herald

Sunday 24 September 2017

Some teens choose to fall pregnant -- nurse

LIFESTYLE: TV show reveals number of young mums is rising

DUBLIN teenagers sometimes fall pregnant as part of a lifestyle choice, according to a community nurse who works with young mums.

Kirsten Preisler, a community nurse for the Coolock area in north Dublin, revealed that the number of young teenage mums she deals with is growing.

Kirsten, who will star in upcoming RTE show The Nurse on community nursing, said that many teenage pregnancies in the city are now planned.

"For some teenage girls, getting pregnant is not a problem for them. If they have the supports in place from their mums or family then it's not an issue for them," she said.

She added that often when young mums have one child they want to have a second in quick succession.

"Sometimes it can be a lifestyle choice," she said.

Speaking about teenage pregnancy, she added: "It's very normal now and it's considered very normal within society.

"The numbers are increasing. I'd have a lot of teenage mums that I call in to, a lot of them are around 17 years of age but there are a few who would be younger," she said.

However, she added that a big problem with teenage pregnancy is that young mums often focus solely on being pregnant and the thoughts of a baby and not on the realities of having a child.

"When the baby actually arrives it's a whole different ball game. If they have good support, and a lot of them do, then it's a lot of help for them," she said.

Kirsten said that the hardest part of her job is convincing teenage mums to access services.

"I do a lot of work with young teenage mums, working with them and helping them access support services, whether it's back to education or a housing application."

Kirsten said that while many have excellent family support, the biggest issue she deals with is trying to help them access education resources.

"There are huge resources out there for the Coolock/Darndale area, it's just trying to convince young mums to access them. There is a big fear of the unknown."

The Dublin nurse said that with time and encouragement, most of the young mums she deals with return to education.

The Nurse airs on Thursday at 10.15pm on RTE One.

ccrawford@herald.ie

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