What young parents feel and need

For a young couple, childrearing presents many difficulties.

There is a high risk of infant morbidity and mortality which may be due to biological factors or to poor parental care.

The young couple may feel inadequate in caring for an infant and anxious about the baby's health.

They may feel resentment or depression over their loss of leisure and the great increase in responsibility.

The infant care needed may prevent the parents from improving their economic and/or educational situation.

Isolation from peers, crowded living conditions and dependence on others, with consequent resentment, are additional hazards.

health professional treating a child

In the box below there is a summary of the needs of young mothers and fathers. Understanding helps you to improve your response to their needs through counselling and providing postnatal care services. It is good to engage the young father when visiting the young parents at home.

What young parents need

FathersMothers
Acceptance and integration into pre- and postnatal services. Postnatal support and healthcare for themselves and their infants.
Counselling about the benefits of sound sexual/reproductive health practices, including condom use. Information about the importance of breastfeeding, immunization, nutrition and growth monitoring.
Encouragement to learn effective parenting skills, such as feeding, bathing, changing, playing, positive social interactions and participating in healthcare decisions. Encouragement to learn effective parenting skills, such as feeding, bathing, changing, playing, positive social interactions, and making healthcare decisions.
Continued access to economic and educational opportunity. Counselling about contraceptives to delay the next pregnancy.
A confidential, private, affordable and welcoming service environment.
Continued access to economic and educational opportunity.
Last modified: Tuesday, 1 July 2014, 1:01 PM