Those of us from the Boomer Generation can recall the days of “shotgun” marriages and “Home for Unwed Girls” when a teen became pregnant. In some cultures, pregnant teens were sent “Down South” to live with an extended relative until after the baby was born and then reintegrated back into their community. For unmarried college girls, an unexpected pregnancy usually meant “life-interrupted” and dreams eternally deferred. Thank goodness those days are over.
While researching information for my previous blog regarding murdered pregnant women, (7 Reasons Why Pregnancy Becomes a Deadly Affair) there was one recurring theme: the men were not ready to become fathers and felt that their lives were “ruined.” If only they had a little more faith.
Wright State in Dayton, Ohio has developed a unique Women’s Center and Child Development Center that helps its pregnant students and expectant fathers. They offer pregnancy tests and assistance in referrals to prenatal clinics and hospitals in the community. It also serves as a resource center for pregnant students and those who already have children. The proposed services in the future include information regarding financial aid, scholarships, housing, childcare, academic advice, family-friendly activities and breastfeeding stations on campus. The school also plans to offer three scholarships for students with dependent children which is admirable. The intent of the program is to encourage pregnant students to complete their higher education as opposed to dropping out which was the only option for many pregnant college students until the recent past.
Last month, the federal government awarded 20 states a cumulative grant of $27 million to assist pregnant teens and young parents. The Pregnancy Assistance Fund, as it is known, was designated to help pregnant women, teen parents finish high school, get childcare, healthcare and housing. The funds may also be used to prevent violence against pregnant women and mothers. Pregnant teen students and student mothers should inquire as to whether these grants are offered in their states. Pregnancy does not necessarily mean life interrupted. The child within your womb could turn out to be your greatest blessing.
Do you know how to anticipate and manage the unexpected events that could occur during your pregnancy? You will if you purchase The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy available on Amazon.com or wherever books are sold.