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Youth Talks - Pikni d mine Pikni….. Print E-mail
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Written by M&M   
Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00

Seeing a young woman with a big belly waiting at the clinic has become a scene of no real alarm to our Belizean public.  In Belize, statistics show that girls as early as ten years are getting pregnant and about twenty five percent of live births are by young girls under the age of twenty.Indeed some girls live in such circumstances that sex is a money making venue dedicated to making money to maintain themselves and their families. Other girls have life pretty sweet, mommy and daddy pays everything and swells them with material wants. In other words regardless of the circumstances of our young girls, more young women are having sex at very early ages in there adolescence. So early that they do not understand the responsibility that comes with it. Many youths are not taking precautionary methods, to not only rid themselves of diseases, but also of creating defenseless babies that they cannot maintain.

This teenage pregnancy topic is discussed all the time. Every school in Belize I believe has a week or an activity conducted to explain to students the safety methods they can use when having sex. Parents speak about it and even the youths can see the outcomes of wrong sexual practices. So why is it that we have such a high number of teenage pregnancies? Why is it that even though parents, local officers and teachers repeat to the youths that they should wait or use a condom or other safe methods do they still go against advice and end up in some insane situation?

I spoke to a few teenage girls. Being a little older than them, they were comfortable speaking to me about the topic. I asked them if they used a condom and if they visited the clinics yearly to have check ups. Most of the girls claimed they used a condom but boldly stated that they never visit clinics to check up. I asked why and they said that they were too young and felt ashamed to go to a clinic. I asked if they knew that the clinics offered contraceptive methods such as the intrauterine device, pill, ring or injectable contraceptive that would work similarly to a condom in regards to controlling reproduction. Most declared that they knew but did not know that these contraceptives were free.

From the conversation, all that I could think about was why were they ashamed to go to clinics? So i advised them, because I could not understand what kind of people are ashamed of taking care of themselves. When they open up to a guy they are not shy, but coming into a clinic for a check up makes them shy. So when all your high school friends in uniform see you waddling to catch the bus with your big belly won’t that make you ashamed? Having friends, enemies and the general public watching a baby almost about to give birth to another baby, does that not make you feel uneasy? For sure you will feel ashamed then! Some girls while pregnant are too busy being ashamed that they don’t feel the joy of having a baby.

The birth of a baby is nothing to be ashamed of at the right time. At the right time, it is a joy and a blessing that you can handle. That you as a responsible, independent, adult can take care of on your own with little or no aid from others. But come on ladies! at the age of fifteen, how much support can you give yourself?   Your mom and dad do everything for you! You and your baby will only become someone else’s baby! To others you will be left in the dark with no support from your parents or the baby’s father. They are left with the cruel and very emotional decision of whether to have a child or not.
For the young mothers who keep their babies, I applaud you, you surpass all the criticisms of others! You have taken responsibility for your actions and in my writing I am not in any intent demeaning you all. But I am trying to tell the women that if they can get themselves out of that position, of being 15 and pregnant, then do so. It is not easy, NOT simply because people will talk about you. What people have to say is the least of concerns, but because you have the responsibility of taking care of a new person for the rest of your life. A baby is not a puppy, or a new pet, it a human being that will need your constant nurturing; physically, emotionally and financially. This means staying home when all your friends may be at parties; spending most of your already low pay on baby feed, clothes or medicine, instead of on a new shoe or purse. It also includes taking time from your already busy weekends to go to the park with your child instead of going to hang out with your friends at  the sea side. Apart from all that, having babies at a very young age can run the child’s life as well as yours in serious danger.  Are you ready for that?

Being pregnant at a very early age can also be a danger to a young person’s life.The situation is that at the age of eleven, twelve and thirteen when most girls are becoming sexually active the body has not developed enough to be able to nurture a child.  According to Dr. Martin Cuellar from the National Aids Commission, many issues may arise when teenage girls become pregnant. He mentioned that up to twenty five percent of neonatal death or deaths to young babies within the first twenty eight days of births are those babies belonging to mothers below the age of twenty.  Apart from that, about twenty five percent of low birth weights, which are babies born under normal birth, are also born to mothers under the age of twenty. The statistics show that having a child when your body is not ready for it can be a health risk to the child. Other young mothers that become pregnant may also chose the easy way out of pregnancy and decide to commit an abortion. Dr. Cuellar stated that about sixteen percent of all the abortions are to young ladies under the age of twenty. This act is dangerous to the body of a young mother which can lead to her death or even her future ability to become pregnant. Best advice, rid yourself of all the stress and problems! Be safe or don’t sex!

My solution somehow involves all the people who have contact with these young women on a daily basis. Still I feel that parents and even teachers are not being as open as they should be about this topic. Truthfully, we will always want our children to abstain but the reality is that most are not and will not be, no matter how much it is advocated.  Hence the reason why more than ever we need to encourage them to use safe practices and to tell them and if we can show them through real life scenarios that the outcomes of sex have long lasting effects.  Teenagers are curious; their emotions are at a peak. All adults should explain, at every chance possible, the responsibility that lies with having a child and how it all can be avoided. Parents, adults and teachers need to stop beating around the bush and get real. Sadly we are no longer living in the times when people waited until marriage to have children or where guys married women when they became pregnant. The world has changed let’s keep up with it.
In all, women need to stop being ashamed of sex and take care of themselves. There should be no shame in buying condoms or contraceptives. You are protecting yourself. If you don’t do it then who will? Can you really be prosecuted for doing what is good for you? Prevention is always better than a cure. For it is better to be safe than sorry anytime. What people have to say really does not matter. It’s your life, take control of it!

Protect yourself and no wreck yuself.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 August 2013 16:56