Spring is in the air! May is an amazing month for Women and celebrating fertility and spring. Mother’s day is right around the corner, May 5th was International Midwives Day and today, May 7th is our National Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy Day. Indeed the entire month of May is devoted to raising awareness about teen pregnancy.
I decided to write today because preventing unintended pregnancy is something that I’m very passionate about.
I know what it’s like when your period doesn’t show up when you expect it and suddenly you’re consumed with worry about why that might be and if you’re sexually active, pregnancy is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s VERY stressful. If you’ve ever worried about being pregnant when you didn’t want to be, you know what I mean. It’s a BIG DEAL.
It’s a very lonely place to be. I know firsthand, I talk to girls and women of all ages from all over the world who find their way to a mailing list that offers support to women faced with an unintended pregnancy or who think they might be pregnant.
The young girls are going there for help because they’re too afraid to go to mom for a million of reasons and they’re trying to resolve the situation themselves.
In all my years of talking with sexually active (or nearly so) girls nothing scares them more than the fear of being pregnant, but it doesn’t stop them from having sex or even from having risky sex.
Why not? They lack the knowledge, the communication skills and resources to keep themselves safe. They often don’t have money for condoms (or don’t want mom to find them) or they may not be empowered to enforce its use with their boyfriend, sometimes there are misconceptions about how one gets pregnant or how one can avoid pregnancy.
If they’re lucky it’s just a scare and a good learning experience.
I’m grateful that I’m able to give them a little education before they disappear again into the vast ocean of the internet and hope they take my message to heart to protect themselves better.
I have on many occasions communicated with those who find themselves in the same predicament again. This may because they just don’t have good information or often it’s because they’re in a disempowering relationship. How nice would it be to give your daughter the skills to pick a partner who is going to treat her with respect?
Other times the girls not so lucky and the test is positive. Now there’s a whole new reality to deal with and she has some hard choices to make. One of the hardest is to decide whether or not she is going to tell you what’s going on.
It’s an agonizing decision because she’s afraid of your reaction. She knows you’ll be disappointed, angry and everything in between. She thinks you’re going to think she is a stupid little girl. She knows no matter what you’re going to be upset. Her imagination runs rampant as she imagines you or her father wanting to kill her boyfriend. She might expect to be kicked out of your home and/or disowned.
These are big fears to have to process on your own without the support of your mom.
It breaks my heart when young girls are faced with these difficult choices. Especially when I know this could have been prevented with the right education if she had gotten it in time, I found myself getting frustrated and I began to think about how I might be able to change this.
I became convinced that the best way to make sure girls got this information was to make sure moms were able to deliver a quality sexual education, because schools are limited in what they can provide and many states are doing a poor job or ignoring it completely, like Arizona where I live.
I believe that if we work together we can bring down the teen pregnancy rates and protect your daughter from getting common sexually transmitted viruses like herpes and HPV – the cause of most abnormal pap smears and almost all cervical cancer. If you watched my video from my recent blog post about how teens aren’t really getting the message about sex then you know that most sexually active teens forego using a condom at some point, putting them at risk for viruses and pregnancy.
That’s why I hope by reaching out to moms who want their girls to be empowered to create an amazing life that I will be able to get the information into mom’s hands early enough so that she can make a profound difference in her daughter’s life. Because our sexuality is at the core of our being and impacts every aspect of our life, I want girls to avoid some of life’s harder lessons. We don’t all need to slog through the muck.
I can tell you from personal experience that sexually transmitted viruses are not fun and we can help your daughter avoid painful outbreaks of sores, scary diagnoses and fertility jeopardizing treatments with the right information.
Teen pregnancy affects everyone and will make it more difficult for your daughter to succeed in life. We can help her avoid that too. You can empower her make smart, well thought out decisions that will keep her safe whenever she begins to explore her sexuality.
So that whenever the day comes that she decides to become a mother, it’s because she’s made the conscious choice to call forth life. I think conscious conception is a beautiful thing; a baby conceived in love and welcomed into a home that’s ready and waiting to give the best of what life has to offer… is just incredible. What more could a kid hope for? The experience is likely to be more enjoyable for all.
So I’m grateful that May is a month for celebrating and raising awareness of our ability to conceive and birth. You may have heard of “May Day” (May 1st), a festival where you could dance around the maypole and celebrate fertility. So here’s to conception when it’s appropriate and desired and hurray for the bold women who are called to catch babies delivered into this world.
Midwives provide essential services all over the world. I just donated to the Pachamama Alliance to buy birth kits for midwives out in the jungle. My donation was part of a larger call to donate and collectively we donated over $15k to buy birthing kits for jungle mamas in South America. Yes, you read that right, Fifteen THOUSAND dollars. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with a room full of women, just over 200 amazing incredible women who are looking to make a difference in the world. It felt really good to collectively make that kind of impact. Thanks to my business coach, Sage Lavine for inviting us to contribute to an organization making a difference in the world. If you’re curious to learn about them, they’re an amazing non-profit. http://www.pachamama.org/
Let’s work together to prevent teen pregnancy… unintended pregnancy in women of any age. We can have that kind of impact now and for generations to come.
And on a final note, I want to wish you a happy Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day! Do something special for yourself. You deserve it!