Welcome to AAP Voices, the official blog of the American Academy of Pediatrics, where AAP member pediatricians and others share their perspectives on a wide variety of topics relating to children's health and wellness.
Helping Kids Raising Kids
Margaret Ellis, DO, MSPH and Emily Ross, MD
(May 23, 2017)
When we first met Blanca, she was five months
pregnant and in a totally unfamiliar place, having just immigrated from Central
America. Leaving her entire family behind, she had braved the border crossing
in an attempt to make a better life for herself and her unborn child. The
victim of gang violence and rape, Blanca had seen and experienced more in her
14 years than we can even imagine.
In our university-based medical clinic, we see pregnant girls as young as 11. Often, these young patients face some of the same risks their own parents did, and are caught up in a multi-generational cycle of poverty, educational barriers, stress.