Book Reviews -- Teen Pregnancy and Parenting Handbook by Patricia G. Mathes and Beverly J. Irby

By Stogner, Catherine D.; Miller, Brent C. | Family Relations, July 1995 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews -- Teen Pregnancy and Parenting Handbook by Patricia G. Mathes and Beverly J. Irby


Stogner, Catherine D., Miller, Brent C., Family Relations


Mathes, Patricia G., and Irby, Beverly J. (1993). Teen Pregnancy and Parenting Handbook. Champaign, IL: Research Press. 440 pp. Softcover ISBN 0-87822-333-9, price $19.95.

Mathes and Irby have written a practical handbook with a matter-of-fact tone at a level appropriate to the target audience of pregnant teenage girls. The authors cover a broad spectrum of topics in five general areas: (a) goals and decision making, (b) pregnancy, (c) labor and delivery, (d) sexuality, and (e) parenting. The chapter examining goals and decision making does so in the context of the teen's pregnancy and future life. The units on pregnancy and labor/delivery describe what a pregnant teen can expect and should try to do for her own and her baby's welfare during each stage of pregnancy. In the sexuality unit, family planning methods and the causes and symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases are discussed. The parenting unit includes several chapters that summarize stages and norms of infant development and the needs of the child through the first year of life. In addition, the authors offer some simple and practical suggestions about how mothers can nurture their babies and care for themselves.

Chapters are brief enough to hold the attention of adolescents. Follow-up questions allow readers to confirm their understanding before moving on to new information. Although the authors cover most of the topics relevant to pregnant teenagers, it seems that they understate certain points. For example, they state that mothering is the hardest job in the world. It may be difficult for a pregnant teen to visualize the magnitude of such a statement without a more detailed picture of the daily routine of a teenage mother, as well as the extent of the commitment she is making for at least the next 18 to 20 years. …

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