantly adversely affect the birth weight (Steyn, K., Et al, 2006).

Another study conducted in Pelotas, Brazil, in 193, demonstrated that smoking in mothers produced babies on an average 142 grams below that of the non-smokers average.  The study also demonstrated that the risk of fetal retardation was higher with the extent of smoking.  However, the study did not find any relationship between preterm delivery and smoking (Horbta, H.L. Et al, 1997).

Hence, it is obvious that birth-weight of the baby is directly affected to the extent of smoked (number of cigarettes) by the mother during pregnancy.  Further studies need to be conducted on the exact manner in which smoking causes a reduction in the birth-weight of the child.


Giglia, R.C., Binns, C.W., & Alfonso, H.S. (2006). Which women stop smoking during pregnancy and the effect on breastfeeding duration. BMC Public Health, 2696Z), 195.

Horta, B.L., Victora, C.G., Menezes, A.M., Halpern, R., & Barros, F.C. (1997). Low birthweight, preterm births and intrauterine growth retardation in relation to maternal smoking. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol, 11(2), 140-151.

Naeye, R. L. (1978). Effects of maternal cigarette smoking on the fetus and placenta. Br J Obstet Gynaecol, 85(10), 732-737.

Spira, A., Philippe, E., Spira, N., Dreyfus, J., & Schwartz, D. (1977). Smoking during pregnancy and placental pathology. Biomedicine, 27(7Z), 266-270.

Steyn, K., de Wet, T., Saloojee, Y., Nel, H., & Yach D. (2006). The influence of maternal cigarette smoking, snuff use and passive smoking on pregnancy outcomes: the Birth to Ten Study. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol, 20(2), 90-99.

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Pregnancy Smoking and the Unborn Child

This paper discusses the different effects of smoking to pregnant woman. The paper is divided into three parts. First part of the paper shows the statistical data available in the United States about smoking. Second part of the paper discusses the different experiments that had been done by experts to compare the babies that are not exposed to smoking. Lastly, the third part of the paper shows the other complications of exposure to smoking. A conclusion is also provided in the last part of the paper

Smoking is considered as a habit that had contributed negative effects not only to pregnant women but also to people who are not pregnant. There are two ways of exposure to cigarette smoke. First is the exposure through first hand smoking, where a person inhales the smoke through smoking and the second hand smoking where a person inhales the smoke from the cigarette of another smoker. According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Development (CDC) (2006) from the Women and Tobacco, cigarette had been the cause of death of 178,000.

Further investigation shows that ninety percent of women who had lung cancers can be attributed to smoking. Women who smoke have an increased risk for diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease and pulmonary diseases. Looking at the National Statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Development, there is an estimate of 18.1% of women with ages 18 and above is cigarette smokers. Statistics also show that there is an estimate of 18% pregnant women from the ages of 15 to 44 years.

As stated above, smoking does not only involve the first hand smoker but also the second hand smoker. Looking at the statistics from the CDC (2006), second hand smoke exposure had declined. It was further explained that the levels of cotinine had fallen down by 70% for the years 1988 to 1991 and 2001-2002. However, even though there has been a decline on the exposure, 126 million non-smoking Americans both children and adult are exposed to this second hand exposure. Children according to the figures from CDC are more exposed than adults. To be exact, 60% of the children in the age bracket of 3 to 11 years old are exposed to second hand smoke.

To understand fully the implications on the effect of smoking to the child, an investigation was done by the proponent of the study. There have been several studies that had been made in the past that can further explain the effect of smoking to children. Josephine Thomas had made an experiment regarding the exposure of children to smoking. Based on the report written by Thomas (2000), the effects that might be experienced by children who were exposed to smoke are infertility, coagulation problems, obstetric complications such as extra uterine pregnancy and placenta previa, and intrauterine growth retardation.

Results on the study had also shown that unborn children who had been exposed to tobacco smoke could indicate a negative behavior for toddlers and smoking experimentation among adolescents. Mothers who had smoked during pregnancy had scored their children high on toddler negativity, although there are other factors that might influence the children to do so but being exposed to cigarettes had shown that the data proved that the children high on toddler negativity had been exposed. The experts had also experimented on the early experimentation of adolescents with regard to smoking. The results of the study are not clear enough to know. However, experts are speculating that nervous system damage could have happened because of maternal smoking. The damage can be expressed as inattention aggression, depression and anxiety.

Another experiment that had been done to compare the effects of maternal smoking exposure is the possible genetic mutation chromosomes of the babies. Based on the results of the study, there are 12.1% smokers and 3.5% non-smokers who had shown a structural chromosomal abnormaities, 10.5% smokers and 8% non-smokers had shown chromosomal instability and 15.7% smokers and 10.1% non-smokers had shown chromosomal lesions. Among the three changed items, the chromosomal instability and chromosomal lesions pose a risk of cancer and blood malignancies to the child who had been exposed to smoke.

Lannero et al. (2006) have another experiment that can be associated with the comparison of smokers and non-smokers. The experts had studied 4,089 infants and had observed the babies up to two months. Questionnaires was used by the proponents in order to determine the status of the infants.  Based on the results of the study, it has been proven that maternal smoking increase the risk of recurrent wheezing for babies up to two years of age. Unborn and newlyborn babies are prone to recurrent wheezing.

This can also be diagnosed as asthma by the doctors. Lastly, Rebagliato et al (1995) had correlated the exposure of the babies to smoke and the weight of the baby born. The experiment was done in Spain. The duration of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke at home, work, vehicles and Public places had been collected through a questionnaire. Based on the results there is a very small difference in the weight of the child that had been exposed. Looking at the results closely, these small difference had been a basis that there is a growth retardation to the child exposed to maternal smoking.

There are many more experiments that could have been done by the experts to prove their point about exposure to maternal smoking. Healthgoods had shown all the possible effects of maternal smoking. Smoking is said to limit the amount of nutrients and oxygen that would react the unborn child. According to the American Lung Association, maternal smoking brings about several negative effects to the baby.

This include miscarriages, still births, very low birth weight and could also result to a sudden infant death syndrome. Other implications of having been exposed to maternal smoke is that the newly-born children suffers more from lung problems, learning deficiencies and behavioral problems. As stated above, behavioral problems are one of the implications of tobacco prenatal exposure. Ear infections are also possible. Breast Feeding mothers are also discouraged to smoke because the chemicals in the cigarettes could enter the breast milk of the mother such as nicotine and carbon monoxide and this can be passed on to the baby.

The child and the mother are closely linked together because when women are pregnant, the child and the mother share the same body, inhales the same air and eats the same food. Having a child is very sensitive because whatever the mother does to herself affects the baby. If the mother is a cigarette addict, then she must try to curb her habits well to avoid putting that child that she is carrying at risk. There are many implications, and complications that the child can experience if he or she is exposed to smoking. As much as possible, it is really not advisable to smoke or be surrounded by smokers if a particular person is pregnant. Not smoking a cigarette helps the mother avoid the first hand smoke exposure. However in public places, mothers should take good care that they are not exposed to smokers. Second Hand smoke exposure also has an effect on the baby.

The website had enumerated several tips to stop smoking to help mothers avoid risking their child’s life. It would be helpful for pregnant women who are addicted to cigarettes to read websites, pamphlets or ask advice from a doctor to help them stop their habits of smoking.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (November 2006). Women and Tobacco. Retrieved last January 20, 2008 from Department of Health and Human Services. Website:

March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation (2007). Smoking and Pregnancy. Retrieved last January 20, 2008 from Health Goods. Website:

Medical Studies/Trials (9 March 2005). Maternal Smoking During Preganancy Associated with Chromosomal Abnormalities. Retrieved last January 22, 2008 from  News Website:

Thomas, J. (2000) Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy Associated With Negative Toddler Behavior and Early Smoking Experimentation. Retrieved last November 22, 2008 from National Institute on Drug Abuse. Website:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (October 2006). Trends in Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among U.S. Nonsmokers: Progress and Gaps. Retrieved last January 20, 2008 from Department of Health and Human Services. Website:

Rebagliato,M., Florey, C.D. and Bolumar, F. (1995) Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Nonsmoking Pregnant Women in Relation to Birthweight.  Retrieved last January 20, 2008 from  American Journal of Epidemiology Vol. 142 No. 5 pp. 531-537 . Website:

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Speech About Premarital Pregnancy

Assalamu’alaikum wr. Wb Good day Ladies and Gentleman Pregnancy is a desire of every woman. Do you agree? Why is pregnancy important? Is family support also important? How’s the impact to economics life? Every family wants children in their life. It’s natural and a biological thing. Every pregnancy needs process. Knowledge about pregnancy is important to make us understand the process better. These days, there are so many cases about premarital pregnancy. In Indonesia, the number of this case is getting high in every year, especially for adolescent group. So today, I will tell you about what factors causing the premarital pregnancy.

