Today it is not surprising to see a 16year old girl expecting; many underage girls are becoming pregnant and this has become a problem in our society. Some parents do not play their role well especially to educate their girls on the effects of having sex when they are underage; parents have forgotten their roles and left their children in the hands of teachers. Many of the teens when they become expectant they lose their self-esteem and do not attend prenatal classes as it is in the case of Kathy. According to Lothian (2008), when one is expecting they should attend childbirth and baby care classes as this will help them in the motherhood journey.
According to Robert & John (2016), human development includes stages and the first stage of a human lifespan is the unborn baby then newborn; a child health starts from the time of conception therefore mothers should take proper care of their children from pregnancy. Attending childbirth and baby care classes is essential as one gets to know much about the pregnancy and even how to take good care of the baby after birth. Since Kathy has declined to attend the pregnancy and childbirth classes the below notes will help her and other young mothers with similar problems to acquire proper knowledge relating to pregnancy and childbirth.
One of pregnancy self-care practices is doing exercises, when pregnant one should do regular exercises as exercises promote a healthy lifestyle and also helps ease the discomfort during pregnancy as well as keeping fit. One should do simple exercises such as jogging, running, and swimming while on the other hand avoiding exercises that may cause one to fall like rock climbing.
When pregnant eat healthily: although junk food may taste amazing especially with pregnancy cravings one should eat healthy that is one should eat a balanced diet like eating plenty of proteins, vitamins, and fibre as this will facilitate the growth of a healthy baby and at the same time healthy mother.
Do not overwork yourself; when pregnancy it is good to get plenty of rest, taking a nap or just a break is required as this makes it easy when parenting a newborn (Enkin M. et al. 2000). Taking a nap or resting helps one mentally and also allows the baby to also rest as overworking yourself means overworking the baby too. Both the mother and the baby needs some special rest; take naps after lunch, before dinner, or even sleep early and wake up late. During pregnancy plenty of water is also essential, when pregnant keep yourself hydrated.
When a child is born the mother should ensure that she keeps the baby warm throughout; a newborn is so exposed and should be well taken care of. A mother should ensure that she breastfeeds the baby well and in case the baby refuses to breastfeed or does not breastfeed well the mother should seek doctor’s advice. According to Crenshaw J. & Lamaze International (2009), breast milk helps the baby keep fit as it supplies the baby with all the essential nutrients and in proper proportions. Breast milk protects the baby against diseases, it is easily digested, and it does not cause constipation, vomiting, diarrhea or any stomach upset.
Since children’s are vulnerable to infections, mothers or parents should ensure that their babies are vaccinated as immunizations do not only protect the baby from toxic diseases like polio, diphtheria, and tetanus but helps keep our babies safe by eliminating or minimizing deadly diseases that can be spread from one child to the other. A baby especially the newborn needs mothers love; even if you become a mother at a young age do not isolate your baby or see infant as a misfortune; instead young mothers should know that a child is the greatest gift from God and a blessing. Therefore the mother should ensure that she is always close to the infant and gives the baby all the attention the baby needs and love the child unconditionally as this will help the child grow positively. Lastly, the mother especially young mothers should not stay quiet in case they detect something unusual with the baby but should always seek advice from people around her either family or friend or a doctor to ensure the safety of the baby.
Crenshaw J. & Lamaze International. (2009). Healthy birth practice #6: Keep mother and baby together. It’s best for mother, baby, and breastfeeding.
Enkin M, et al. (2000). A guide to effective care in pregnancy and childbirth. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lothian J. (2008). Navigating the maze: The journey of becoming a mother. The Journal of Perinatal Education.
Robert, V. & John C. (2016). Human Development: a Life-Span View. Cengage Learning US Publishers.