Birthing class offered for pregnant teens |

Birthing class offered for pregnant teens

Linda Hiller

Life is full of decisions. Some have consequences that can last a lifetime.

This is one of the tenets six pregnant young women are learning in the Family Support Council’s “Healthy Beginnings Program,” classes this month.

“Pregnant teens sometimes feel uncomfortable in childbirthing classes with adult couples,” said Deborah Van Bruggen, education coordinator for Family Support Council. “Teens also find themselves with issues that are not always addressed in regular childbirth preparation classes.”

Each of the girls already understand firsthand how one decision can change a person’s life forever.

Now, the teachers of the workshop are hoping these mothers-to-be will make the right decisions regarding prenatal care for the future of their unborn children.

The class is being taught at the Family Support Council office in Gardnerville by two nurses – Jill Mustacchio and Mary Scott from Carson-Tahoe Hospital in Carson City. Both are instructors with the Baby Steps Education program at the hospital.

All but one of the girls taking classes are pregnant for the first time, facing motherhood even before they experience high school graduation.

Two of the mothers-to-be are currently staying at the City of Refuge home for pregnant women. The other four girls came to the first class with coaches – two with their own mothers, one with her twin sister and another with her mother and boyfriend, the father of the unborn child.

As each girl introduced herself and told of her circumstances, it was evident there had been much soul-searching involved in accepting their individual predicaments.

“It was difficult in the beginning,” said Becky Smokey, one of the grandmothers-to-be. “We are still trying to work through it.”

Another grandmother-to-be, Susan, said she and her daughter are taking it one day at a time.

The young women in the class were 16 and 17. The oldest, 23 and awaiting her third child, was able to relate her own experiences in childbirth to the other five.

“It does hurt, but it’s worth it,” she said. “It’s like it’s not you, but it is you. Mostly, you’re frustrated and annoyed (with the childbirth process).”

One of the girls said she will be offering her baby for adoption to her aunt and uncle. The other five planned on keeping their babies.

The Baby Step education classes are offered with the idea that having a healthy baby makes things less complicated in the long run for everyone involved. The instructors said they hope the girls will continue with parenting classes after they deliver and will also complete their schooling and earn their high school diplomas.

Basic information on pregnancy, such as the importance of a healthy diet, regular exercise, no drug or alcohol use, drinking plenty of liquids and what to expect in a normal pregnancy, comprises the bulk of the three-part class.

“Healthy baby, healthy mom, that’s what is most important,” Mustacchio said to the class.

For more information on childbirth classes, call the nurses at 885-4210 or the Family Support Council at 782-8692.