n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Xhosa teenager's experience of motherhood

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


The high rate of unplanned teenage pregnancies and teenage motherhood remains a concern in South Africa and worldwide. Most of the teenage pregnancies in South Africa are reported to occur among the black African and coloured communities. The teenage mother leaves school and is often unemployable, making it a challenge to raise the child. Some of these teenage mothers become depressed and suicidal as they struggle to cope with the consequences of teenage motherhood. Under such circumstances, the final responsibility of looking after the child becomes that of the already poor family and the South African state by means of a child grant. The study will be of benefit by drawing attention to the impact of teenage motherhood and to increase the awareness of the use of contraceptives by teenagers as well as by getting the necessary support from the nurses and midwives. The study used a qualitative research design with data being collected by means of audio-taped semi-structured interviews. With the assistance of an independent coder, three main themes emerged from the experiences of teenage mothers. The main themes revealed that teenage mothers experienced motherhood as a burden, a sensitive cultural transgression and as having the potential to have a positive impact on her, the baby, the family and peers. The study concluded that midwives should avail themselves to teenagers, including before pregnancy, in order to share the crucial health education related to sex, sexuality and use of contraceptives.

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