Parenting Too Soon: Education and Child Care Concerns of College Student Mothers in the Cordillera Administrative Region

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Ann Heather B. Kiwang Mursha D. Gapasin Gigy G. Banes


This study aimed to come up with a description of the common, as well as unique, experiences and outlook of student mothers regarding their multiple roles as parents and college students. It further looked into the coping strategies of the student-mothers related to their reproductive health needs and to identify sources of support for the student-mothers in relation to the above concerns. The research partners of the study include 10 student mothers enrolled in Benguet State University (BSU) and the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) for the School Year 2013-2014. These participants were selected through purposive sampling. Face-to-face interview and some small focus group discussions were employed. Fifteen participants enrolled in BSU during the 2nd semester of school year 2020-2021 while the world is experiencing COVID19 pandemic were added and were interviewed through google forms which consisted of an open-ended questionnaire. Results showed that uncertainty, fear and anxiety were the common feelings experienced by the participants upon knowing that they were pregnant. Most of them did not think of using any contraceptive method even when they were already sexually active with their partners. The reactions of the partners were varied. Some were happy about the pregnancy and seemed to have been expecting it to happen. Others shared the predicament on how to inform their parents. As expected, the first reactions of the respondents’ parents were anger and distress. However, the parents still continued to be sources of support, their children and new family. Most of the respondents availed of the services in the rural health units in their place. They experienced several health problems ranging from common colds to high blood pressure, gastrointestinal reflux diseases (GERD) and bleeding. One experienced anxiety while another experienced postpartum depression. All the research participants experienced challenges and adjustments as parents at the same time as students. They stopped schooling after giving birth in order to take care of their baby. They were able to return to school because of the availability of other people (parents, babysitters) to look over their child while they are in school. They also arranged their class schedules and reduced their course load. For students enrolled during the pandemic when distant/modular learning was the new normal, day time was mostly devoted to child care while nighttime was dedicated to complying with school requirements. Some of the student mothers regret getting pregnant early. Nonetheless, they claimed that this experience made them mature and motivated them to pursue their studies.

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