What’s premarital pregnancy in bahasa? There are so many factors causing premarital pregnancy. Can you mention it one by one? What is your reason? Okay, I will tell you. We can see it from the social aspect, health aspect, and also from the technological aspect. The first is from social aspect. Social aspect includes social interaction with family, friends, and society. From those social interactions, interaction with family is the most important thing. From this interaction, morality of everyone is formed. Beside that, interaction social between friends and society are also very important.

If we can’t interact with people in a good way, it establishes a negative behavior. The second is health aspect. Everyone wants a healthy life. There are so many people who fall to premarital pregnancy due to lack of health, both physical and spiritual. Both of those things, affect to our psychological condition. If we can’t take care of our health, it’s not possible for our mental becomes weak. Deviant behavior then arises from this incident. Free sex, for example. The last is technological aspect. Tehcnology changes our lifestyles. Many people don’t care about their surroundings which caused by technology.

In Indonesia itself, technological developments is moving too fast. But it doesn’t counterbalanced by the improved quality of human resources. The government should make a wisdom about this technological developments. If they don’t, morality of the nation will be damaged, which causes the deviant behavior. In conclusion, pregnancy requires a clear process. This one is very important to avoid ourself from the premarital pregnancy. Because of that, we need to do the social interaction in a good way with our family, friends and also society. Beside that, we should take care of our health, both physical and spiritual.

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Argumentative Essay on Teen Pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy is a major issue in the United States. Some people say that this is society’s fault. Although having sex and getting pregnant is due to personal choices and decisions, there are a few things society could do to prevent it. Excessive teenage pregnancy could be controlled with appropriate media, more readily available birth control, and people to set good examples for young women. Just flipping through the channels on a Saturday afternoon you can see all sorts of inappropriate media full of sexual suggestions.

Even aside from all the sex scenes in movies, there are shows SPECIFICALLY about teen pregnancy. Shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant make pregnancy seem acceptable and cool. If having sex at young ages didn’t seem like the cool thing to do, many teens wouldn’t do it. Taking inappropriate shows and movies off the air could make a difference in the teenage pregnancy rate. There are many forms of birth control.

In a lot of arguments about teen pregnancy there is talk about making condoms more readily available, but I think that other forms of birth control that are more consistently effective should be promoted instead. Condoms are important to use, but many times they can break or be ineffective. Plus let’s face it, in the heat of the moment lack of a condom doesn’t always keep sex from happening. Birth control pills are a cheaply made, more effective form of birth control. If forms of birth control such as the pill were cheaper and easier to get, more teens would be protected and less would get pregnant.

The world in general is in need of good role models. Anyone that tweens and teens look up to should really try to focus on setting a good example. In a world full of bad examples, its especially important to set good ones for the group of people in that developmental stage. Teenagers need role models to protect them from falling victim to the pressures of today’s society, especially the sexual ones. In conclusion, I believe that teenage pregnancy is a very important issue.

The sexual society of today’s America has resulted in a large increase in teen pregnancy. Programs that promote teen pregnancy and things that lead to teen pregnancy should be taken off every day television. Although it is going to be impossible to keep teens from having sex, making birth control extremely easy to use and get ahold of could have a huge effect on the teenage pregnancy rate. These two things along with good parental guidance and support, and good role models to look up to, would keep most teens from getting pregnant.

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Pregnancy, Birth and the Newborn: Focus on Fasd

Running Head: FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER Pregnancy, Birth and the Newborn: Focus on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder SWHB 405: Human Behavior in the Social Environment 1 ABSTRACT From conception to birth, the mother’s role in bringing to life and nurturing a healthy baby is paramount. Factors such as the mother’s biological, psychological and social environment play important roles in determining the wellbeing of a child. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, an irreversible condition in children caused by maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy will be discussed.

Its biological, psychological and societal implications will be deliberated and recommendations of interventions by Social Workers in alleviating the problem will be suggested. Key words: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Child Development Introduction All human life begins with a fertilized egg known as a zygote. By the eighth week, the zygote is transformed into a fetus which has most of its organs formed. After about 9 months (or 38 weeks) of going through transformation within the mother’s womb, the mother delivers a bouncing baby boy or girl into the world.

During this time it is imperative that special care and attention is given to the mother and the child that she is carrying. Prenatal care ensures that the mother receives the much needed medical attention, nutritional advice and a positive life style tips. Particular attention is given unusual physiological and medical manifestations which could signal an array of life threatening situations for the mother and unborn child. The culmination of a successful pregnancy is the birth of a baby. Newborns weigh an average between 5. 5 and 9. pounds and they are awake and alert in first hours of life. Newborns begin learning their environment immediately and one of the things they internalize is developing a connection with the mother’s voice. The six states that a baby maintains are: quiet alert, active alert, crying state, drowsiness, quiet sleep, and active sleep (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012). Babies oscillate from an awakening curious baby, peak at crying when uncomfortable, and dip through to active sleep. These changes may occur slowly or rapidly throughout the course of any given day.

Consequently, knowledge about this this critical life stage, helps parents to be better equipped to cope with and nurture the newborn. Risk factors during pregnancy and at birth Various physiological changes in a pregnant mother may cause or indicate a risk for both mother and child. A case in point is bleeding in the first trimester or late in the pregnancy which could mean possible loss of the child or neurological issues. In some instances, natural toxins could build in the mother’s bodies leading to high blood pressure and weight gain which may be fatal to the mother (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012).

Further, an increased weight of the mother could bring on diabetes in the child, while low weight of the child could be a precursor to mental retardation. Biological factors that may affect the fetus’ development during pregnancy include the mother’s age, the number of children prior and how far apart she has had each child (Boyce, 2010). Environmental factors, such as living conditions, diet deficiencies, and the emotional well-being of the mother can all affect the baby during its 38 week development.

Pregnant women should be mindful of substances ingested during pregnancy as these are subsequently ingested by the fetus and affect its development. This is exemplified by studies demonstrating that women who drink caffeine tend to have a lower birth rate than women who avoid caffeine (Ashford & Lecroy, 2012). Other substances that could affect fetal development by causing birth deformities, premature births and possible hyperactivity include tobacco, over the counter medications, hormones and alcohol.

Prenatal care there has been shown to dramatically improve the chances of having a healthy baby. Nevertheless, there is a possibility of certain complications during birth can have lasting repercussions on a child’s life. An example is anoxia, a deficiency of oxygen during birth that could lead to the newborn developing cerebral palsy. Alcohol’s relevance in pregnancy, birth and the newborn Alcohol is a teratogen; an agent or factor that induces or increases the incidence of abnormal prenatal development (Shiel, 2010).

Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is manifested in a continuum of disabilities known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) (Warren & Murray, in press). The most severe form of this spectrum referred to as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). An alarming statistic from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies shows that 0. 2 to 2 cases per 1000 babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Since FASD presents a broad spectrum of symptoms some of which are “less severe”, it remains challenging to diagnose (Fleisher, 2010). As a result, FASD among children is either misdiagnosed or remains undetected.

On the other hand, it is relatively easier to identify the key diagnostic features of FAS are they are better established. FASD is prevalent worldwide because alcohol is so widely accepted and used in so many cultures. The teratogenic effects of alcohol were not established until the second half of the 20th century when pediatrician, Paul Lemoine, in France in 1967 and two American pediatric dysmorphologists, Kenneth Lyons Jones and David Smith in 1973, independently documented the pattern of deficits resulting from heavy prenatal alcohol exposure (Warren & Murray, in press).

Alcohol was attributed because the children in both settings had common patterns of deficits and it was observed that all of the birth mothers had been diagnosed with alcohol use disorders Biological manifestations The teratogenic effects of alcohol adversely affect the physical development of the fetus and the child. Newborns and children with FAS generally exhibit stunted growth (CDC. Gov, 1983). A distinguishing feature of children with severe FASD and FAS is facial and limb dysmorphology.

