Nursing Dissertation Chapter Paper on Pregnancy without Marriage

Pregnancy without Marriage


Teenage pregnancy has become one of the greatest consequences that any family with daughters risks facing. On numerous occasions children who find themselves in these situations are often tempted to procure illegal and sometimes legal abortions (Basavanthappa, 2008). These pregnancies may be results of irresponsible sexual behavior or personal decisions to get pregnant. It is key to remember that every child, irrespective of the circumstances that may have led to pregnancy, deserves parental care and support until the child is born. Failure to provide this much needed care may lead the child into unprecedented actions resulting from peer pressure and loss of hope in life (Basavanthappa, 2008).

Literature review

Wildsmith et al (2011) in the article Childbearing Outside marriage: Estimates and trends in the United States view the behavior of having children without marriage as a trend that is constantly rising in many countries around the world. This is attributable to among other factors irresponsible sexual behavior. Young women in their twenties account for the highest number of those having children without marriage. Other than peer pressure, Wildsmith et al (2011) also cite irresponsible parenting as a factor essential in explain the rise in teenage pregnancies. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are socialized into understanding accepted norms in the society. Through such initiatives children will learn of the accepted and unaccepted behavioral traits in the society. There has been an increase in the tendency among parents to lay blame on their children whenever these children become expectant out of marriage. This according to Wildsmith et al (2011) has resulted in many parents neglecting their parental roles and blame children for the consequences of their failures.

            According to Paul Amato (2005) in the article Marriage and Child Wellbeing, the effects of pregnancy without marriage on families are dependent on the type of families and their economic and social situations. Expectant women born in single families risk rejection considering that the available parent or guardian views their pregnancies as an additional individual whose needs will be satisfied by the limited resources available to the family. It is crucial to note that economic hardships are major contributors to the challenges that single parents face.

According to Amato (2005), the social status of a family may be a determining factor on the possibility of rejection or acceptance of an individual who gets pregnant without marriage. Families that are strong in religious matters may treat the pregnancy as a blessing from God and this increases the possibility of proper care to the expectant woman. However, families that hold good reputation may see the pregnancy as a negative consequence to the positive reputation and this may lead to abortion or rejection of the expectant woman (Amato, 2005). Family expectations also comprise factors that dictate the level of acceptance or rejection of an expectant member of the family. This means that pregnancies without marriage can be perceived as some form of disappointment to the family and this increases the chances that such a family will reject the expectant (Amato, 2005). Families that embrace the attitude of understanding will ensure that they provide the necessary protection to their child considering her fragile nature and the subsequent wellbeing of the child that is to be born. The level of care and acceptance that a mother receives during her pregnancy plays an essential role in determining the type of care that she will offer to her baby upon delivery (Amato, 2005).

Philip (2003) views family centered maternity care as essential in handling pregnancies without marriage. This is based on the assumption that the show of love can help in the development of a health pregnancy among young women. In addition, such care provides the expectant woman with an opportunity of feeling appreciated despite the mistake she is perceived to have committed. During pregnancy, an individual requires physical, social and emotional support considering that pregnancy and birth comprise the major events in any woman’s life (Philip, 2003). Through effective prenatal care by family members, the caregivers can operate with the guidance of a family nurse in ways that will help the expectant mother realize that she is not alone during the entire period o her pregnancy (Philip, 2003). 

Pregnancy is a continuous process that runs for a period o nine months. Expectant women, especially those who get pregnant without marriage and those in their adolescent stages, have a high probability of soaring levels of stress in their lives (Philip, 2003). This means that they may need counseling and support not only from the experts but also from their family members. If not provided the women may sufferer psychological crisis and health complications which are considered dangerous when expectant (Philip, 2003).

Pregnancy without marriage and its impact on my family

I was raised by my grandmother since I was six years old. We were relatively poor and through her effort to raise me my grandmother hoped that I will be successful in life and elevate her from the life of poverty. My grandmother is a religious woman and she does not believe in premarital sex and pregnancies without marriage. When I got pregnant with my boyfriend who rejected me, she also decided to abandon me as her grandchild and family member since I had disappointed her. This had a negative effect on the way my family and the community perceived my actions. My brothers thought of me as an unthankful individual capable of betraying my grandmother.

After this rejection my pregnancy was viewed as an individual burden and I had to struggle to keep myself healthy and free from stress. The nurses in the local hospital provided me with the much needed support until I was ready to deliver my child. To date, my grandmother still views my decision to get pregnant a disappointment despite the fact that she has promised to try and forgive me. She assures me that it will take time for her to accept my mistakes.


Pregnancy without marriage results from variety of factors which include irresponsible sexual behavior, peer pressure and personal decision among other factors. The perception of the family is often important in determining a successful delivery especially among mothers who are unmarried or in their adolescent stage. These individuals are often prone to psychological stress and if left unattended, it might develop into health complications which may affect the life of the unborn child. Family centered maternity care is the best way through which expectant women can feel loved and accepted any form of rejection may have negative effects on the mother and the unborn child (Basavanthappa, 2008).


Amato, P. (2005). The Impact of family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social and

Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation. Journal Issue: Marriage and Child Wellbeing. Vol. 15, No. 2

Basavanthappa, . (2008). Community health nursing. S.l.: Jaypee Bros. Medical P.

Lindner, S & McGrath, J. (2012). Family-Centered Care and Continuous Labor Support.

Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews

Phillips, C. R. (2003). Family-Centered Maternity Care. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Pub.