Teenage pregnancies in Kenya

A global research says that teenage pregnancies affect heavily to the social and economic growth of the nation. Teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy in a female between the age group of 13-18. An unexpected adolescent pregnancy could bring lots of anxiety to a young girl.

Due to lack of financial and emotional support required to tackle such situations, girls often find themselves in a dilemma- that is not able to differentiate between the rights and the wrongs which lead to low self-esteem and feel like extreme grief or shame.

Also if a girl of very young age gets pregnant, she may have to face medical complications such as the death of the baby, or the mother or even both. An adult woman can go for the option of medical abortion in which you can talk to a local drugstore to end a pregnancy, in case of an unwanted pregnancy or  reach out to us as Women for Women where we will help you get a safe abortion in Kenya.

Some of the major serious issues a teenage mother has to face are:

Adolescent pregnant teens in Kenya most often drop out of schools or colleges as it gets difficult for them to manage the burden of school and parenting together. Because of this, they might face difficulties later in finding a job, in worse scenarios, no employment at all. Even if they manage to get a job, it is low paying.

Therefore they have to be dependent on either family or partner(if there is). They have to suffer from poverty and depend on welfares.

In some regions, being sexually active in young age is considered a sin. Girls have to suffer a lot of criticism in this situation. They are said to be the disgrace of family and society because of some cultural and political beliefs of society.

These kinds of negative comments can shatter a girl’s self-esteem. It makes her feel more lonely and depressed. In the worst scenario, girls think of ending their lives, they find themselves trapped in a situation like this. It is important to provide them with emotional support during this phase.

Babies born due to teenage pregnancy have to suffer a lot of problems associated with physical, financial, emotional and behavioral aspects. They are more likely to born premature, which is again associated with several health risks, abnormalities or even death. Due to lack of financial stability, they are often malnutrition and weak.

Often parents feel shy talking to children about topics like teen pregnancy and abortion. Some may even try to avoid the topic as long as possible. But addressing this topic to teens or children is the need of the hour. Research says that parents have a huge influence on their child’s sexual behavior. Hence parents can play a vital role in explaining children about the threats in teenage pregnancy and its long-term effects on life.

Adults need to educate children about the causes of teen pregnancy, such as unprotected intercourse. Children should be made aware of contraceptives and their proper usage. Access to birth control pills must be provided to teenagers all across the globe.

How to talk?

You need to be very open and comfortable while conversing with your children about sensitive topics like reproduction and teenage pregnancy. When they see you talking about these topics without any hesitation, they will also get comfortable.

Try to explain the facts in a simple and easy to understand manner. Avoid use of complex terms. Consider their age and understandability during these sessions.
Encourage them to ask questions. Try to clear their myths regarding these topics.
Be supportive and interested in knowing their views about these topics.
Make them realize the physical and emotional risks in an early pregnancy.
Encourage them to read books and watch programs based on sexual education.
Talk to other parents about how they address difficult issues to their children.