These children are generally shorter in stature and weigh less than their peers (Warren & Murray, in press). The cardinal or discriminating features include short palpebral fissures (eye opening), an elongated and hypoplastic philtrum (groove between nose and upper lip), and a thin upper vermillion lip border or hypoplastic “cupid’s bow”. Other features include a low nasal bridge, epicanthal folds (skin folds covering inner corner of the eye), minor ear anomalies, and micrognathia (abnormal smallness of the jaws). Psychological consequences

Facial and limb dysmorphology in children affected by FASD and FAS may cause the child is usually aware that something is “different” about him or her and thus affect their psychological wellbeing. Additionally, children with FASD have cognitive challenges leading to a myriad of problems such as the following: memory loss, impaired motor skills, neurosensory hearing loss, impaired visual and spatial skills, intellectual impairment, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, problems with reasoning and judgment and an inability to appreciate consequences of actions (Wacha & Obrzut, 2007).

Treatment and schooling can be very difficult for a child facing these challenges since their greatest challenge is learning and retaining information. Subsequently, the child may experience depression which can result in self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, inappropriate sexual behavior, and suicide Societal implications Families are affected immensely when a child is born with FASD/FAS since he/she may exhibit anti-social behavior including an exaggerated startle response, poor wake and sleep patterns, impulsiveness, temper tantrums, lying and stealing (Fleisher, 2010).

Moreover, schools, local health care systems, childcare and social services, and the justice system are usually ill-equipped to address the problems presented by FASD. As a result; a person with FASD may experience mental health problems, disrupted schooling, and involvement with crime, substance abuse, and dependent living and employment difficulties throughout their lifetime. As previously stated, the broad spectrum of manifestations of FASD makes it difficult to diagnose.

Consequently, individuals suffering from FASD may not be properly diagnosed and are likely to be labeled social misfits and may spend a troubled life on the margins of society thus creating a monumental emotional burden on society (Wacha & Obrzut, 2007). Interventions to aid those affected by FASD These physical, mental, social, learning and behavioral limitations experienced by individuals with FASD have possible lifelong implications. Fortunately, there is help for both the individuals and their families provided by Social Service agencies in form of resources and assistance needed to have a good quality of life.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (1975), school aged children with disabilities (including those diagnosed with FAS) are provided with reasonable accommodations including untimed tests, sitting in front of the class, modified homework and the provision of necessary services and often the implementation of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). An IEP details services that will be provided to assist the child in learning and may include services like Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, and/or the provision of a classroom aide.

These individuals often have social workers or case managers working with them to ensure that the services documented in the IEP’s are being provided and working effectively. Implications of FASD on Social Work FASD provides opportunities for Social Workers to play an important role in impacting positive change. Social Workers could take the lead in screening for alcohol use among women of child-bearing age and educate them about the FASD (Boyce, 2010).

Women who choose to continue drinking should be encouraged to use contraceptives to reduce the likelihood of giving birth to a child with FASD. Social Workers should also be actively involved in nutrition education to ensure that pregnant mothers are following balanced diet for optimum fetal development. Nutrition education should especially target participants of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as these populations’ income may limit their food choices.

FASD often have significant lifelong deficits in functional life skills that can lead to problems with day to day functioning. In adulthood, these deficits can be manifested in mental health difficulties, disrupted job experiences, trouble with the law, substance abuse and difficulties with independent living. Hence Social Workers play the important role of advocating for individuals affected by FASD, helping them to navigate their immediate environment and linking them with support services (Warren & Murray, in press).

Prevention of FASD is of great importance and this implies that Social Workers have the responsibility of mobilizing campaigns against drinking during pregnancy. This can be done through community education, incorporating medical personnel in research and preventive practice as well as holding alcohol producers accountable for posting health warning labels on publicity items. Conclusion Maternal alcohol use is a worldwide phenomenon that indiscriminately affects families and children of all ethnicities in all societies.

Fortunately, it is possible to classify and tackle the treatment problems raised by individuals with FASD. The hope is that with continued research, education, and support from Social Service agencies, this problem can be prevented. While resources are available to help individuals and their families, it is important to know that the best treatment of FASD is prevention. It is not yet known the specific timing, frequency and quantity of alcohol use throughout the gestational period that are responsible FASD and FAS.

Drinking early in the gestational period, before the woman even knows she is pregnant may present special risks for the developing embryo. Thus strategies to prevent alcohol use in pregnancy need to take into consideration that the prevalence of drinking by women of child-bearing age is on the rise in many parts of the world and most pregnancies are not planned. Bibliography CDC. Gov. (1983, January 13). Retrieved from Perspectives in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Public Awareness Week: http://www. dc. gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000257. htm Ashford, J. B. , & Lecroy, C. W. (2012). Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multidimensional Approach. Belmont, CA: Cole Cengage. Boyce, M. (2010, June). A Better Future for Baby: Stemming the tide of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Journal of Family Practice, 59(6). Fleisher, S. (2010, May). Foetal Alcohol Syndrome: Raising Awareness about Alcohol in Pregnancy. British Journal of Midwifery, 18(5). Shiel, W. C. (2010, December 21). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Retrieved from Medicinenet. com: http://www. medicinenet. com/fetal_alcohol_syndrome/article. htm Wacha, V. , & Obrzut, J. (2007, June). Effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome on Neuropsychological Function. Journal of Development and Physical Disabilities, 19(3). Warren, K. , & Murray, M. (in press). Alcohol and Pregnancy: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Alcohol: Science, Policy and Public Health. ——————————————– [ 1 ].

The purpose of prenatal care is to monitor the development, health and nutritional status of both the mother and the baby during the pregnancy to ensure an uncomplicated pregnancy and the delivery of a live and healthy infant. [ 2 ]. Some pregnant women may develop gestational diabetes (or gestational diabetes mellitus, GDM), a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy (especially during third trimester). [ 3 ]. Cerebral palsy is a term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development.

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The Pregnancy Project

“The Pregnancy Project” Reaction Paper “There are always going to be some people in life who disappoint you and don’t believe in you like you hoped they would, and you have to find the strength to rise about it and realize that they’re wrong. You’re still a worthy person whether they thing so or not. If there’s no one else to tell it to you, then tell it to yourself. ” This is one of the things that Gaby Rodriguez says in the movie ‘The Pregnancy Project’. These are words that everybody can relate to. There are people that we think can support us in any problems or situations that we encounter.

But in the movie, I realized that there are people who will left you when they heard something bad or when they find out something not good about a person. In contrary, there are people who will support you and who will always be there for you in any situations or even in the highest and lowest peak of your life. There is also lot of scenes in the movie that becomes remarkable to me. First, when Gaby proposed a study about teenage pregnancy. She is to brave to proposed and do a study about a problem of many countries, a social issue. I am also surprised when I heard that she will pretend to be pregnant.

It is an effort to her just to know how people react on what happened to her and the things that people are going to say. Second, the way her friends and all the people around her reacted. It made me think, if the entire are also like that. If they are going to be stereotypes also or they will react as if there’s nothing happening in their surrounding? What they are going to do, if they also become teenage parents? They look at Gaby and treat her as a trash and as if she did not exist. People just look at her belly and gave her a miserable face. For me, it is very humiliating. It is inappropriate to judge a person as if they know everything.

It is right to give second chance to those people who have done a big mistake. It is just right to forgive a person until he/she learned something from his/her mistake. As we all know, no one is perfect. Everybody make or do mistakes intentionally or unintentionally. The last scene, this is the most unforgettable one. It is the scene when Gaby announces in all the people in her school that she is not pregnant, her pregnancy is just fake. I salute Gaby for having the courage to announce her fake pregnancy. It is not easy to face those people who think that Gaby is really pregnant.

One should be ashamed if he/she tricked all the people around her but Gaby did it for a good and special purpose. It is right to give a big round of applause to Gaby after she present her study about the social issue, teenage pregnancy. Gaby let people know how they react and criticize one’s personality when the saw a teenage mom. It is only her that I know who has the guts and courage to do and finish such project. Gaby’s story is about fighting stereotypes, and how one girl found the strength to come out from the shadow of low expectations to forge a bright future for herself.

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Abortion: Pregnancy and Unwarranted Government Intrusion

Abortion Ever since the idea/decision of abortion there has been arguments if it is moral are not. Very many people are strongly against it and state very good information on why but I’m pro abortion. I’m pro abortion because first of all it should really be up to women if its legal or not because its their bodies that have to go through the process of fetal extraction. There are some circumstances in which an abortion is needed. Lets say a high school couple happens to get pregnant they’re not very capable to take care of a baby and be parents.

