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Educate yourself on Pregnancy

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | | October 14th, 2008

Socio-economic and cultural issues are complex factors that play a major role in pregnancy rates with today's youth.

It was believed that in previous years, a teen's pregnancy resulted from inadequate sexual education, lack of contraception and perhaps a lack of sexual health services.

present, things appear to be looked at differently as opposed to when health services and sexual education were thought to be the best prevention methods available.

Sexual education and up-to-date information is key when it comes to prevention methods, but that is not all that works. Social circumstances are also becoming a problem.

Fanshawe College offers two superb health clinics that are available for students.

The Student Success Centre in F2010 has professional, certified counselors that are available to help at any time.

The Fowler Kennedy Clinic located in the Student Union building has on-site doctors that are also here to help. The clinic is walk-in for all full-time students every weekday from 11 am until 1 pm.

“Many students may not feel comfortable going to a family doctor, therefore making the health doctors on campus a great option,” said Manager of Counseling and Student Life Services at the Student Success Centre Lois Wey.

Is it a problem?

There are many perspectives on teen pregnancies. Here are some of the concerns that Ontario's Maternal, Newborn and Early Childhood Resource Centre and Sex Information and Education Council of Canada often have:

- There are possible health risks to a pregnant teen and her growing baby

- There is an ability for a teen mother to take care of and support her child

- The effect that a pregnancy / parenting at such a young age can have on a teen's life plan

- There are also social costs of supporting young mothers and their children

Growing inequity in rich countries, a lack of opportunity for disadvantaged youth, cultural norms and alienation from schools all factor in and increase teen pregnancy rates.

Although views about teen pregnancy are changing, some people still cannot help but attach a stigma to teen mothers whether they are single or married.

On the contrary if we were to examine teen pregnancies historically of those individuals who happened to be married, there would not be such a stigma attached.

Whether you are a teen or an older woman who is pregnant, there needs to be a clear understanding that women have babies for a variety of reasons. While some women may feel ecstatic to becoming a first time mother, others may feel over whelmed and helpless on the decision that would follow. It is important to examine each situation as an individual one and not categorize them all the same.

The Student Success centre at Fanshawe is a great example of help readily available for all students.

The centre has non-judgmental councilors that are professionally trained and ready to help out students in need.

“At the centre our councilors do not tell a person what to do. We believe in offering options and we advise a person to consider alternate resources,” said Wey.

“We explore with the individual what they're plan might be and what options they may be considering. Ultimately the individual has to make up their own mind about what they are going to do. “

Some of the questions Fanshawe's Success Centre may ask an individual are ‘Can you handle raising a child?' or ‘Do you have any resources available to you?'

According to Wey, a great method of finding out about an individual and their concerns is by asking ‘open-ended questions.'

Councilors use this tactic to leave the individual in control over their situation and not have someone make a decision on their behalf.
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