I was still chaste when I conceived by accident. I am now four months pregnant and yet I am not married, neither do I have the man who impregnated me nearby. Will it be possible for me to give birth? Worried Girl, 21.
Dear Worried Girl,
Even if you have conceived by accident, consider it as a blessing because countless women world over wish to conceive after marriage and fail to do so for several reasons. The period of conception will last nine months, during which it is vital to ensure that both you and the unborn baby remain healthy.
Take a nutritious, well balanced diet. Requirement of certain nutrients like iron and calcium increases during pregnancy and subsequent breast feeding. If this need is not fulfilled, it can lead to chronic anemia and problems of bone softening like backache, joints pain, later in life.
Drinking good amount of water helps to prevent constipation and urinary tract infections, both of which are not good for pregnancy. It is also important to get blood pressure and sugar checked as high blood pressure and or sugar both can cause intrauterine deaths and complications for both the mother and child. Screening for HIV/Aids is done routinely for all pregnant women because if a mother is seropositive, there is high risk of infection being passed on to the baby before delivery through placenta and during delivery through vagina.
Also screen for other STDs like syphilis, which can harm the baby,
It is advisable to attend an antenatal clinic in any healthcare facility. There routinely screening for such potential problems will be done. These clinics offer counseling for the would be mother, regarding care during pregnancy and care of new born after delivery. A pregnant woman would also receive tetanus vaccine in antenatal clinic to prevent tetanus during delivery.
Sex during pregnancy is a debatable issue. If good hygiene is not observed there is a potential risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases and or pelvic/urinary infections which can harm the baby in multiple ways. There is also risk of abortion in early pregnancy due to mechanical thrust involved in sex.
A woman definitely need emotional and physical support during pregnancy and after delivering the child for care of both the new mother and new born. Finances are also needed as expenditure also goes up with a new life being added. Ideally it has to be the husband or boy friend to do this, but if not available any well meaning friend or family member can help out. You just have to ask them.
It is possible for you to give birth by all means. Just get registered in a antenatal clinic and organise yourself emotionally, physically and financially.