Young parents receive up-to-date information
Appeal Staff Writer
Jesus Manriquez is going to be a father.
He’s just not sure what they will name her when she’s expected to arrive Dec. 20.
He and girlfriend Elizabeth Quintero are narrowing the name playing field. It might be Aiana, it could be Lizette.
“I’m kind of excited,” he said. “I’ve been waiting all this time, and I want to see her – my daughter.”
On Thursday, Jesus, a 17-year-old student at Pioneer High School, received information not about names, but about what to expect when the little one does come.
A team of 11 student nurses from the Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno, presented a slew of pregnancy, birthing, nutrition and contraceptive information to two health classes.
“It’s hard,” said Jesus about being a teen dad-to-be. “Especially in the beginning. I got kinda scared and we started to fight a lot.”
While Jesus was the only male at the presentation, his reason for attending was not unusual. All of the Pioneer High School students in class were either parents or parents-to-be. Jesus’ girlfriend, who is 18, already graduated the school.
“I learned about all the things you can get to avoid having babies,” he said. “And what kind of foods to feed your baby.”
In-depth topics included eating for two, the five phases of labor, what to expect after birth and advantages of breast feeding. Each semester, an Orvis School of Nursing team will talk with students at Pioneer. Thursday’s session was a pilot.
“I think it would be better if it were compressed more,” said UNR nursing student Sarah Grasso. “It’s a lot of information.”
Grasso, 22, is a graduate of Carson High School, and like her classmates, has the spring semester to complete before graduating from UNR with a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing. Following graduation, all will take their boards to become registered nurses.
But Grasso’s opinion about the state of parenting and sex education for teenagers is one of skepticism.
“I didn’t know anything about anything until I went to college,” she said. “What can you do in high school? You aren’t really able to go to a teacher and ask for contraception.”
Thursday’s program was the brain child of nursing students Nica Sanchez, 24, and Spencer Rhodes, 34.
“I was impressed,” said Pioneer Principal Mark Van Voorst. “I thought it was clear and I thought it was relevant. I think you can never present too much information to students to learn about factors that are going to affect their lives in the future.”
Information that nursing student Lindsey Anderson, 22, shared, was about what to expect after delivery. While most women gain between 25 to 35 pounds while pregnant, they drop between 10-12 after giving birth, she said.
Some women can lose the remaining weight fairly quickly, but other women will work for lengthy periods to burn it off.
Many women look like they did five months into their pregnancy after giving birth. Birth is an exhaustive experience that calls for recovery, she said.
“The first couple days after you have your baby, you’re not going to feel like doing a whole lot,” said Anderson. “Really listen to your body and increase your activity level step by step.”
Naps are an integral part to recovery and should be planned to coincide when the baby naps.
Joanna Castro, who has a 3-month-old, listened intently as Anderson and others talked. Castro said sessions such as this should be accessible to all teenagers.
“Most teens are going to be parents (eventually),” the 17-year-old said.
n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
Eating for two
– tips for moms-to-be
• Take a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin every day to ensure the baby is getting enough folic acid, which decreases the baby’s chance for birth defects.
• Keep caffeine consumption limited to two cups of coffee a day or four cups of soda. High caffeine intake increases the risk of delivering an baby with a low birth weight.
• Foods like swordfish, king mackerel and shark make the mother and baby sick. Those foods should be avoided, as should raw fish like oysters and clams. Pregnant women should avoid foods made with raw or lightly cooked eggs, including soft scrambled eggs.
* Information provided by nursing student Jackie Merlino, 22.