A baby would compound the already existing problems a teen already has like school, sports, getting ready for college. Thats not life for a baby especially an unwanted one, what kind of quality of life is that for the baby or parents. What if the expectant parents of that baby aren’t fit to be parents having problems with drugs and alcohol no one should grow up around that. If the baby did it could possibly follow in the corrupt footsteps of its failing parents and end up doing the same things.

If women are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term the result is unwanted children which then when they grow up are at a disadvantage, and sometimes inclined toward brutal behavior to others. Now even God forbid let’s say some woman had been raped and she has gotten pregnant because of that, she is probably going to want an abortion. This may sound vulgar and mean but what women would want to keep that baby and look at him or her and every day and be reminded of that time where she was highly helpless and being taken advantage of.

No one should have to keep reliving that moment over and over again that would be very traumatic. Now the big problems why abortion should be legal came out in the 1973 case of Roe vs Wade. This case came along after women started having behind the scenes abortions where women had it done by coat hangers and dirty instruments to perform these highly dangerous procedures usually done on themselves or buy a paid person who has done these horrid procedures before. Most women would end up having serious infections, internal bleeding and in some cases even death.

So abortion should be legal so we don’t have this back-room procedures anymore and women having fatal injuries. But if they already have a serious disease or complication such as heart disease, kidney disease, severe hypertension, sickle-cell anemia and severe diabetes. The availability of legal abortion can help advert serious medical problems that can occur from childbirth. If abortion was illegal the government would be pushing an “undue burden” on women and or families which is illegal anyway because the government can not intrude on a person or persons life like that.

And when an abortion is done a women only has 90 days to have on done or it becomes illegal regardless. (the trimester law that was established in the Roe vs Wade case)  We should not intrude on women and or families matters by saying what they can and cant do regarding matters such as these, abortion is even protected by the 14th amendment which gives women right to privacy. We should respect and support a woman and her family as they face the life altering decision of whether to have a child or not.

So its not about the fact that you are supposedly “killing” a unborn fetus its more that we have the decision and the option to do what that person needs to do. For some families an accidental pregnancy is okay but for some such an event can be very  catastrophic. It can result in increase tensions, disrupt stability and put way below the line of economic survival. The outlawing of abortion would also be discriminatory towards the poor women and families that must resort to the dangerous self-induced or back alley procedures.

Men with these very wealthy families can send their wives or girlfriends to other countries and pay to have it done legally. It will also if outlawed make more children bear children studies show that 44% of 14 year old girls will become pregnant before they turn twenty. This could happen to your daughter or some other loved one. Abortion and reproductive freedom more broadly defined are important pieces of ensuring this common dream. To obtain a better future, we must each be free to make profoundly personal decisions about our reproductive lives without unwarranted government intrusion.

As with all freedoms, there are limits. But a government that respects the personal integrity of its people both interferes in these essentially private decisions as little as possible and helps ensure that everyone has the opportunity to make these decisions responsibly. So overall there are a few circumstances where an abortion is needed such as early childhood, medical complications that can be averted, and could cause major problems for the family and the unborn child.

This is why I feel that abortion should be legal even though what the people against abortion are saying and try to throw in your face and make you believe. They have no evidence for their studies cause there is no proof behind what they say. The fetus can not feel pain before the first trimester (90 days) and no where in the bible does it say that its wrong because when the bible was written abortions weren’t even around at the time let alone thought of.

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Teen Pregnancy

“Each year in the U. S. almost one million teenagers become pregnant–at enormous costs to themselves, their children, and society”. (Pregnant Teen Help, Teen Pregnancy Statistics) Some would argue that teen pregnancy is all glorified. Other individuals would protest that it is too influential. Teen pregnancy is a rising social problem in the United States and among other countries. Teen pregnancy is now being publicized as multi media corporations, with shows such as “16 &ump; Pregnant”, “Teen Mom”, “Maury”, “Secret Life of the American Teenager”, and “Juno”.

All of which concentrate on teen pregnancy. These shows or movies could be informational for young people. However, the shows display an altered reality that teen pregnancy is easy, laughs and joy. Dispite what the shows might portray teen pregnancy is an uprising national and global epidemic. In the past teen pregnancy has been an underline issue that is vastly taking center stage. Media, education, and economy are all components to this phenomenon, nevertheless, how are they all connected? All of which will all be addressed in the contents of this paper.

Which leaves the burning question: is teen pregnancy accepted into our society as a norm, or is it still a deviant act? First and for most, there are many different definitions of teenage pregnancy depending on the source of the information. However, as a broad definition defines teenage pregnancy as “a female typically between the ages of thirteen and nineteen, typically who hasn’t completed her core education – secondary schools – has few or no marketable skills, is financially dependent upon an older adult typically her parents and or continues to live at home and is typically mentally immature”. Adolescent Health) Most importantly, it states that a person who is not financially or mentally stable and that is not ready to have an offspring. Teen pregnancy is becoming more popular in the media and from a political, and educational standpoint; an underlying social problem that is now making itself known. In addition to the previous statement, the more media attention this problem receives the stronger the message sends to the young women that teenage pregnancy can be an acceptable way of life.

Movies, TV shows, magazines, and music forces sex into the media but never gives light to the consequences to the actions, and the outcomes. They do not take into consideration the statistics, or the facts. Instead of looking at the reality of the situation at hand young females are seeing the overvalued media version of what it is like to be a young mother. Society takes brilliant ideas that are informative, and helpful for teens and twists the intended purpose to show that “yes, it is ok to be “16 and pregnant””.

Our society is saying to these young women that it is ok to blow past your youth years and to rush into adult hood. It is accepted to have a child while still being a child yourself. This is not a trend, it is not a myth. These are broken down from facts that the media is sending out to these young daughters. Simultaneously, there are facts and organizations that have dedicated their time and effort for teen girls. They are there to make a difference. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention they stated that it is estimated that more than 400,000 teen girls, aged 15-19 years, give birth each year in the US.

Even though teen pregnancy is a vastly growing social problem the statistics state from multiple different sources that, sense 1991 teenage pregnancy has declined around 40 percent. However, even if the number of young females is declining the issue is more apparent than ever. (Pregnant Teen Help, Teen Pregnancy Statistics) The media often glamorize teens having sexual intercourse and teen parenting, but the reality is starkly different. Having a child during the teen years carries high costs—emotional, physical, and financial—to the mother, father, child, and community.

Parents, educators, public health and medical professionals, and community organizations all have a role to play in reducing teen pregnancy. Help is here. Help and support is everywhere, you just need to know where to look. The organization “The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy” is a great place to start. There website has short video clips, statistics and a place to feel welcome. Their mission is to seek and improve the well being of the children, the young mother and the families.

The National Campaign feels that it is important because teen pregnancy and also unplanned pregnancy for that matter among young adults is part of the root of the problems to important public issues, and ultimately social challenges. Their part and role in this problem is to work in the areas that need the most help. For example: to strengthen the cultures assumptions of personal responsibilities regarding sex, getting pregnant and most importantly bring a child into this world. They also support the use of contraception’s and provide the proper information of the different echniques. (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, About Us) Ultimately the National Campaign provides more and better education to the teens that this affects such as the parents, the young adults; everyone, and anyone who could be affected by this social problem. Another suggestion besides The National Campaign is “Advocates for Youth”. They are an organization that is publically funded. Like the National Campaign their mission is to help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.

Advocates believes it can best serve the field by boldly advocating for a more positive and realistic approach to adolescent sexual health. Advocates focuses its work on young people ages 14-25 in the U. S. and around the globe. The advocates have a three “R” system which includes Rights: Youth have the right to accurate and complete sexual health information, confidential reproductive and sexual health services, and a secure stake in the future. Respect: Youth deserve respect. Valuing young people means involving them in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies that affect their health and well-being.

Lastly, Responsibility: Society has the responsibility to provide young people with the tools they need to safeguard their sexual health, and young people have the responsibility to protect them from too-early childbearing and sexually transmitted infections. They may seem like the typical organization to help with teen pregnancy but this is how they are different. (Advocates for Youth, About Us) Advocates for Youth are the only organization that works both in the United States and in developing countries with a sole focus on adolescent reproductive and sexual health.

For another example, there is also some that are closer to home no matter where you are located. “Plan Parenthood” is a perfect place for information, privacy, and support. Their mission is to work and improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices. Plan Parenthood is many things to many different people they take pride in providing trust community care, informing and educating the community, leading the reproductive health and rights movement and advancing in global health.

