Pregnant teens face issues that all adolescents must deal with on the road to adulthood. They are developing their own identity and needing to be both independent from and dependent on parents. They are coping with peer pressure and experiencing changes in their bodies. Yet those who are pregnant have the additional burden of making decisions about continuing their education, and earning a living and planning for the future.
Often young women do not have the skills they need to handle these many challenges and the responsibilities that come with pregnancy and a baby. Pregnant teens experience a lot of stress in their environment and many do not get early prenatal care. It is not surprising mothers under the age of 19 have the highest rate of low birth weight babies and the highest rate of babies who died during the first weeks of life.
Resource Mothers are lay community health workers who mentor pregnant teens through this difficult time in their lives and help them make the transition to parenthood. These adult role models have successfully raised their own children and assist the teen throughout her pregnancy and up to the baby's first birthday. They are effective in decreasing infant deaths and disabilities and improving the health of pregnant teens and their infants through intensive home visiting. The Resource Mothers Program is a partner in the Virginia Home Visiting Consortium.