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Developing maternity services for teenagers

2009-11-13 10:16

Developing maternity services for teenagers

Consultant midwife Rachel Ambler spoke of the negative impact critical and reactive health professionals can have on pregnant teenagers at a recent meeting in London.

 Posted 13 November 2009


Consultant midwife Rachel Ambler spoke of the negative impact critical and reactive health professionals can have on pregnant teenagers at a recent meeting in London.

A consultant midwife in public health at the Whittington Hospital in North London, she was speaking at the Maternity and Newborn Forum in the Royal Society of Medicine.

She said that ‘once you get a young person into the maternity service then it is far too late to be judgemental.’ This might be the first organisation to offer congratulations  to the teenage couple on the pregnancy.

She said that health professionals fell into broad categories, for example, some didn’t want to look after teenage mothers, because of perhaps the teenagers’ ‘attitude’ or their own personal disdain for their situation, and others who mothered and ended up smothering them.

However, there was another group that really had the passion to work with teenage mothers ‘to make things as positive as possible for them and empower them to do things for themselves.’

She added that services needed to be as confidential as they could be, sensitive, supportive and appropriate, there was no point in arranging antenatal appointments at 9 am: teenagers will be at school, work or in bed! She had also done antenatal check ups in a variety of places like McDonalds and Sure Start Children’s Centres.

Ultimately, it was all about empowering young people to support themselves.
 
The next forum meeting is on 10 January and is entitled ‘Do the communication styles of midwives and doctors affect the physical and psychological outcomes for mother and baby?’





 
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