I need some good resources

  1. Hi,

    I'm a nurse in maternity services. I go to homes of pregnant women and new mom's and I teach them about their pregnancy, what to expect during L&D, and newborn care.

    I've been seeing more teens in the last few weeks (my youngest pt is 12) and I'm really bad at engaging them and really getting them interested in learning more about what labor is going to be like. I really feel that I need to prepare them, most of them have circumstances that make them unlikely to actually take a childbirth class. I don't have time to teach them everything, but I try to give them an overview of breathing, pain management and more common interventions that might happen during their labor (ie: fetal monitor, oxygen mask...).

    So all of this is great in theory, but when these teens just aren't interested, I have trouble "lecturing" them about all this when they just seem to tune me out. I'm looking for either material that might spark a teen's interest, or something that might teach me how to present the information better.

    Thanks for any info!

    Jessica
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 28, '07
  4. by   KellNY
    I wouldn't be so quick to say that the teens aren't interested. Just because they don't act interested doesn't mean they aren't. Teens-especially pregnant teens--get asumed upon a lot. People assume that they know very little (especially those who were 'dumb enough to get pregnant'). I'm not saying you think that, but doctors and nurses and teachers and relatives often talk down to them, and many are sick of it.

    So when you start talking about stages and phases of labor, an "uh huh" or "yep" may be the teen trying to show you that she doesn't need you to teach her. She doesn't want you to know that she's clueless about XYZ, because then she'll be proving everyone right.

    Don't assume that she knows nothing-she may know more about swaddling and feeding a baby than you do. On the same account, don't assume that she has any idea what a "contraction" is. Talk to her for a little while to get a feel for her learning abilities and previous knowledge is.

    They're also lectured a lot--by teachers in school, by their parents, by their friends.

    You're 25....think back to when you were a teen--what could have gotten you interested in this information? I find my teens (and many adult pts/students) respond best to visuals with large colorful pictures, and hands on models to play with as opposed to "This is XYZ, and ABC will happen, so expect 123"

    Control issues may be at work as well-maybe their mother picked their OB/GYN and books the appointments for her. Maybe her partner didn't "let" her get an abortion. Her doctor tells her which hospital to go to and what tests to get. Her sister tells her what to eat and when to take her prenatals. Her teachers tell her to do her homework and write a paper on XYZ topic. She feels like she has no control in her life, this pregnancy included.

    If you have more than one prenatal visit with these teens, ask them-"What would you like to cover today?". if you only have one prenatal visit, how about questions like "What are you most concerned about?" and "What are you interested in?" That way the ball is in her court.

    Also, examine your feelings towards teenage pregnancy and motherhood. Be honest (with yourself, I'm not asking you to tell me)-do you find it morally repugnant? Do you think it's a mark of being low-class? Do you automatically assume that their parents failed? Do you think the teen and her baby are doomed to a life of poverty? Do you assume she'll be a bad parent or that she'll "dump" the baby on her parents?

    People can pick up on other's feelings. Even if you think you're acting non-judgemental, you could be sending out vibes that she's picking up.

    I'm having a little bit of trouble articulating what I really mean here....if you need me to clarify something, let me know.
  5. by   JennieJenRN
    I was a teen mom 14 years ago. From personal experience you do not need to beat it into their heads. They are listening speak to them as they were adults because after they have that child they are viewed as adults. I was very fortunate to having caring professionals that helped me NOT to become a statistic I have a rewarding career and several degrees including currently working on my masters degree. Just be patient and give them a chance they might surprise you.
  6. by   ElvishDNP
    Very well said, KellNY.

    I find many teenage moms end up doing better than some of the 30 & 40yo's having babies in my hospital, just as an anecdote. I'm not advocating teenage pregnancy, but do find this a bit interesting.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Karen provided excellent resources. I would just add, remember the age group with whom you are dealing and make the teaching about THEM as much as possible as they are in a developmental stage whereby this is exactly how they tend to think; everything affects and is about them.

    Good luck and keep trying. Never assume anything either. Keep trying and keep doing what you do. Your services are so very valuable.
  8. by   jessnurse05
    Thanks for some great resources and some good insight.

    I totally agree that in a lot of cases my teen moms take better care of themselves than our older moms. Like one teen who bought herself prenatal vitamins before she even had a doctor's appointment because she knew they were important. We have so many other mom's who won't get them until they get their medical coupon (I work with all low income moms), or they don't get them for weeks even with a scrip for them.

    I guess I shouldn't have directed my post toward teen mom's (I was a teen mom too!), there was just one particular girl that day that wouldn't open up to me. I later found out that she thought our agency called CPS on her so that would be a reason for her not wanting to talk to me. There are older moms who don't open up to me and have the same "yeah" and "uh-huh" responses to anything I ask them. I think I had a lot of those pts that day and the teen just stuck in my mind.

    Jessica
  9. by   lucey9
    Have you tried teaching tech. that involve the pts. instead of just the pt listening to you? For example breathing techniques. Have the pt put their fingers in a cup of ice for a few minutes then have them practice a breathing tech to get their mind off of the ice or trying to keep a feather afloat in the air while using a breathing techn or having them return demostrations or asking them what they think, how do they cope with pain or how do they learn best (seeing, doing, hearing). I find as a childbirth educator that when you can include the pt as much as possible the pt tends to relax and learn quickly even when the pt is a teen. I know this sounds simple but it works.

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