At Plan Parenthood they strive to deliver comprehensive and medically accurate information that empowers women, men, teens, and families to make informed choices and lead healthy lives. At Plan Parenthood there are skilled health care professionals that are dedicated to offering men, women, and teens high-quality, affordable medical care. (Planned Parenthood, Who We Are) The staff takes time to talk with clients, encouraging them to ask questions in an environment that millions have grown to trust. Most importantly, there are pros and cons to each of the organizations listed.

For “Plan Parenthood”, the pros consist of the abilities with staffing, nurses and physicians, the first hand contact, experience and the privacy that they offer to each patient. The cons that coincide with Plan Parenthood are, it is government funded and the main payment per patient is mostly donation based. (Planned Parenthood. ) For “Youth Advocates”, the organization is globally and not locally. They have information and resources regarding many different areas and topics which lead to more care and knowledge for all age groups, social problems and issues.

They also have the abilities to send information, and to help people who are in need of it. The con for this organization is that it is mainly on the web. They do have ways to contact them and offices but there is not a place to go personally and talk to someone one on one. (Advocates for Youth, About Us) Lastly, the “National Campaign” does offer funding with qualified applicants. They also offer representatives to speak at conferences and other public functions.

The down fall however, to this organization is that there may not be a local office for this organization near you, which could limit the help that it will be able to provide. (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, About Us) In addition, to the pros and cons of each organization there are possible solutions that each of them offers specifically. For instance, Plan Parenthood offers the medical aspect of teen pregnancy with doctor’s visits, birth control, contraceptives, and STD testing. This provides the option to prevent teen pregnancy to the best of their abilities.

Both of the other agencies talk about and provide information about abstinence programs. Also, to inform the teens about sex and the consequences. (Planned Parenthood, Who We Are) The thought is if the teens are educated in the issue then they will make informed and better choices. There are many different choices to help with preventing teen pregnancy. There are also many social institutions that come into play. In continuous with the previous statement, there are a number of major social institutions that con tribute both positively and negatively to this social roblem. This all depends however, on the influence that they choose to portray and the message that the young people take away from the message. For example: media is quite possibly one of the most influential social institutions. Studies show that teens more than likely girls than boys who are exposed to extreme sexual content in media in general such as music, shows, and movies are twice as likely to experience teen pregnancy in the following three years compared to others who had lower levels of sexual exposure in the media. Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 116(1), 281-286), (Adolescent Health) With shows such as “Teen Mom” and “16 &ump; Pregnant” they are very influential but the longer that the show continues the affects and the purpose of the shows will no longer be positive, but more negative. The message that it is now portraying is that it is ok to be a young mom. It is ok to have a child young. The media could have the opposite effect, but that is not what attracts the general population at this moment in time. In comparison to media, education is also a major contributing factor to teen pregnancy.

When a teen becomes pregnant, education goals may become secondary and ways of achieving those goals may grow less clear. (Pregnant Teen Help, Teenage Pregnancy and Education) Recent studies have shown that adolescents who reported having received comprehensive sex education were significantly less likely to report a teen pregnancy, compared with those who received no sex education at all. The same study shows a comparison to links between low income households, minimal education levels, and race, all links to higher levels of teen pregnancy. Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 116(1), 281-286) The key is education. With any type of sexual education classes studies prove that the percentage of teen pregnancies is significantly lower than people who have never taken some formal education class. Teenagers need encouragement, and the proper education to make the informed choices. Education is the start to that, however, it cannot stand alone. Other major institutions need to change their share of this problem as well. Finally, the last major social institution that leaves an influential mark on teen pregnancy is the economy.

In the same study in the previous paragraph, the studies conducted states that there is a significant link between family income, social structure, residence area, race, availability of education and teen pregnancy. The study shows that typically a person who is part of a low family income, in a low income residential area, and is typically a minority will be more likely to become a statistic of teen pregnancy. (Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 116(1), 281-286) How are all three major social institutions linked together for teenage pregnancy?

You cannot have one without the other two. Media, contributes to the social side of teen pregnancy saying to teens “it is ok to be young and have a child. ” It unrealistically shows that everyone is doing it, and yes, it will be easy and I will have people to help me the whole way. Teen pregnancy is glamorized to be something it is not by the media; which is a contributing factor when an adolescent does not have the proper education regarding abstinence, or contraception’s. In turn, that leads to the link between education and the economy and the level on the economic scale that they fall into.

They may not have the means to the right education because of their family’s income. So all the adolescent knows is what they are interoperating in the media. In most cases, people tend to think that “this will never happen to me”. You might be right, you might be one of the “lucky” ones, all the same, that is not always the case. In the previous paragraphs there have been stated places to go to be better informed, and to be provided with the right necessities for teen pregnancy.

In my 2009 graduating class alone in a small country side town, it was estimated that around 15-20 people had parented a child by the time we had graduated. My own cousin was “16 &ump; pregnant”. She does go through struggles, everyday is a challenge. The cost of food, diapers, doctor’s visits, transportation, getting up at 2AM, and ultimately, coming to the realization that you do have to “wave” goodbye to your teenage years when you have a child.

Instead of thinking of yourself, it is all about your child, which sadly enough some young parents are not ready to do. Teen pregnancy is not something that will just affect one person. It affects everyone in that person’s life. It is interesting how one small choice, or one mistake impacts the lives of so many different people. As a thought, reducing teen pregnancy and birth is one of the most effective ways of reducing child poverty in the country. Even with the organizations and agencies available teen pregnancy continues to be a social problem.

With multiple factors to take into consideration such as media, education, and economy, why can the population not find a solution? In conclusion, teenage pregnancy is a social problem that has become more prominent in the past years. To leave with one last shocking and skin crawling statistic, more than 2/3 of all teenagers who have a baby will not graduate from high school. (Pregnant Teen Help, pg 1. ) Knowing those statistics, how can you deny that teen pregnancy is in fact still a deviant act compared to a social norm, and that it is a social problem?

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A Reaction/Term Paper on Teenage Pregnancy

A Reaction/Term Paper on TEENAGE PREGNANCY Nowadays, statistics claims that teen pregnancy becomes a trend worldwide. Teenage pregnancy is a phenomenon wherein a female between the age of 13 and 19 undergoes pregnancy. Why such a thing occurs? Let’s consider the causes. Curiosity. Majority of the female species doesn’t know much about sex. Sex education is rarely taught at schools so they do not have much knowledge about it. Trough words of mouth, they engage into sex without thinking the consequences. Environmental Factor.

Friends and colleagues are very strong factor in developing one’s personality. They affect your way of thinking and even involve in your decision making scheme. Friends are usually the ones who invite you to try new things because they have more experience than you. You are triggered anyhow by their stories and therefore out of curiosity, you deal with it. The influence of the mass media has scarcely being overestimated; Media also affects the mindset of a teenage life. With the kind of media we have, being liberated is somehow dominant. Lack of Guidance.

Guidance counseling is very important towards reaching a righteous path, be it a parental guidance or elder’s pieces of advice. A pregnant teenager probably lacks of guidance making her to do what she wants. If counseling is implemented in her, with the power of sincere words and actions, she might not involve to premarital sex. Too Many Problems. Having many problems also result to teenage pregnancy. Sex somehow to leads as being a stress reliever, or a way to succumb her problems. A teenager might think pregnancy is a way to cope up with problems.

They are not supported by their family so they think getting themselves pregnant might bother their parents. It’s their rebellious resort to show how careless their parents are. In this case, the teenager feels sorry for herself. With the aforementioned causes, teenage pregnancy is far from being impossible. Now let’s consider the effect of it. According to statistics, about 85% of pregnancies are unplanned which in any population can increase the risk for problems. The biggest risk for teen mothers is delaying prenatal care or in worst case, will receive no care at all.

The reason for lack of prenatal care is usually delayed pregnancy testing denial or even fear telling others about pregnancy. Nutritional counseling can be a large portion of prenatal care, usually done by a doctor, or a midwife, sometimes a nutritionist. This counseling will usually include information about prenatal vitamins, folic acid and the dos and don’ts of eating and drinking. Lack of proper nutrition can lead to problems like anemia, low weight gain, etc. Another problem facing teen mothers is the use of drugs and alcohol, including cigarette smoking.

No amount of any of these substances is safe for use in pregnancy. In fact, their use can harm pregnancy even further increasing the likelihood of premature birth and other complications. Premature birth and low birth weight create a wealth of their own problems, including brain damage, physical disabilities and more. The potentially lengthy hospital stay and increased risk of health problems for these babies leads to more stress on the teen mother. While facing the cruel realities of teen pregnancy, this is not the picture that has to be painted.

