WHY DO TEENAGE GIRLS CONTINUE THEIR PREGNANCIES DESPITE BEING UNPLANNED?
Background: The termination of unplanned pregnancies sometimes leads to serious health consequences. However, some teenage girls decide to continue their pregnancies despite unexpected.
Aims: This qualitative study aimed to explore why teenage girls continue their pregnancies despite being unplanned.
Methods: Purposively selected participants were 13 teenage girls aged below 20 years old who received antenatal care at a community hospital in Lampang province, Thailand. Thematic analysis analyzed data.
Results: Four major themes that emerged were 1) reactions toward unplanned pregnancy, 2) Hiding and communication, 3) Deciding to continue pregnancies, and 4) Bonding. Reactions toward unplanned pregnancy composed of three subthemes confusion, fear of blames, and unexpected gift. Hiding and communication composed of two subthemes hiding and breaking the news. Deciding to continue pregnancies composed of six subthemes do not want to commit a sin, husband support, family support, family-family agreement, fear of birth defects, and moral responsibility. Bonding composed of two subthemes included bonding with baby and bonding with families.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Moral, responsibility, and support from husband and families can help teenage girls to continue their unplanned pregnancies. Understanding reasons to continue unplanned pregnancy could promote healthy decision making of these teenage mothers.