Teen Mothers

  1. All of you OB nurses, do you see a lot of pregnant teens? Do any of them have doulas? Do you feel they would benefit from the support of a volunteer doula?

    I have started up a website that is no where near finished yet, it's called Doulas for Teens. I want to create a network of volunteer doulas that will provide their services to teens. It will be searchable by area.. the site will also have pregnancy / childbirth / parenting related articles (teen-centered). There is a message board up for teens to talk about their pregnancies, preparing for labour, postpartum issues, etc.

    I also have a section for doulas to post, and a forum for teens to Ask doulas questions... anyways, my request from you all is to answer the questions in the begining of the post. Also, what do you think would be an essential element to a teen-centered website like this?

    I would like to see support for the teens that just don't have it. Whether the baby's father isn't in the picture, or the family is not supportive of the teen.. I read on my board a 17 year old that had a c-section. Maybe it's legit, maybe it wasn't.. would it have been different if she had the support of a doula? That is a question I don't want to have to ask.

    Thanks in advance for any answers, advice or suggestions!

    There isn't much on the site now because it is in development. But here is the link anyways:

    www.doulasforteens.com
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I see a LOT of pregnant teens, yes. And I do believe doula services would be of GREAT value to these ladies. They are scared, confused and angry, many of them. And their ability to process what is happening to them and their bodies is sometimes very immature, obviously. A person to hold their hands, wipe their brows and teach them to trust their bodies and what is happening to them is very valuable, whether it be a nurse, doula or wonderful support person.

    So I believe my answer to you is, yes, a teen would benefit strongly from a doula, be she/he volunteer or hired! (obviously many could not afford their services on their own, so I like the volunteer concept!). It would be a worthy and beneficial undertaking, and rewarding at that! Good luck!
  4. by   Dayray
    I think it's a great idea. I they come in scared and while some are more mature then their age most are not. Some are less mature then their age and that's why they are pregnant.

    The only suggestion I would have would be that you screen the dulas in your network and maybe have some education + experience requirements. I think that teen moms are too vulnerable for new dulas to practice on.
  5. by   Natalieboo
    Dayray ~ Excellent advice, thank you very much! I will draw up requirements for listing.
  6. by   shay
    I see a LOT of teen moms, and yes, I think a doula would be beneficial. I like to 'mother' my teen moms in labor and take extra time w/the hand-holding and teaching, but of course that's not always possible.

    I think a doula would be great for SOME of them who want and need extra education. However, as you know, some of them are snot-nosed little brats and act like they know it all and that they are just there to get a new baby doll to play with and act like the nurses are their slaves. Those chicks neither need nor DESERVE a doula, IMO.

    For the ones who want/need education and help and realize that they are not getting a new pet or doll to play with but a HUMAN BEING that bears watching and needs love and care, THEY WOULD GREATLY BENEFIT from having a doula.

    Am I babbling too much or does that answer your question?
  7. by   mark_LD_RN
    i see lots of pregnant teen i think a doula would gretly benifit most of them, even one with a little experience sometimes they can benifit just from someone spending time with them and caring about them.
  8. by   L&D.RN
    The other day I had a 16 yo delivering her 2nd baby, her first was when she was fifteen. The 1 yo was sleeping on the couch through the delivery. The pt's mother was asleep as well. When it came time for delivery, I asked the patient if she'd like me to wake her mother (who hadn't been a bit of help to this point) to assist her with pushing...patient said "I don't think she'd want to be woke up." I woke the pt's mother even though the pt's father advised me against it. I told her she needed to get up NOW and be there for her daughter. The mother was rude, *****y and pouted with her arms crossed the entire delivery. I was so angry at that mother. After delivery, the pt kept looking at her mother and asking her what she thought of the new baby.