Teen mothers are perfectly capable of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby with the proper nutrition, early prenatal care and good screening for potential problems, the majority of these potential problems will not come to existence. While some tend to think that you can’t teach a teen mother anything about her body or baby, it’s really a ridiculous notion. Many of the teen mothers who take active roles in their care do go on to have healthy babies, despite the other hardships, frustrations, and difficulties that they will face in their future lives.

Support and guidance from their families and communities is a must for the young new family to be successful and developed. However, teenage pregnancy can be prevented through self discipline and proper counseling. A life would be at stake if the teenager tends to break the righteous way. With discipline and dignity, she can avoid doing so. Education is also a powerful tool for a good strong mind. Through education, a teenager is more knowledgeable and well-learned about the pros and cons of getting into early pregnancy. In fact, there are no pros.

It will only spoil your happy teenage life. Your life as a single young woman will be limited as soon as you have a child. Bearing a child is a lifetime obligation, so one must be precautious enough so as to avoid mistakes. One more risk to consider is the father of the child. Teenage usually gets impregnated by her co-teens. So denial stage is possible in this case. The prospect father might not accept the child and won’t consider the child as his own. He’s still young, and not yet ready for obligation. So in this scenario, all the pity feelings will be on the teen mom.

Abortion is then a tendency in this stage. The worst scenario is the so-called “suicidal attempt”. Females who undergo this stage usually think of abortion as the best resort. This however is just initial reaction. They are afraid of their parent’s reaction, and afraid of their future, and the child’s. They would start taking abortive chemicals to get rid of the fetus, but this would only cause harm to the baby and to the mother as well. An experienced aborted teen mother may lead to hard up getting pregnant again.

It will also result to some abnormalities and frenzy feelings and actions. One can’t afford of these consequences so it’s a must to have a precaution on how to avoid teenage pregnancy, either abstinence or use of contraceptives and such methods. With proper education and occasional guidance counseling, along with fear and self-discipline, one might avoid teenage pregnancy. Just think of the consequences and one might step backward. Remember; think 10 times before you leap. Mistakes can not be corrected by another mistake. Learn also to observe and listen’s to elder’s advice.

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Minor Disorders in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body will go through numerous adaptations in order to accommodate the fetus. During these physiological adaptations, the organs such as spleen and liver and systems such as the endocrine and circulatory systems will be affected. A woman can experience minor disorders that are most likely the result of hormonal changes on the smooth muscle and connective tissues. This paper endeavours to describe some of the minor disorders in pregnancy in particular, heartburn (reflux oesophagitis), constipation, haemorrhoids, dermatoses and epistaxis.

The major physiological reason for heartburn (reflux oesophagitis) in pregnancy is due to the relaxation of the LES(lower esophageal sphincter) and the decreased tone and mobility of the smooth muscles, which is caused from increased progesterone. As the fetus increases in size, pressure in the abdomen compounds, decreasing the angle of the gastroesophageal junction. This allows for oesophageal regurgitation, less time for the stomach to empty and reverse peristalsis (Blackburn 2007; Stables & Rankin 2010).

The main symptoms of heartburn are a “burning sensation” in the chest or back of the throat. Other symptoms may include eructation, difficulty in swallowing, and an acid or metal taste in the mouth. In terms of advice, there are some standard measures that can alleviate symptoms. These include examining the woman’s diet and eliminating foods that might aggravate, eating smaller portions and more frequently, sleeping in upright positions and avoidance of eating closer to bedtime (Law et al. 2010; Vazquez 2010).

Constipation is known to affect more that 40% of women during their pregnancy (Derbyshire, Davies & Detmar 2007). In looking at the physiological reason for constipation, increasing levels of progesterone affects bowel motility and reduces the peristaltic movement of the gastrointestinal tract. This is turn then increases the time food is passed through the gut causing increases in electrolyte and subsequent absorption of water in the large intestine. Motilin a hormone that assists faeces to pass through the colon is also decreased by the levels of progesterone (Derbyshire, Davies & Detmar 2007).

Constipation could also be the result of hyperemesis gravidarum (pernicious vomiting in pregnancy), or ingestion of prescribed iron tablets for anaemia (Tiran 2003). A diet rich in fibre and increasing fluid intake can help to ease some of the associated problems with constipation. Laxatives should only be used when dietary changes do not assist. In addition women should be advised that ignoring signs for defecation will compound symptoms (Jewell & Young 1996; Vazquez 2010). The levels of fibre and fluid consumed should be noted by healthcare professionals when attending to women (Derbyshire, Davies & Detmar 2007).

Haemorrhoids occurs in pregnancy in 25 – 35% of women and in some populations it can reach 85% (Staroselsky et al. 2008). Haemorrhoids occur due to progesterone causing vasodilation in the ano-rectal area. In some cases there is a direct relationship between constipation and the formation of haemorrhoids. Main symptoms are itching, burning, swelling around the anus and bleeding. Pain with bowel movements and bleeding are often the first signs of haemorrhoids. As there is a close relationship between constipation and haemorrhoids, the advice given to women with regards to treatment would be similar to constipation.

In (Staroselsky et al. 2008) it is stated that topical treatments and the use of laxatives can reduce symptoms. The integumentary system is no different to any of the other systems affected by physiological changes in pregnancy. There are a number of skin irritations that can cause discomfort to a woman during her pregnancy, but these do not harm the fetus. Melanocyte-stimulating hormone is increased by progesterone and oestrogen levels. Chloasma or “pregnancy mask” is one of the conditions to arise from hormone increases (Stables & Rankin 2010).

Hyperpigmentation is the most common skin alteration in pregnancy. About 90% of women will develop linea nigra which is found running from the xiphoid process to the pubis. A common dermatoses found in pregnancy is a condition called PUPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques) The development of PUPP in pregnancy is 1 in 160 (Sachdeva 2008). This usually occurs in the primagravida in the third trimester and in rare cases in the first and second. In (Brzoza et al. 2007; Roth 2009) the reasons for PUPP is unclear but suggestions are made that maternal weight gain in primiparous women is the cause.

Interestingly statistics show that 2. 9% of twin pregnancies and 14% of triplet pregnancies develop PUPP. It is thought, that abdominal distension, hormonal, autoimmune and change in partners (implication of paternal antigens) could attribute to the condition. Conditions such as Pemphigoid gestationis (PG), Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), and Atopic eruption of pregnancy ( AEP) require the monitoring from dermatologists, obstetricians, midwives and other relevant healthcare practitioners as they do pose high risks to mother and baby (Brzoza et al. 007; Sachdeva 2008). With PUPP the main symptoms women complain of is an intense itching usually around the abdomen and in some cases breasts, upper thighs and arms. In the case of PUPP’s, the application of topical steroids, emollient creams and ointments may be applied and in severe cases oral treatments may be sought (Roth 2009). Epistaxis (nosebleeds) is considered a minor disorder but in one study has proven to be life threatening. Oestrogen rises, which causes hyperactivity of the parasympathetic nervous system which in turn causes nasal congestion.

One of the other reasons is systemic blood pressure increases in pregnancy. Complications from nosebleeds is rare, but if not monitored could lead to haemorrhage (Hardy, Connolly & Weir 2008). In this study a woman presented at 26 weeks with epistaxis but 48 hours later continued to bleed and surgery was the outcome. There is also evidence that chronic rhinosinusitis can lead to epistaxis. One study 44% of women between the ages of 26-30 and presenting in the third trimester appeared to have the highest incidence of epistaxis.

It must be noted that though this study was conducted in a third world country where nourishment, hygiene and education are an issue, there are potential risks of epistaxis in pregnancy. (Purushothaman 2010) Maternal morbidity in pregnancy is very well researched and evidence based, but the impacts that minor disorders have on a woman’s family or her emotional state is not well documented. However, there is one such Australian study stating the impact on women. In (Gartland et al. 2010) it showed that 68% experienced multiple disorders which had a cumulative effect and therefore greater impact.

What is interesting in the study was that women aged between 18-24, had a poor perception of health, socio-economic and education issues. In comparison to those older women who had stable relationships, well educated and better perception of health. The study demonstrated that a woman’s support network, access to professional advice and education can greatly impact her wellbeing and those around her. This assignment has explained the physiology and reasons for minor disorders in pregnancy. It is important that midwives and relevant healthcare professionals monitor women so as to prevent further complications to mother and child.

