MTV Should Help '16 & Pregnant' Teens Have Their Babies

Jeanne Sager
30

16 and pregnantTell me I'm not the only one who watches the show 16 and Pregnant and shudders every time the young girl is hooked up to the IV full of pitocin or rushed in for her C-section and just does it, no questions asked? We get it, MTV, these teen moms are YOUNG, and their moms are still reeling from learning that their babies are popping out babies. But it's high time someone did something to help them out. Enter the doula project.

A movement that's growing on Facebook, moms in the natural parenting community are gathering to ask MTV to make a difference in the lives of the moms they're profiting from, and their babies too. With Ask MTV to Provide Doulas to Teens on 16 & Pregnant, moms are asking the reality show to put a doula in every delivery room, someone who will help these girls make the decisions that will affect their kids.

It's not that pitocin or C-sections are so wrong all the time. They happen. I know. I had to be induced when my daughter was more than week past her due date, and her heart rate began to slip. But I'd done my homework. I'd talked to my doctor about his C-section rate, how he felt about elective episiotomies. In the end, I was able to avoid both -- two things I was most afraid of when it came to giving birth.

I was at least educated about birth. And that's what I don't see on 16 and Pregnant. Much, if any, education. Few, if any, of the girls walk in knowing a thing about the process. They take the doctor's word for everything. Because they're still kids themselves. But while I have seen moms who question a little too much (ahem, a doctor who graduated from a reputable medical school probably knows a wee bit more than you learned from ol' Google University), it's up to a patient to be educated. It's up to a patient to ask questions. 

It's up to a patient to make good use of those 5 minutes when the OB/GYN is in the room before they scoot down the hall to check on another laboring patient. Again, enter the doula. That's what they do. They work FOR a mom. They are educated in everything childbirth almost so we don't have to be (although it would be nice if women still did their homework?), or at least so if you happen to be mid-contraction and just not up to questioning when the doctor appears they can step in.

They can explain things in English instead of medical-ese.They can help a mom stick to her birth plan so she isn't pushed into something she doesn't want by a doctor. They can help teens who don't have the education, who haven't spent years in OB/GYN offices (remember, most women don't start until they're 18) reading the walls and getting familiar with how to talk to these doctors. They could be the best thing to ever happen to any mom, but for the girls on these MTV shows, they're worth their weight in gold. I added myself to the Facebook page to support this. How about you?

Do you watch 16 and Pregnant and wonder why MTV doesn't do more to help with the girls' pregnancies? Do you think a doula would help?

 

Image via MTV

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