Teen mothers face daily challenges as they try to take care of themselves and their babies. Many of these moms are trying to finish school or pursue college, and finding the time and financial means to do so places strain on an already stressful situation.
These moms look to you for experience and guidance, but because pregnant teens often feel overwhelmed and isolated as a result of their situation, they can be a challenge to communicate with. As a healthcare professional, how do you modify your approach to ensure teen moms are aware of all the information they need for a successful birth and early childhood experience?
Opening the lines of communication
Though each individual teen has a unique personality and situation, below are a few helpful reminders for how to begin a dialogue with your teen mom patients.
- To feel comfortable enough to talk openly and be responsive to the information you’re providing, teens need to feel that they’re equals in the conversation. You're uniquely positioned to empower them in their journey toward motherhood. There are not many other people in their lives equipped to do this. When teens feel that you've made it a priority to find out what they think and how they feel, they'll be better able to relate to the information you're sharing.
- Defuse tense conversations by keeping a sense of humor and offering a warm smile when needed. You may be one of the few friendly faces they see some days.
- Provide helpful resources such as articles and books for your teen patients to peruse on their own and schedule a time to follow up and discuss any questions or concerns they may have about what they read — or about any topic or issue weighing on their minds.
Teens desperately need accurate information and to learn decision-making skills that will help guide them in caring for themselves and their babies. Our recently updated book and eBook A Teen Facing Pregnancy can help reinforce your classroom curriculum and provide a valuable at-home guide.
You play a vital role in providing your teenage moms the facts they need and equipping them with the tools to make smart decisions that support a healthy future!