Choosing Motherhood : The complexities of pregnancy decision-making among young black women 'looked after' by the State
Objective: This paper addresses the experiences of a group of young black teenage mothers looked after by the State, most of whom were also either migrants or asylum seekers. The paper explores the experience of discovery of pregnancy, attempts to seek professional help and the eventual decision to continue with the pregnancy. Design: An interpretative study with in-depth interviews. Settings: Interviews were carried out in the participants’ homes and focussed on their experiences of pregnancy decision-making. Participants: 15 young women (aged 16-19), from black minority ethnic groups, with a history of care (past or present), currently pregnant or mothers of a child no older than two years of age. Findings: All the pregnancies were unexpected: eight of the informants conceived as a result of rape and seven while in a relationship. All the young women chose motherhood over abortion despite their complex social and pregnancy background. Conclusions: The importance of social positioning of migrants in terms of the cluster of negative aspects and environmental disadvantage generally experienced by most immigrants in the host country is raised in this paper. Care practices of pregnant women with complex social factors were little observant of woman-centred care approaches.