The health and wellbeing of a mother and her unborn child is always the utmost priority of healthcare professionals. . References Blackburn, S. T. 2007, Maternal, fetal & neonatal physiology : a clinical perspective, 3rd edn, Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, Mo. Brzoza, Z. , Kasperska-Zajac, A. , Oles, E. & Rogala, B. 2007, ‘Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy’, Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 44-8. Derbyshire, E. J. , Davies, J. ; Detmar, P. 2007, ‘Changes in Bowel Function: Pregnancy and the Puerperium’, Digestive Diseases and Sciences, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 324. Gartland, D. , Brown, S. , Donath, S. ; Perlen, S. 2010, ‘Women’s health in early pregnancy: Findings from an Australian nulliparous cohort study’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 413-8. Hardy, J. J. , Connolly, C. M. ; Weir, C. J. 2008, ‘Epistaxis in pregnancy – not to be sniffed at! ‘, International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 94-5. Jewell, D. ; Young, G. 1996, Interventions for treating constipation in pregnancy, John Wiley ; Sons, Ltd.

Law, R. , Maltepe, C. , Bozzo, P. ; Einarson, A. 2010, ‘Treatment of heartburn and acid reflux associated with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy’, Can Fam Physician, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 143-4. Purushothaman, L. P. a. P. K. 2010, ‘Analysis of Epistaxis in Pregnancy’, European Journal of Scientific Research, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 387-96. Roth, M. -M. 2009, ‘Specific Pregnancy Dermatoses’, Dermatology Nursing, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 70-81. Sachdeva, S. 2008, ‘The dermatoses of pregnancy. (Review Article)’, Indian Journal of Dermatology, vol. 3, no. 3, p. 103. Stables, D. ; Rankin, J. 2010, Physiology in childbearing : with anatomy and related biosciences, 3rd edn, Bailliere Tindall, Edinburgh. Staroselsky, A. , Nava-Ocampo, A. A. , Vohra, S. ; Koren, G. 2008, ‘Hemorrhoids in pregnancy’, Can Fam Physician, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 189-90. Tiran, D. 2003, ‘Product focus. Self help for constipation and haemorrhoids in pregnancy’, British Journal of Midwifery, vol. 11, no. 9, pp. 579-81. Vazquez, J. C. 2010, ‘Constipation, haemorrhoids, and heartburn in pregnancy’, Clinical Evidence.

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Teen Pregnancy Paper

There are hundreds of babies born each day. The scary and quite alarming fact about this is most of those moms are teenagers. Teen pregnancy has become an issue that affects numerous families in the United States. Planned Parenthood has reported an average of one million girls gets pregnant, and that is between the ages of 12-17. A staggering eighty-three percent of these pregnancies are to poor or low income families. Statistics have shown that seventy-eight percent of these pregnancies were unplanned and four out of ten were aborted.

Although the numbers have plunged from five years ago, they are still uncomfortably high. The issue of teen pregnancy needs to be addressed head on otherwise this sweeping trend will soon become a dangerous norm. In most cases the only individuals that are for this issue are the teen mothers, and hopefully fathers, while the vast majorities against it are the families, schools, and society the girls are surrounded with. It is believed that the reason most young ladies are in support of pregnancy varies from the inability to go through with an abortion to feeling the need to be accepted.

Teen fathers should be there for their girlfriends because they have also played a major role in the situation, but sadly a large number decide not to stick around. Families tend to be in opposition to the pregnancy due to financial and sometimes religious aspects. It is also difficult to comprehend the idea society has seemed to turn its back on teen moms when a solution is crucial at this time. The attention that is bringing much concern to this matter is the trend following it. Meaning, many younger girls are thinking it’s “in” to have children at a younger age and proceeds to multitudes of girls having babies at a very young age.

In result of this, more and more girls are getting a lower education due to dropping out of school. Also the expectations girls have for themselves and their lives are decreasing. A recent poll by Seventeen magazine revealed that five percent of teen moms go on to obtain a college degree. If that’s not shocking, more than half of teen moms go on to have a second child following the first. Along with this issue as a whole, a major concern is the fact that four out of ten pregnancies are aborted. This might not sounds like much, but when it is said in the thousands it is an extremely high number.

It appears that most girls are relying on the ability to abort rather than the pill or other forms of contraceptives. If these options weren’t out there then teenage sex would hardly be a concept let alone the increasing outcomes of teen pregnancy. Schools have been trying over the past decade or so to educate students on safe sex and awareness. However, this education hasn’t been enough to drive the rates down to an acceptable level. If the teaching of this matter is spread out more and the awareness of diseases is also brought up, the numbers of teenage pregnancy will decline along with it.

The media in some cases has brought attention to it, but has done it in a harmful way. In the summer of 2009, MTV kicked off a new series called “16 and Pregnant”. This show was to show the lives of girls who had gotten pregnant at 16. Most episodes revealed hardships each one went through and their decisions when it came to their unborn child. During the show there would be statistics on teen pregnancy and commercials about where to find help. All this seemed purely education until they continued the series for three more seasons as well as made a spin of series to showcase the growing lives of the first teen moms.

The problem with this media is most of the episodes are now giving girls the idea that it is acceptable to have a child at a young age and even though there are hardships, things will still work out one way or another. Personally, the thought has crossed my mind a time or two, but reality sets in when I see real moms at my high school struggling just to get their diploma and juggle all the stresses of a baby. The shift of focus that needs to happen is, unfortunately, more of the bad side of pregnancy and parenting need to be shown in order to “scare” our youth.

At the same time there isn’t profound public attention since this issue has never been fully addressed head on due to that fact it is a touchy subject. As with sweeping dirt under a rug for example, the more dust is swept under the rug the more it accumulates, then the problem becomes unbearable to manage. The same applies regarding teen pregnancy, the sooner education and a plan for the future is composed, the sooner this epidemic will come to a screeching halt. As long as individuals are armed with facts and have a driving force, the easier this issue will become obsolete.

Although I possess all this information, there is still a lot more investigating on this topic that could be done. Are there more prevention programs or assistance for the teen mothers and families that we don’t know about? What can the government do to eradicate teen pregnancy? In order to learn more about this, my plan would include searching the internet and possibly contacting Planned Parenthood to obtain these answers. The widespread trend of pregnancy extends further than just the teens it affects and society must handle this before it becomes intolerable.

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Preface Teenage Pregnancy

a. Preface Teenage pregnancy is the period where children between ages of 13-20 become pregnant. Teenage pregnancy is not really a quite higher in our baranggay compare o other places. As a result teenage pregnancy has become an issue as it has been defined as a family problem rather than anything else. Teen mother have lower chance of completing their high school or college, especially if they have their first child before 18. They are not able to complete their basic education.

Although they have sill few basic skill such as computer literacy, health implication to heir selves and to their baby is not enough above all it is the reason why they are dropping out from schools. Acknowledgment His research would not have been possible without the help of several individuals who extend their assistance in the preparation of this study. I express my gratitude to Dra. Jenny C. Possecion – Obygyne Criselda Almeron- health worker Incarnacion S. De Celis- for her vital encouragement and support The teenage mothers who is willing to share their experiences Kgwd.

Arnold Rosales for the help and inspiration he extended Brgy. Pasandalan Health workers & Staff Most especially to my family, friends and to God who made all things possible. Risk of Teenage Pregnancy Summary The effect of teenage pregnancy has often been raised. At what age should a woman to be pregnant? Some argue that it does not matter what age a person is as long as he or she is mature. While other says that maturity comes with age. And a teenager is never equipped for responsibilityin comes with bearing a child.

There are several health risk that cn affect our young people today. Specially for those young women who choose to carry a child. Raising a child involves a lot of patience and sacrifices that a teen does not have. Teen mothers starts smooking, dringking,during pregnancy because of stress and depressions, as a result there can be effects in their bodies. Because they are still young they still have immature body and mind. They can suffer health problems and it includes the baby. Body of the report Introduction

Teen pregnancy is a problem in today’s society. Young or teen mothers really don’t know their options. Many teens today are not aware of the dangers in unprotected sex. They bring another life in this world without a proper care. We all know that teenage pregnancy can be reasons of poor educational achievement, poverty and a lot of health risk. Background/history Teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy on a female under 20 years old. A pregnancy can take place as early as two weeks before the first menstrual period. Which signals the possibility of fertility.

