Sunday, March 14, 2010

16 and Pregnant. A Rant.

I am disgusted.  And, I can't look away.  I am housesitting for sweet Rosie this weekend and the hugely giant high definition flat screen is playing 16 and Pregnant on MTV.  Why am I watching this show???  Well, of the seven thousand channels, this was the only show that looked remotely entertaining while I prep dinner and get ready for tonight's shift.

OHMYGOD.  Why is MTV playing this show?  Why are they glorifying teen pregnancy?  It's on a marathon today. Episode after episode.  Are they hoping to show that pregnancy is difficult?  Are they wanting viewers to see what 'it's really like?'  Because what I'm seeing is a young girl more worried about 'pooping during delivery' than the life changing experience of bringing a life into this world.

Let me tell you something.  I've seen seven births so far. Not a lot in my blossoming career----but what I've seen there's a 80% 'poop' rate.  You're gonna poo when you push a baby out of your vagina.  That is GOOOOOD PUSHING!  We teach our patients that in order to get through that burning, crushing, horrible pain (I assume, as a nulligravida) they MUST push like they're having a bowel movement.  And you know what?  Sometimes poo comes out.  I'm just letting you all know this because MTV feels this type of 'reality' show is essential programing.  I am angry about it.

Did you know women who are pregnant under the age of 20 are more likely to experience complications in their pregnancy and mortality?  These young moms are more likely to experience maternal death, low birth weight, premature delivery, and infant death. (click here for reference information)  This is scary stuff!  We don't think of these young mom's being subject to such adverse reactions in pregnancy and labor, but it's on a par of the risks associated with Advanced Maternal Age.  Even worse in some cases!  To show these labors, deliveries and pregnancies on a show I feel is subjecting the MTV viewer population to misleading information about teen pregnancy!

This young girl is SIXTEEN FREAKING YEARS OLD. She doesn't like her boyfriend.  She doesn't like the way he treats her.  She says, "I'm glad my boyfriend is making me feel alone at this party."  Does she know no one can make her feel 'alone' without her consent?  Is she prepared for what it's going to be like to be so alone in the early stages of motherhood?  The isolating, scary aloneness that is being the only person responsible for an infant.  An infant seeking trust in this young adult person.

Gosh.  I treated a patient last night that was this same age.  She came in experiencing anxiety.  She's never experienced anxiety before and she was concerned.  It was sad.  At the same time, I'm so grateful for my own anxiety experience to sit with this young girl and let her know she's going to be okay.  (An amazing god-gift to see my own experience is of service to others. Oh glory god.)

So, I'm frustrated.  I know I'm also very tired.  The coffee is setting in, glory to god again!, and my dinner is delicious.  I played with sweet Rosie at the dog park today; we ran and played in the cool air and the sun came out to warm my face on a few occasions.

(Oh, and one more thing:  this young mom on MTV is complaining of pain during breastfeeding. "It hurts; it hurts."  It hurts because her latch isn't right.  We need some intervention here!! I do not want young women seeing this show and thinking breast feeding is painful!  (I feel I'm putting the biggest foot in my mouth around this topic as I've never breastfed, but I trust in the experience of the women I love and care for that have.  If pain is experienced, these women readjust!  They know latch is crucial to not feeling pain while breastfeeding.  I also trust in the knowledge I've been given from educated lactation consultants that nursing should not be painful, and it if is, the latch of baby MUST be adjusted.  Mom's comfort is paramount for healthy nursing of baby.))

I am off my soap box, my coffee mug is filled and I'm going to sit and be still for a bit before my shift tonight.
I want to change the world.  Goodness...God, help me be the most effective avenue for affective change.


Beth P said...

I love this post - you are wonderful, Layla!! I couldn't agree more with your thoughts here. The movie For Keeps was on the other day and, after my experience with pregnancy, I have such a different perspective of that movie now. Gosh...thank you, Layla.

She answers to Layla said...

awww sweet Beth.
thanks for the love!!
you were a lot on my mind during this post.
i think you are doing such a fine, fine job, new mama. i'm so proud of YOU.