A qualitative study of early child bearing : experiences of Black woman in a South African township.
Mjwara, Nompilo Pearl.
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For more than 30 years the topic has increasingly received global attention in developed and developing countries. The findings of teenage pregnancy statistics have highlighted a concern for young women entering puberty. Negative outcomes associated with early sexual debut threaten the reproductive health outcomes of young girls. In South Africa, early childbearing has been identified as a challenge facing the country. Studies globally have shown a higher fertility rate amongst teenagers compared to other age groups. The aim of this study is to shed more insights into the factors influencing early childbearing among young Black women aged 18 to 24 years in a South African township. For this study, data was obtained from face to face in-depth interviews. The in-depth interviews were held with 10 black females from Mpumalanga Township, Hammarsdale, KwaZulu Natal. The findings of the study indicate that limited information on pregnancy prevention methods plays a role in influencing early childbearing. In addition, young women complained about the poor interpersonal relations with healthcare providers. Despite participants’ emphasis on education, stigma and discrimination continue to pose a challenge in society. Lack of knowledge of prevention methods contribute to early pregnancy. The study suggests the need for youth-friendly interventions to increase family planning use among young people. The study recommends that schools and community plays a significant role in assisting young women with children. The involvement of schools and community is essential to curb early childbearing and this is also likely to influence individual’s sexual and reproductive health decision-making.