The pregnancy rate among teenage girls continues to climb and according to a survey taken by the Centers for Disease Control, 2,600 teens admitted to being more accepting of teenage pregnancy and only 12% of teens said they will not have sex because they do not want to get pregnant. Whether the rate declines or increases the fact of the matter is although teen pregnancy should not be promoted, affected teens need support from their families and friends.
Because a teen is still a child themselves, taking care of a baby is most likely the most challenging thing they will have to endure. Becoming a parent doesn’t come with a manual and it would be accurate to say that most parents (even married adults) learn through trial and error. However there are resources available to teen parents that will help them during their pregnancy and prepare them for what lies ahead.
Here is an overview of what parenting classes are comprised of.
Nutrition and Diet- Diet and nutrition are very important to the expectant mother and although not all foods are unhealthy there are those that doctors recommend staying clear of. The Nutrition and Diet class will teach mothers how to eat healthy and how many calories should be consumed throughout the day. In addition the mother will learn about expected weight gain and what vitamins are important to the overall health of the baby.
Family Relationships- It’s no surprise that an unexpected teen pregnancy would put a strain on a family and in some cases tear one apart. Family relationship classes will give teens and their family’s practical tools to cope throughout their trying time. They’ll be taught positive communication styles and problem solving skills. While it would be impossible to repair every family problem this class will aid families in mending some of their brokenness.
Child Care- Whether the soon to be parent plans on working or going to school full time the baby will eventually need to be in a safe environment while the parent is away. Child care classes teach parents what to look for when planning on hiring a day care provider and often have a directory of licensed child care facilities.
CPR/First Aid- In an instant an emergency situation could arise so it’s important for parents to know how to react in such a situation. CPR/First Aid classes are designed to teach parents how to administer life saving techniques and/or first aid while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. While no one should ever have to go through this it is necessary that the parent be prepared.
Routines- Prior to having a baby the teen’s schedule was their own. They could eat, sleep, and do whatever they wanted. However once baby comes, their needs will be put on hold; at least for a little while. Parents will be instructed on how often babies eat, soil themselves, and sleep and although every baby is different at least parents will get an idea of what changes to expect.
Family Planning- Prior to the child’s birth teens are counseled and taught effective family planning methods and encouraged to practice abstinence.
Because unexpected teen pregnancies happen every day it’s imperative that teens are taught preventative methods such as abstinence and use the resources that are available to them so they can be the parent that their child deserves.
Round Rock ISD
Centers for Disease Control