Adolescent requires more physical care than an adult does. Moreover, adolescents need more intensive attention during their pregnancy period. This is because they have lesser life experiences than their adult counterparts. Having less experience makes it hard for them to cope with changes they go through during pregnancy and birth. Dealing with these adolescents without any prejudice makes the pregnancy period easier for them. Proper interaction with these adolescents is essential for the care of them. The number of adolescents getting pregnant rises each and every year. There are two types of adolescent, early and late (Moyse, 2009). Early adolescent ranges between the ages of nine and thirteen, while late adolescent ranges between the ages of sixteen to nineteen. Late adolescents get pregnant more than their younger counterparts. This article deals with physical, emotional and educational needs of adolescents during prenatal and postpartum periods.
Prenatal and Postnatal Health Adolescent Education
Pregnant adolescent experiences high rates of social problems when compared to pregnant adults. The two main problems are domestic violence and substance abuse. As seen in the case of Aisha, her mother has not approved the pregnancy. Aisha has chosen to be staying with her aunt, but she would like to stay on her own with her boyfriend. The young adolescents are discriminated since people consider the girls as those who have lost their morals. This usually leads them to having low self esteem and depression, more often they are rebellious, and some of them may even contemplate suicide (Lundy, 2009). This makes them take drugs to forget about the problems they are facing. These drugs increase health danger for both mother and unborn child. The nurses should encourage the adolescents. They should make them see that it was not an accident for them to get pregnant. Restoring their self esteem would be a significant boost in helping them prepare for birth of baby. The nurses should teach them how to nurse an infant at a tender age. They should also teach the adolescents how to take care of themselves before they give birth. This should enhance safety of the mother and unborn child.
After the new mothers give birth, the nurses should teach them how to take care of infants and themselves. Postpartum period is most likely to be overwhelming to the adolescent. The adolescents usually have a risk at this transition in life. This is because they lack enough resources and experience to encounter life stressful periods. Most of them usually have a low self esteem, and they fall into depression (McMurray, 2010). Depression makes them not to take care of the infants the way they should do this. The new mother should be taught proper eating habits so that she can have enough energy to breastfeed the infant.
When helping the infants to sleep, protective care must be taken. It is recommended to swaddle the newborn for sleeping. The baby should be wrapped in a warm blanket for security and warmth. This keeps the baby from being disturbed by his/ her reflexes. This keeps the baby warm for the first days of his/ her new life. Swaddling should not be done tight. When wrapped tight, the soft bones of the newborn infant may deform. There should be left enough room for the baby at the bottom of the blanket (Truglio-Londrigan, 2010). This should help the child to bend his/ her legs up and out from his/ her body. When waking the infant up, one should straighten his/ her body part. Baby sleeps in a comfortable position, thus when the mother straightens him/ her, this perks the brain and makes the infant to wake. Newborn babies should be fed with breast milk the first three months. Breast milk is rich with nutrients. It provides the child with antibodies. When breastfeeding, the mothers should make sure that the infant stays upright in her bosom (Mazurek, 2010). This helps to increase the bond between the mother and the newborn. When the child does appear sleepy during feeding, he/ she should not be overfed and should be allowed to sleep.
Adolescent mothers should be given proper care physically, emotionally and socially. When they face neglection, they see themselves having committed a massive crime. Most suffer depression while some bury themselves in substance abuse. Acceptance gives them emotional boost and thus a high quality of health to the mother and the newborn. Since young mothers are new in the parental life, they should be educated how to take care of themselves and their babies. They should be taught new feeding habits so that they can have enough energy to feed the young ones. They should be shown how to feed the young ones and how to help them sleep. The nurses should show the new mothers how to observe the signs of their babies and understand their different meaning. This should help the mothers in knowing what the cry of the baby means, thus should make parental time easier.