Dr. Rani Gereige, director of medical education at Miami Children’s Hospital, said education and pregnancy are connected, particularly in minority communities.
“Lack of education is the problem,” he said. “This includes education from parents, teachers and health care providers. In addition, there may be cultural reluctance to talk about sex.”
Some of Gereige’s recommendations include:
- Talk to your children about sex in the preteen years (before sexual activity is even an issue)
- Empower young girls to take care of their bodies and delay sex
- At the same time, educate your children about the importance of contraception, in case sexual activity does occur
Ileana Arias also noted that pregnancy and birth can interfere with finishing high school and can lead to sacrificing education, career and income…for both young mothers and young fathers.
“The young teen years are a critical time when a teen, especially a young woman, could jeopardize her future if she cannot complete high school or go to college,” she said.