One of the main reasons why the youth are clueless about sexual intercourse and consequences are the fact that the youth are misinformed about sexual intercourse. Teens nowadays are exposed to sex movies, internet, TV and other media forms which are not presented during earlier times. The problem now that arises is that the “barkada” has a lot of influence than the parents do. Teenagers who have friends who engaged in sexual intercourse are more likely to engage in it compare to those who do not mingle much with their friends. Purpose statement

This study is conducted in random puroks of brgy. Pasandalan, Lebak Sultan Kudarat The purpose of conducing a research about teenage pregnancy is to know what are the reasons why they get pregnant. I want to know anything from how hard it was, how their boyfriend/parents took it. And the effects for being a young mother. Determine how many teenage girls are able to complete school. Scope and limitation The study focuses on teenage pregnancy and some of its effects. This study is limited only to give information about having sex before marriage and its all consequences.

Like the disadvantages to the students This study is important since teenagers will have a background knowledge of the said study they will also think twice if they want to do it or not. Teenage pregnancy has some advantages and disadvantages. Some of this are, * They have to stop going to school since they are pregnant. * They are also forced not to go out to much because they have to take care of their child. * They also need to find a job to pay for all expenses of their child. * And of course they are going to face all the consequences for having a child.

If there are disadvantages there are also advantages. Some of I are they will experience having a family. And they get to experience pleasure at an early age and experience being a paren. Teen pregnancy health risk Pregnant teens and their unborn babies have risks. * Lack of parental care Teenage who are pregnant specially if they don’t have support from their parents are at risk. Prenatal care screens for medical problems in both mother and baby. * Low-birth weight baby Teens are higher risk of having a low-birth weight babies. Premature babies are more likely has less weight. Feeling alone Especially for teens who think they can’t tell their parents they’re pregnant, feeling scared and alone can be a real problem. Without the support of family, pregnant teens are less likely to eat well or get plenty of rest. * Children born with a young mom Baby that is born to teenage mothers are less likely to receive proper nutrition, health care and as a result they are risk for lower academic achievement. * Children born to teenage mothers are at risk for abuse * Girls born to teenage mothers are more likely to become teenage mothers themselves.

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Teenage Pregnancy Introduction

MARCH 13 2013 LECTURER: ZHEN ROLLE COURSE TITLE: HUMAN GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT TOPIC: TEENAGE PREGNANCY INTRODUCTION Today many teenage pregnancies are evident, contrary to the biblical view point and the understanding of the rule “NO SEX before MARRIAGE. Many young females have fallen into lust and temptation of involving themselves into sexual activities, which leads to many disastrous outcomes, one of which is teenage pregnancy.

This occurrence was rarely evident back in the days; it was very rare to see a young girl pregnant, now when a teenage girl is expecting a baby it is more on an excitement level than a shameful mistake. In this paper I will try to show how young women report varied accounts of the extent to which their pregnancy was planned; how their childhood and backgrounds acted as contributing factors to “planning” a pregnancy and also how more explicit and direct influences include viewing pregnancy as a chance to gain a new identity and direction in life.

I interviewed four young ladies whose lives have been changed by teenage pregnancy. They were between the ages of 13-22 most has been in stable relationships, and got married, though some relationships had since broken down. What are some reasons why teenage pregnancy exists? Well statistics has shown that most children who grow up in Nuclear Families are most likely to succeed. They tend to be more in control of certain circumstances compared to children who come from a single family home.

Whereas children who live with a single parent are more unsettled and fails to reject the social pressures plaguing society today. An unsettled background and bad experiences at school provided an impetus to change direction in life. Young people saw this as way to control their own life and to gain independence. INTERVIEWS Interview 1 Interviewer: Hi. I am not asking for advice on a pregnancy. I am not pregnant. I am doing a research project on teen pregnancies. I would like to hear about your experience. Patty: I would be glad to help you with your research I have experienced a great deal.

I got pregnant at 15, a sophomore in high school, but I hid it from everyone till I was almost 8 and 1/2 months along because I didn’t feel it was anyone’s business but mine. When my parents found out, my mom threatened to make me put the baby up for adoption, well needless to say, I had my first which was a girl and I was still seeing the father but my mom did what she could to try and break us up and I just ended up seeing him more and more so I ended up in a foster home for a few months until my mom and dad agreed to sign for me to get married, because I was already pregnant with my second one.

I still went to school though, my parents agreed for me to get married on the terms of me finishing high school, but I flat out told them that nobody would make me finish, I was finishing because I wanted to not because someone else wanted me to. Well I got married at 17, had a house, a husband, and 2 kids to take care of but I still graduated with my class and there were many hard times but I dealt with them the best I could.

Me and my husband both worked and I had my third one at 19, and my last one at 21. I began college once all my kids were in school and got EMT certified. So no matter what happens in life, just deal with them and the worst things in life just make you a stronger person. Interview 2 Interviewer: How do you think teenage pregnancy affected or changed your life?

Chrissy: Well first I can say that I came from a home where my parents were married but my mom’s husband was not my biological father, he was my step dad, so I never experienced firsthand a father figure in my childhood, because of this I stayed away and limited my conversations with my mother, never telling her the things I realized she needed to know; for example my first crush on a boy in high school and how that day was exciting as well as bittersweet in a way; or the tingle in my breast when I watch certain programs, all these things I refused to discuss with my mother because she was not understanding to my feelings.

I feared her more and this caused me to put all of my trust into my boyfriend James, who said all the right things I needed to hear at the time and made me smile. Because of this I rewarded him with sexual pleasures, which resulted in pregnancy. Interviewer: What was it like to become a mother in your early teens? Chrissy: I was excited because now I thought I found true love and I had everything I could possibly want and need. Then the baby came and it changed everything, my boyfriend of six years no longer wanted to be with me; he left me having to defend for myself and my baby.

At first it was hard but eventually I was able to go back to school and get a job good enough to provide for me and my child. Being a single parent can be hard at times but I won’t change this experience with my child for the world. It taught me to be the best parent I can be both financially and mentally. Interview 3 Interviewer: Why do most females get pregnant? Sharell: I don’t think that they wanted to get pregnant. In my case I did not want to get pregnant, I was just caught up in the moment. Meeting someone who convinced you that they loved you, and then the next thing that happened was we had a baby.

Instead of waiting on marriage we were caught up in the moment, having shared each other viewpoints we explored areas that should have been left for marriage. Interviewer: What seems to you has been the best time to have a baby? Sharell: Well having been married, with a secure environment I would say, one can be ready to have children. Unfortunately we got married and we were still divorced after a few years. I say this to say because of the baby my time was spent with the child instead of with my husband who eventually felt neglected.

He started seeing another woman and left me. This taught me a valuable lesson that we can make mistakes that can change our lives forever and so if you are fortunate and your partner marries you balance your relationship with motherhood. I see being a mother as a job if I wasn’t a mom I don’t think I’d even have a job so it was probably a good decision for me personally. Interview 4 Interviewer: Hello Jennifer, what can you tell me about your teenage pregnancy and how you learned all the ups and downs it may come with?

Jennifer: Well for one there’s a reason why the bible states that marriages are Gods intention between a man and a woman, because two heads are certainly better than one, with my situation I grew up in a foster home, never knew my biological mother or father, and lived with an aunt who was not very nice and loving to me. So I meet a guy who seemed to fill all of the above i thought I was missing. We started living together, not married and eventually I became pregnant. Interviewer: What was it like to become a mother in your early twenties?

Jennifer: Children where two parents are present and they can definitely share the responsibility of raising children together, I being a single parent is hard, children need support, love comfort, food and clothes and we as parents have to provide these things. Being single you may and will lack in one of these areas. So growing up children in a nuclear family home for me is more secure than a single household. CONCLUSION We hear the saying that wisdom comes with age, or that age is nothing but a number, be it as it may today teenage pregnancy is ramped in society and as heard in all the interviews, there are a number of reasons for this.

None of these teenagers were prepared, but each one of them was able to take their personal stories and talk about the good and bad. In the end each one of them has to live with whatever decisions they chose to make, and who are we to judge. Teenage pregnancy has different motivating factors. It is clear that each young parent thought that they had improved their lives by becoming independent, gaining a sense of purpose or even seizing chance to right the wrongs of their own childhood.

As a final point given the disadvantaged circumstances common to the majority of the ladies their decisions to become a teenage mother were seen by them to be reasonably rational. Pregnancy and parenthood offer these young women a chance to change their lives for the better. Unlike most alternative ways of changing their life, such as education, training or employment, pregnancy was seen as an option totally within their control. The majority said they were most adamant that pregnancy had been the right decision at this time in their life.