Background of the study
The number of teenagers giving
birth each year in Nigeria is increasing. Babies are seen dumped in
toilet places, bushes and road sides. These babies who are dumped are in
most cases, given birth to by teenagers who are unwed. Some of these
teenage mothers cannot identify the fathers of their babies because they
have multiple sex partners so they feel the best option is to dump such
Some teenage girls become
mothers, because they cannot meet some life goals. Being a teenage
mother is not accidental for some girls but intentional. This is because
such girls see no better option in life other than being a mother. That
is the reason most current sex and pregnancy preventive education
efforts are ineffective at preventing teenage motherhood. There is a
public concern over the rate at which the number of teenage mothers is
increasing. The resolution to become a teenage mother by these young
girls has triggered both political debate and academic inquiry.
Teen childbearing is
associated with negative outcomes for teen parents, their children, and
society. The vast majority of all pregnancies among teenagers are
unintended that-is, they were either unwanted or they occurred outside
marriage (Ohonsi 2010). Teen birth rate in Katsina is the highest when
compared to those of other states including Oyo and Edo. (Ogbu
2013).These teenage mothers face a variety of difficult decisions. For
the unmarried ones, they must decide whether to raise the born child or
to place the baby for adoption. For the married ones, they must make
decision with their husbands about mode of delivery, are they going for
normal delivery, cesarean section or go for an abortion?
This particular thought may
come due to under development of pelvis. Other critical decision about
school, work, house chores, and how to care for the new born among
others, need to be made. In Kano, many teenage mothers experience
obstructed labour due to poor development of pelvis. This always
resulted in serious maternal morbidity, for example, Vessico Virginal
Fistula (VVF) or maternal mortality. Age of marriage has traditionally
been low in kinship-based societies and economies. In such areas, most
girls married soon after menarche; fertility was high and consequently
many children were born from teenage mothers. This was not considered to
be a problem. The teenage mother receive good family and community
supports. Timely quality antenatal care and deliveries were by
Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs).
In Abia and Imo States, some
teenagers got pregnant for economic reasons, they gave birth and sold
such babies. They are instances where some girls sold their babies for a
token of ten thousand naira (
The preventive programmes
based on promoting abstinence in most Nigerian secondary schools, do not
reduce teenage sex, pregnancy and motherhood. The school based clinics,
sex education and contraceptive service programmes have little impact
on teenage sexual activity. Teenage motherhood continues to rise in
every state in Nigeria. Many teenage girls see themselves as having
nothing to strive for as they cannot see graduating from a tertiary
school because they have few role models to follow, their teachers give
them little encouragement about their abilities, their families are
chaotic and their friends are on drugs. So parenting looks more like the
best option for them. Such girls think babies provide immediate source
of unconditional love.
Effective prevention of
unplanned teen pregnancies that will result in teenage motherhood will
save the Nigerian society the cost she pays to support a teen mother her
children and grand children. It would also break the cycle related to
psychopathologies in our culture, including drug and alcohol abuse,
fetal alcohol syndrome, drug induced birth defect, drops out of school,
crime, domestic violence and poverty, for all teenagers that become
mothers, before they were prepared, the society keeps paying the cost.
This could be seen in most city centers when some of such teenagers beg
for alms. Others rely on the generosity of members of the church or
In Abia, Imo Enugu and Anambra
state, the problem of teenage pregnancies is further compounding by the
involvement of some fathers and advanced adults in the inducements of
teenage girls to feed the baby factories with their offspring. Teenage
pregnancy is linked with several issues that include low educational
levels, higher rate of poverty, and other poorer outcomes in children of
teenage mothers. Teenage pregnanc in most developing countries is often
outside marriage. This comes with certain social stigma in many
Drugs and alcohol that remove
inhibition can easily trigger and encourage unintended sexual
activities. It has not been comprehensively established that the drugs
themselves directly influence teenagers to indulge in risky behaviours,
or whether it is true that the teenagers that engage in drug use, are
more likely to indulge in sexual activities. This is premised on the
logic that correlation does not imply causation. The drugs that have a
strongest evident linkage in teenage pregnancies include alcohol,
ecstasy, cannabis and amphetamines.
Advance countries of the
world try to see that their young ones are given the best formal
education so that they can grow in knowledge, attitude and skills that
will bring about increase in productivity and technological
advancement, and in general economic growth and development. This
process of formal Education, which starts at very tender age of less
than one, is consolidated, when these persons are in their teens. Since
the brain and other learning faculties have been fully developed. Losing
these great human resources to unplanned pregnancies and teenage child
bearing is a minus to any economy.
Statement of the Problem
decades, teenage pregnancy and motherhood has become an important health
issue. A great number of country experience this phenomenon, both
developed and developing Pregnant teenagers face many of the obstetrics
issues as other older women. There are however additional medical
concerns for mothers aged under 15.Risks of low birth weight, premature
labour, anemia and pre-eclampsia are connected to the biological age.
For mothers age 15-19,risk are associated more with socio-economic
factors than with biological effects of age. Teenage pregnancy and
mother hood is a serious risk factor, and this mostly occurs when these
teenage girls are having their first delivery.
Besides it is a well known fact that
most teenage girls are not able to cope with some challenges that come
with motherhood. Most teenage girls in the area under study are found to
have at least a child, as such most of them either stop going to school
completely or start schooling after having at least two or more
children. Hence the researcher is interested in finding why such
teenagers take to motherhood at such tender ages, despite all the known
negative consequences associated with teenage pregnancy and motherhood.
- Are teenagers aware of the dangers of teenage pregnancy and motherhood?
- What are the factors that predispose teenagers to pregnancy and childbearing?
- Are teenagers aware of the various methods of preventing pregnancy?
- Are teenagers aware of the negative outcomes associated with teenage motherhood?
- Are teenagers from cultural background that encourages early marriage more at risk?
- 6. Are teenage girls whose fathers left home at their tender ages more at risk?
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study
is to find out why teenagers become mothers in the area under study. It
is also to design interventions for teenage girls to make transition
from adolescence to adulthood without having an unplanned birth
Significance of the study
The study will be beneficial
to mothers, teenage girls, fathers and all custodians of teenagers,
health educators policy planners, social institutions and the teeming
population in Ika south local government area of Delta state. It will
serve as a tool for counseling teenagers on the dangers of teenage
pregnancies and motherhood.
Scope/Delimitation of the Study
The scope of the study is Ika south local government area which comprises Agbor, Abavo, Idumu esa
The study will be delimited to teenage mothers in Ika south local government area of Delta state.
Limitation of the Study
The study will be limited by
some teenage mothers who may be too shy to respond to the questions from
the researcher and the inadequate cooperation from some teenage mothers
who might hoard information from the researcher. In order to overcome
this challenge, the researcher intends to encourage these teenage