I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.
No matter your initial motivations, managing a support group for teen moms in your community is sure to make you feel good about the role you play in the world, and you'll certainly make a positive difference in the lives of many girls who may not otherwise get the help they need to get ahead in life as they age into adulthood. There's no doubt that each teen mom you help will appreciate every resource provided to them. Here are a few things that shouldn't be overlooked when planning the outline of your services:
Free STD Testing
Young men and women between the ages of 15 and 24 represent 25-percent of sexually active people, yet they account for about 50-percent of all STD cases that are officially reported. And unfortunately, teens tend to feel intimidated when it comes to talking to their parents about the possible acquisition of a sexually transmitted disease for fear of judgement or ridicule – even if they are expecting a baby.
It's important for each mom to ensure that they're free of all types of illness if possible before having the baby so nothing is passed along during the birthing process. So it's a good idea to provide resources for free STD testing that teen moms you're working with can take advantage of as they prepare to become parents. Of course, teaching each soon-to-be mom about managing responsible sexual relationships should be part of the STD screening process, as should the consideration of birth control options for future use to minimize the recurrence of pregnancy.
It's also important to consider offering the teen moms who come through your program income opportunities when possible so they can earn some money for essential items they will need for themselves and the baby once it is born. A great way to generate money-making opportunities for your teen moms is to reach out to your community for those opportunities. For example, you can ask all of your community members to sign up for services such as babysitting, sewing, shopping helpers, and other such things for a flat hourly fee that would go directly to the moms who pick up work opportunities.
Parenting Skill Classes
People of all ages can appreciate some guidance when it comes to parenting, and you can expect that the soon-to-be teen moms you're working with to need quite a bit of guidance for everything, from breastfeeding and bathing to safe transportation techniques and soothing methods. Offering a weekly class that features these types of topics will help prepare each young mother for the responsibility and work that lays ahead of them. It's also a good idea to offer classes about proper diet during pregnancy, and the importance of personal care among the soon-to-be moms so they don't lose themselves throughout the experience of having and raising a child at a young age.
Positive Social Experiences
It is also important that the teen moms you work with have access to positive social experiences so they can create, grow, and maintain a strong community support group filled with friends and mentors who are on a path toward fulfilling their life goals. Just because a baby is coming doesn't mean that any mother should give up her dreams – and in fact, working toward her life goals will go a long way in making a wonderful life for her and her child. So set up group meetings for your group so they can get to know and build friendships with young college students, community activists and volunteers, as well as other young mothers who have been successful at working toward their own goals.
These services, resources, and support tools can make a positive impact in the lives of teens you connect with in your support group, which will likely help them make good life decisions as they make their way through adulthood.Share
3 December 2015