Paragould program helping teen pregnancies decline

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The School of the 21st Century works closely with teenage mothers through the Healthy Families Program, helping to educate them and to prevent a second pregnancy.

"We have a really good success rate in how many do not have a repeat pregnancy," said Family Support Specialist Amanda Baldwin.

However, as they work with these young women, they also connect with their friends allowing them to see the hardships that come with being a teen mom.

"They get kind of hands on if they don't have children and what it really looks like, not only for the friend that has the baby but other young ladies," said Baldwin.

Baldwin reflects on one occasion where the teen mother gave her own word of advice to a friend.

"They will talk to their friends," said Baldwin. "One visit in particular that I went into she had a friend with her and while we were talking she turned to her and said don't ever do this."

Along with experiencing visits, Baldwin said the information they give to teen moms can be shared with their peers.

"Actually have a hand out that we take into the home, not only about family planning and what type of birth control there is but one on abstinence," said Baldwin.

It helps them to see why having a baby at such a young age can affect their future.

"One is why it's best to wait because of the goal you may be trying to reach," said Baldwin.

Baldwin said seeing a friend go through the obstacles of a being a teen mom can make a big impression on those who are sexually active.

"Seeing someone go through that fear would have a huge impact," said Baldwin. "I do believe having a friend whose going through that would be a deterrent to getting pregnant."

Here is a list of helpful sites on ways to talk to your teen about sex.