    At that delivery, I think any kind of emotional support of any kind would have been most helpful. UGH. LB
  9. by   rdhdnrs
    Shay,
    Ditto, ditto, and ditto. How do you know exactly the words I'm going to say in reply to a post? The only thing I would add is keep in mind the developmental stage these teens are in. Sometimes their main concern is whether their belly will ever be flat again and you have to realize that that's just their congnitive level. I took care of a 13-year-old not too long ago who I just loved. She was so mature and had excellent family support. (FOB in jail for statutory rape) And I've had some who were "snot-nosed brats". I think the main thing with teens, and all moms, is to be nonjudgemental.
  10. by   sandstormsdust
    qouted from donray: "Some are less mature then their age and that's why they are pregnant. "

    Just the the sake of it - not all teen moms are irresponsible.. being in that position before as a SINGLE PREGGY - I think alot may have been on BC before and during only to find out that it had failed. they had a call to make and they choose to carry the baby to term....
  11. by   Dayray
    Sandstormsdust

    I guess you didn't see the part of the post where I said, "some are more mature then their age". I also admire the fact that have the courage to carry thier baby to term and either raise it or give it for adoption.

    I do however, believe that becoming pregnant or impregnating someone as a teen is irresponsible, not unforgivable or the end of ones life but none the less irresponsible. I think we can all agree that being a teen parent is tough and if we could we would help these kids to make better choices.

    I'm not trying to condom teen parents or trying to say mean things about them. I have a real desire to work with teen parents I have noticed a lack of services for them and an overall bad attitude toward them.

    In fact one of the main reasons I work in maternal child is to work with teen parents. I was 16 when my first child was born my wife was 17. We have been married for 12 years now and I'm very happy with my family. However if you look around you don't see that happening much. Most teen parents have a really rough time and many fall by the way side because no one try's to help them.

    Id really like to make life better for them and I strongly believe to do that they have to become responsible. The first step to changing your life is realizing you may have made bad choices in the past and deciding to do better.

    I'm sorry if my post made you feel like I was judging you.
    Last edit by Dayray on Jul 21, '02
  12. by   mother/babyRN
    I think doulas can be helpful, however, in our facility, the labor nurses are doing everything they are doing and they are often in the way. Usually, at least lately, when one has accompanied a couple, I have taken them all into our own little circle of care in which we all participate, and attempt to include them all...Patients tend to turn to me rather than the doulas we have had AND the doulas I just mentioned have not really participated in a major fashion because we are a small enough unit that the nurses don't have a major load in labor. I think the lines sometimes get crossed. Good idea though. Needs work, in my estimation....
  13. by   mother/babyRN
    I meant to mention that doulas for teens specifically is a good idea as long as their growth and development issues are taken into account and honored. For instance, as teens with or without good support, it IS all about them..They are SUPPOSED to be self absorbed. They DO have body image issues and sometimes the deal against breast feeding in the case of a teen is less about them not realizing the importance and health factors, than it is about invasion of privacy and giving up of themselves physically and emotionally. I would hope every doula sincerely interested in ministering to a primarily teen population would research the subject prior to participating in exclusive labor with them....Just because someone isn't into getting vaginal exams doesn't necessarily mean they have been a victim of sexual abuse. That is always a clue , however, a teen is protective of their body image, and being in labor, naked, soaking wet, in pain and out of control takes them as far away from where they are supposed to be as teens, as possible...Sometimes kidding around with them, to break the ice, or treating them as you would treat your own teenaged child ( one that is still conversing and confiding in you ), will break the ice, so to speak, and establish rapport... Asking them what would work for them and giving them choices, accepting the loss of control issues, is really very helpful, I have found...( And, they are NOT going to like the fact that they might poop while pushing). So, assuring them that they will hate it when it happens but the nurses will love it because it means they are pushing correctly, will go a long way....
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    in staffing situations that are IDEAL, i agree doulas do what we labor nurses SHOULD BE DOING IN OUR JOBS!. TOO BAD paperwork (way too damn much of it!), patient census and other issues do not always allow for this. So I say, if someone wants a doula, more power to them. I have no problem w/it. They are there to look out for the best interest of the client. Just as we staff member are! I work WITH the doulas, NOT AGAINST THEM, and i establish POSITIVE working relationships from the START to head off trouble. i have never had a serious issue w/ a doula even tho I could sense some were should be we say "strong in voicing their opinions" However, I work with them and the family to see what it is the laboring family really wants. Open communication, so far has always worked for me!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jul 24, '02

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