What may be more difficult than giving birth to a child when you are 13? Only giving birth when you’re 11 ...
Young girls are more apt to become mothers than adult women. The latter prefer to use contraception and have abortions driven, according to statistics, by social reasons like poverty, environmental problems, and shortage of regular ‘muzhiks’ - men. It seems that only teenage girls are enthusiastic enough to ignore hardships and are eager to save us from extinction.
Case 1. The Nymphet
Bogdana is a swarthy, dark-haired girl with a gentle and absent-minded smile. After childbirth she does not look so puny, however eleven years are hard to hide under a dressing gown.
Her four-month-old son Roman is bottle-fed and does everything as other babies do: sleeps, eats, and cries.
Doctor Valentin Grishchenko, Head of Chair at Kharkov Medical University, Ukraine, delivered Bogdana’s son, performing obstetric surgery on her. The suture on her belly healed leaving a scar.
In 1935 his father, prominent gynaecological surgeon Ivan Grishchenko, delivered the baby of a six-year old , a rape victim. The child was stillborn, but the child mother managed to stay alive, thanks to the skill of doctors. Grishchenko senior had a film shot by his assistant to show the operation. The film is still showed to Kharkov medical students.
Case 2. The Victim
Schoolgirl Nadia with her elder sister lived in poverty–stricken family. Her parents sold a cow to buy a TV set – now their only valuable asset at home apart from a dog and some chickens. Anaemia and vitamin deficiency made Nadia swoon in class one day last autumn.
Her own drunken father who allegedly did not remember anything had several times raped the girl. And she was too shy to speak about abuse.
Early January, the 11-year-old girl said that she felt something was crawling inside her tummy.
Doctor Bogachyov from Khmelnitsky maternity home, Ukraine, personified God, kind and almighty, on the icons at Nadia’s shabby home. She promised him that she would become a nurse and was sorry that she did not want to lie to that awful chair…
Case 3. Childbirth in class
In the settlement of Kesma located in the Tver Area, north of Moscow, a ninth-former Valya gave birth during a biology lesson. The local community was surprised at the place of an impromptu delivery rather than at the fact itself, which seemed casual to them. The baby girl Kristina weighed 3,200 g. The parents of Valya’s boyfriend gave shelter to a young mother as her own parents were extremely displeased with their daughter’s “gift” . The baby’s father is a minor himself (he’ll be 18 this autumn). A wedding is not excluded, though …
Case 4. A typical scenario: the seducer unknown
A skinny girl weighing slightly over forty kilos has been brought by her mother to hospital to have an abortion from a remote village in Lysyansky district, Ukraine.
The woman had been already bringing up seven children without a husband. Her pregnant daughter who studies at 7th grade, refused to disclose the name of her seducer. Pregnancy was “diagnosed” by her elder sister only after 33 weeks of pregnancy.
The child was delivered by Caesarean section at the Extragenital Pathology Unit of the Cherkassk Regional Hospital. Physicians were amazed: an immature schoolgirl gave birth to a robust baby, by all standards.
Irina Dolzhenko, a senior researcher from the Centre of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology of Russian Academy of Sciences: “Adolescent childbearing has ceased to be uncommon. It is the only age category where birth rate is steadily rising rather than decreasing. As yet, no hard statistics on the teenage mums is available, but the Ministry of Health says that over the last years 1 in every 10 babies has been born to mothers under 20.
In Russia, annually around 1,500 mums under age 15 leave maternity homes. At one time it was sincerely hoped that schoolgirls would save the country from a demographic disaster. But research revealed grave consequences of early motherhood for the health of girls. The most harmless diseases of young mums are serious erosion, ovarian dysfunction, and accompanying system diseases, to name a few. Their infants also have poor health manifested as low birth weight, compromised immunity, and propensity for allergic reactions. The babies are bottle–fed from the very first days of their life as teenage mothers tend to have lactation problems.
Maternal mortality among teenagers is 5 to 8 times higher than among adults. One in every ten women who dies when in labour is under 20. The younger the lying-in woman, the higher is the risk of maternal mortality. The only solution is to take the pregnant schoolgirl to a hospital. But that seldom happens because pregnant adolescents are often in the dark about their condition or they try to conceal their pregnancy to the last.”
“When daddy and mum think that their daughter has only cartoons on her mind, she might be watching porno films. Curiosity is aroused and sex issues come to the fore”, says Pyotr Gunko, a prominent doctor from Ukraine, head physician of Pirogov Vinnitsa Regional Clinical Hospital. ”An ordinary school pencil has made more deflorations than the male organ. With boys it is easier, because at this age they massively indulge in masturbation...
Sex education is a must for girls as well as for boys... The plain truth is that adults that missed such an education in their time are primarily to blame for sex-related dangers run by their children.”
Olga Musafirova, Tatyana Osyukhina, Alexandra Mayantseva
Photo by Dmitry Kirillov
Translated by Zaghid Yusoupov