This semester I started working with a group of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) students on a student-run social media campaign. After some collaboration with the Center for Health Communication at HSPH we decided to pursue an online campaign that targets pregnant teenagers in the Boston area.
Why? Because teens who become pregnant are less likely to have a healthy pregnancy and less likely to see a doctor for prenatal care. Everything from diet, activity, stress, and support are critical to having a healthy pregnancy. A healthy pregnancy leads to a healthy birth, a health birth leads to a healthy infant, and a healthy infant leads to a healthy child. You get the idea...
Yet, finding websites that were providing teens with accurate, clearly communicated, and interesting information on healthy pregnancy and birth was extremely difficult! There was plenty of information on how to prevent pregnancy and even a good deal on support and advice after the baby is born. But what about information for those 9-months?!
Well, today I found a GREAT website on teen pregnancy and parenting at Sex, etc. (thanks to Rena from the CHC passing it along to the team)
Sex, etc. is a teen-run website that was established by Rutgers University (see the Answer: sex ed, honestly website) in partnership with MTV, Scenarios USA, and gURL.com. It includes lots of information on sex, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and pregnancy prevention. There's a blog that is written by teens and the website contains quizzes and other fun interactive materials.
While I fully advocate waiting to have sex until marriage, I am too young to not remember the curiosity about sex and sexuality that comes with being a teenager -- whether you are delaying sex until some later time or not. I also, am too aware that so many teens are having sex and not fully informed about it.
For the girls who courageously decide to keep the baby, they have little place to turn for information and support around a healthy pregnancy. And unfortunately, many prenatal care services are just not set up to serve teenagers and make them feel comfortable!
Anyway, it was encouraging to see a website that is really devoted to this issue. What are your thoughts?