Friday, 6 January 2017

Rise In The Occurrence Of Teenage Pregnancy

Pregnancy is supposed to be a situation of joy, as it is the gateway to motherhood. When the "right person" gets pregnant, the news brings happiness to her and the people around her. 

She begins to take care of herself and also starts to cater for the foetus immediately. She begins to see herself, carrying the baby with joy, breastfeeding the baby and even changing diapers. All these happens when the "right person" gets pregnant. And who am I referring to as the right person? A married woman of course. Nowadays, some other matured woman who may not be married could also experience this things the right person would experience. 

But a total reverse is the case when the "wrong person" gets pregnant. By the wrong person, I mean a teenager or young adult who isn't ready for the responsibility of motherhood. She might be developed in terms of the necessary body organs, depending on her age, but she's still not developed mentally, emotionally and morally for the responsibility that comes with having a baby.  Most times, the news of the pregnancy comes to her and those around her as an unpleasant surprise, contrary to how it does to the "right person". 

Now she's pregnant, the questions and comments most of us have are  "how did she get pregnant", "why did a young girl of her age decide to start having sexual intercourse", "That girl! I knew she was going to get pregnant with the way she follows boys up and down" etc. We keep asking questions and making funny comments, insulting the girl or her parents but we have not just realized that this issue is becoming so rampant in our society today and it could get to our daughters tomorrow. Yes, your daughter.

Oh! Did I hear you say "God forbid"? Nkechi's mother also said that concerning Nkechi yesterday but now Nkechi is heavily pregnant, some sources even have it that it's not her first time of getting pregnant and that she has always been able to hide it from her parents and abort it at the early stage, something must have gone wrong for her not to be able to get rid of it this time. 

You may say "I trained my daughter very well". Oh! I agree. You think you trained her to the best of your abilities but do you think all she knows today is what you taught her or the training you gave her? Mama Nkechi also trained Nkechi very well. 

You'll also be a liar to say you've not seen other women who trained their daughters very well but the daughters still came back with bad results. Okay, the next excuse you may give is that "Nkechi's mother tried but it was Nkechi that refused to imbibe the training her parents tried to give to her". Okay, another question I have for you is "Who told you your daughter is going to imbibe the training you gave to her?" Oh! I hear you saying "God forbid! I know the kind of daughter I gave birth to". Alright keep deceiving yourself, if you think Mama Nkechi did not make such claims. The truth is we train our children, the school trains them, the society trains them, their friends train them. So you'll be fooling yourself to think they've received only your training and would adhere to it alone.

Now don't get me wrong. Someone may think I'm painting pregnancy too much in a bad light. No, pregnancy is not bad at all, like I said earlier, it should be a thing of joy. I know there are so many people who have given birth early as teenagers out there who survived it and still fulfilled their dreams (education, marriage etc). Yes, I agree that unwanted pregnancy does not end one's life. All the same, you'll be lying to yourself if you say that you'll be happy if your daughter of eighteen years old who just gained admission into the university comes back after the first session pregnant. 

There are even several cases of mostly secondary school leavers who while waiting for jamb or admission gets pregnant. This may cause a delay in their education and may even cause a permanent stop (this is rampant in rural societies where the parents are not well educated themselves, the daughter is allowed to pack her load to the family house of whoever got her pregnant). 

What brings about Teenage pregnancy is not a secret of course, its early involvement in sexual intercourse. So it definitely means that for a tenager to get pregnant, she must have had or must have been having sexual intercourse. So a high rate of teenage pregnancy actually means that there's a high rate of teenage sexual relationships. However this post is only aimed at raising an alarm about this issue to parents and guardians and even the girls themselves.

I'll treat the reasons for teenagers involvement in early sexual relationships in another post next week Friday. 

Share with all mothers, guardians and young girls. 

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