Pregnancy stigmatisation and coping strategies of adolescent mothers in two Yoruba communities, Osun State, Nigeria
Ojo M Agunbiade, Obafemi Awolowo University
Ayotunde S. Liasu, Obafemi Awolowo University
Mustapha m.o Opatola, Obafemi Awolowo University
Unintended pregnancies among Nigerian adolescents have been a threat to adolescent mothers and their children. The study explored the experiences of adolescent mothers with unwanted pregnancies and their strategies in resolving the stigma. Forty-Eight in-depth interviews were conducted with adolescent mothers who had unwanted pregnancies but had safe deliveries. Snow Balling technique with the help of an informant was used in recruiting willing adolescent mothers within the community. Content analysis was conducted by coding the audio-taped interviews for key domains of interest. Thematic narratives were then developed and analysed. Findings emerged showed high perceived stigma, series of attempted but failed abortions; gender biased blames and support during pregnancies and inadequate antenatal care. However, personal resolutions including religious measures and support from significant others sustained the adolescent mothers during their ordeal. These problems call for the provision of tailored care and youth-friendly services to help youths navigate through safely.