Consequences of Giving Birth to Unwanted Children
The goal for most woman, in fact all people, is to have a satisfactory life. We can also say that we would do anything it takes, if is laid out before us, to improve or increase the status of our life. For some pregnant woman who know they can’t support their baby, think that having abortion will improve their quality of life. The effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome and many other mental health issues on woman who have had an abortion in their third trimester have clearly proven that having a third trimester abortion is not satisfactory. Since third trimester abortions are proven to have a substantial impact on mothers’ mental health, many people would encourage the alternative of giving birth, but giving birth to an unwanted baby is a terrible burden to the mother, but the unwanted child suffers tremendously more.
Unintended pregnancies have been a leading factor to mother’s neglecting wanting to bear a child. A study done in the report by Doctor Logan and many other doctors resulted in finding that the rate of unintended pregnancy has been increasing since 1994. More and more unwanted children are being born which is very concerning. Surprisingly, giving birth to an unwanted child affects the child physically. More research done by these doctors have shown that children born from unintended pregnancies have poorer physical health than those whose births were intended. They found that children from unintended pregnancies are more likely to have poor health. The children are also preformed to be not too active or not active enough at age four, compared with children from intended pregnancies. Additionally, unwanted children whose mothers attempted twice to have an abortion are more likely to be overweight at age 9 than those whose mothers accepted the pregnancy. These physical consequences on the child are pretty substantial, especially if the child has poor health. If a woman can’t support health expenses, she will feel as though she is neglecting the child even more.
Along with physical consequences of being an unwanted child, there is also behavioral outcomes if the mother gives birth to the child and keeps it. Most younger unwanted children do not suffer behavioral consequences since they are unaware that they were/are even unwanted. The age an unwanted child suffers from behaviorally is adolescence. Baydar concluded that unwanted children in their adolescence suffer serious delinquency. The behavioral state of an unwanted child mainly depends on the mother-child relationship with many other factors.
The mother-child relationship plays a key role in how the child will develop behaviorally. In the article “Unwanted Childbearing, Health, and Mother-Child Relationships,” their research indicates that wanted children have better relationships with their mothers throughout childhood and even into adulthood than children who were unwanted by their mothers. Mothers who had an unwanted pregnancy spank their children more frequently and Doctor Logan found one study that concluded unwanted children are more likely to be a victim of physical abuse as well. The negative relationship between unintended births and mother-child relationships continues into adulthood. Unwanted children felt that their mother’s affection was not enough because they know the pre-destined relationship the mother had in mind when she was pregnant with them. Overall, this research concludes that unwanted children are susceptible to lower quality relationships between their mothers. There was another research done by Najman Hayatbakhsh who studied 4,765 unwanted pregnancy children’s behavior up to when they turned 14. In this study, Hayatbakhsh monitored anxiety, depression, aggression, externalizing, delinquency, attention problems, withdrawal problems, cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, and many more. He found that the highest issues in these children at 14 were externalizing, cigarette smoking, and alcohol drinking. All of the issues listed were still high but the three that he highlighted were the most prevalent. This shows that having an unwanted pregnancy doesn’t just affect the child phytologically and physically, it also affects them behaviorally.
Along with the unwanted child suffering, an unwanted child being born into a family affects the whole family negatively. Barber suggests that the mother would suffer from depression, perceive time pressures that prevent them from spending time with all of their children, and experience lower quality spousal relationships. We all know that having parental issues affects the whole home no matter what which ultimately will lead their intended pregnancy children to feel unwanted. Having parental issues could also result in divorce which would in turn bring distress to the children, especially the unwanted children.
Arriving at the decision to go through with an unwanted pregnancy is a hard decision in itself. Once the unwanted child is born, it is intertwined into the mother’s life. Giving birth to an unwanted child might be very inconvenient for the mother’s career path or lifestyle, but the mother’s lifestyle is not an excuse to be neglectful to their child. Giving birth to an unwanted child lets a hard life walk right into the child’s door. With this information, it is easy to conclude that the unwanted child will suffer from physical, mental, and behavioral battles.
Logan, C., Ph. D., Holocombe, E., Manlove, J., Ph. D., & Ryan, S., Ph. D. (2007). The Consequences of Unintended Childbearing (pp. 1-5-6, Rep.). Child Trends. doi:12/1/20
Baydar, N. (1995). Consequences for Children of Their Birth Planning Status. Family Planning Perspectives, 27(6), 228-245. doi:10.2307/2136174
Barber, Axinn. “Unwanted Childbearing, Health, and Mother-Child Relationships.” Journal of health and social behavior 40.3 (1999): 231–257. Web.
Hayatbakhsh, Najman. “A Longitudinal Study of Child Mental Health and Problem Behaviours at 14 Years of Age Following Unplanned Pregnancy.” Psychiatry research 185.1 (2010): 200–204. Web.