Worldview on Pregnancy – Part one.

There have been four pregnancies in the main cast of The Tribe from series 1-3.

PHOTO 1 – Trudy with new pride and joy – BRADY

Trudy was already pregnant when we first saw her and soon delivered her baby in the Mall with the help of some of the Mall Rats.

Zandra discovered that she was pregnant with Lex’s baby but died in the explosion on Eagle Mountain.

Salene suffered a miscarriage after she fell down the stairs.

And now Amber is about to deliver in a barn in the middle of nowhere with the sounds of an ominous airplane overhead.

The first signs

Most women discover that they are ‘with child’ when they miss their period but this is not always due to pregnancy. It is really important for a woman to see a doctor if she misses a period. Next comes the morning sickness although again, this doesn’t always affect every woman. The sickness doesn’t just happen in the morning either – some women are quite sick all day long for the first few months of their pregnancy. A suspected pregnancy needs to be confirmed by a doctor. If the woman has done a home pregnancy test she should still consult her doctor. This will help her to make informed decisions as to whether she wants to keep or terminate the baby and to make sure that both she and the baby are monitored closely for health reasons if the pregnancy is to continue.

How is it that a woman can not actually realise that she is pregnant?

There are some girls who have not even started their periods when they become pregnant and so do not notice any difference in their body. That combined with not getting morning sickness might hide the fact that there is actually a baby in there. Sometimes girls who do not know much about the facts of life just don’t realise they’re pregnant until they’re in labour. Even at this stage they might believe that the pains they are experiencing are the result of food poisoning, a strained muscle or a stomach bug.

Phantom pregnancies

Is it a ghost? Is it a spook? No, it’s the belief that there is a baby in your belly. Sometimes women desperately want to become pregnant and think about it so much that they convince their bodies that it is actually carrying a baby! Other women have all the characteristics of a pregnancy but there is no baby there. Just a mass of cells which grow and grow and this can be very dangerous indeed. Other ‘pregnancies’ are ectopic where the fertilised egg starts to grow in the Fallopian tube until it reaches such a size that it bursts and can cause death. These points make it very obvious that if there is ever a change in your body that you need to go and see your GP or your family planning clinic as soon as possible so you know that everything is normal.

Health issues

Pregnant women need to be really careful with their health so as not to harm the baby. Smoking, drinking alcohol and, of course, drug substances travel right through the umbilical cord from the woman straight to the developing foetus. Every year there are too many babies born with deformities caused by the mothers’ abuse of these substances and they lead a very painful life, if indeed they live at all. Food is also an issue with pregnant women. Simple things like eggs, soft cheese, paté and seafood need to be avoided because of the risk of food poisoning which could kill the baby.

PHOTO 2 – a very pregnant Amber with Bray, leaving town

Tribal pregnancies

Tribal life must be like going back in time in many ways and the Tribal girls must have found it very hard to be pregnant in this post apocalyptic world. No family support, no pain relief, no doctors, and no ultrasounds or blood tests.

Of course, this is the way that women have given birth since time began but many women and babies have also died in the past due to the lack of medical help.

The Tribal girls would have been hard pushed to find enough healthy food to eat during their pregnancies. Plenty of iron (which is found in red meat and green vegetables) is important so that the mother doesn’t develop anaemia, which would leave her feeling very faint and unwell.

Other problems would arise if the mother was diabetic or suffered from high blood pressure. Both these conditions can be fatal if not monitored and treated properly.

PHOTO 3 – Trudy with new born Brady, but feverish already

Trudy suffered terribly after the birth of Brady. She developed a puerperal fever (or childbed fever) which could have been fatal had Dal not been able to find some antibiotics. This fever was actually the biggest killer of women before the Second World War. Trudy then developed postnatal depression and luckily had the help and support of the Mall Rats to get her through this dark time. Some women get so depressed after they give birth that they harm themselves or the baby.

Salene miscarried after falling down the stairs and it was lucky that she recovered well from this. Some women have severe complications after losing a baby and need to have an operation to make sure that the uterus has been cleaned out properly to stop the risk of infection.

Amber lay bleeding in the last episode of Tribe 3 and this can obviously be a very bad sign in childbirth. Hopefully the labour will progress normally and Bray will be able to help with a successful delivery.

A problem the Tribal mothers could encounter after the birth include breastfeeding. Some women develop an infection called mastitis and this needs to be treated quickly with antibiotics. Other women find out that they are just not comfortable or have problems with breast-feeding and so need to bottle feed their babies. And they then need to find formula milk and bottle sterilising equipment. Some babies are allergic to cow’s milk and need to have soymilk.

PHOTO 4 – A very proud Daddy – ZOOT holding Brady in his arms

It takes two to tango…

Of course we have to remember that a woman doesn’t just become pregnant on her own. The father of the child becomes as involved in the pregnancy, decision making and the upbringing of the child as his morals will allow. Imagine having Zoot as your father! BrayRyan and Lex were all happy with the thought of becoming fathers and Bray was very supportive of Trudy during her time of need. In fact Zoot was blown away when he found out that he was a father but we will never know what kind of a daddy he would have made as he was killed soon after this discovery.

Teenage pregnancies

There are many teenage pregnancies all around the world and the Tribal girls were all still teenagers themselves when they discovered that they were pregnant. Some girls find it incredibly hard to make a decision about the best plan of action when they discover they are pregnant. Some decide to terminate their pregnancy but this should never be treated as a form of contraception. Some decide to have their baby adopted. And some decide to battle on and raise the child themselves. Any decision would be a difficult one and should not be made lightly as this is a life in the making. Some girls have great support from friends and family whereas some are not supported at all. Those who become pregnant need all the help and support they can get as well as further education about contraception and safe sex. The Tribal girls were all very lucky to have the help and support of their partners and friends.

Remember…

If you are pregnant and worried about it, please see your GP or go to a Family Planning Clinic as soon as possible. Tell a friend or a teacher at school. But most importantly, tell your parents. This might sound easier than it is but you need the support your parents should offer and they should ultimately respect you for trusting them with the truth. Of course, some parents cannot offer this kind of support and then it is really important that you find somebody else who you trust and can help you through a stressful time. There are support groups throughout the world that have been set up to help pregnant teenagers. Your GP, family planning clinic or school should be able to point you in the right direction.

Other concerns

There are so many sexually transmitted diseases that can be picked up through unprotected sex as well as the HIV virus. Pregnancy is just one concern. What starts off as a bit of harmless fun can develop in to just another unwanted and unloved child in the world or the contraction of a deadly virus. If you are mature enough to have sex, you should be mature enough to realise what the possible consequences of your choice are…and deal with them. There are strict laws in place in most countries about underage sex and the male involved can be arrested and prosecuted for statutory rape.

 

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