Dilemma: I'm 20, my 19-year-old boyfriend fled after impregnating me, what should I do?

The university student says she is stranded after her teenage boyfriend fled after she conceived. [File, Standard]

On Wednesday, March 29 a university student from Mombasa County wrote to The Standard seeking advice on what she should do after discovering she was pregnant.

Her relationship dilemma was posted on Standard Digital Facebook page, and Kenyans offered her advices.

Below is her dilemma:

Hello Standard,

My name is Safina.

I am 20 years old. I am a student at one of the universities in Mombasa.

I recently discovered that I am seven weeks pregnant. I have contemplated abortion, but I fear the consequences.

The man who sired my baby, a 19-year-old fellow student, has since relocated from Mombasa, and I can’t reach him on phone.

I fear my parents will disown me if I tell them I’m expectant. I’m confused. What should I do?

Kenyans’ advices

Below are some of the advices sampled from Facebook followers who commented on the post.

Hillary Lutta said: “Abortion is only an option if and only the mother’s life is in danger. Carry the pregnancy to term. You won’t regret having the child. Also, ensure your parents know about your situation.”

Moses Wabuya said: “Give birth to the child. You will, thereafter, continue with your education. Pregnancy shouldn’t be the end of life.”

Melisa George said: “You might struggle to raise the child, but you have no other option. Later in life, you will be grateful that you made the right decision. The common mistake we, women, make is sleeping with the wrong men who are not ready for parental responsibilities. Your family won’t forgive you if they discover you had an abortion.”

Prisca Fred said: “Do not abort. Raise the child. The situation serves as a lesson to you on who you should trust your body with. University men rarely embrace parental responsibilities.”

Khalif Kase said: “I am sure that you won’t regret giving birth to the child. Who knows what he or she might become in the future? A president? Maybe.”

Henry Jakogembo said: “Do not see yourself as a letdown to yourself and family. Inform your parents about your pregnancy and take good care of your physical and mental health.”

Baphlyne Amata said: “Prioritise yourself as you make the decision.”

Laura Omondi said: “Your parents will only condemn your act of having sex outside marriage, but not the baby. Children are a gift from God.”

Shiro Sam said: “Children belong to mothers. You have a child growing in you. Take care of him or her, and do not mind what other people think or say.”

Hosea Jabura said: “Keep the pregnancy. Approach your parents through a third party, someone they respect and listen to. Things would, thereafter, fall in place.”

Expert’s advice

Faith Thuo, a Nairobi-based psychologist, advises Safina to keep the pregnancy.

“The young lady should not contemplate aborting the baby. Abortion comes with regrets, lifetime guilt and psychological anguish. In some instances, abortions are deadly, and she might end up losing her life while terminating the pregnancy,” said Thuo.

“I’d advise her to go home and speak to her parents about her situation. She should be remorseful for coming across as having failed them. The experience, though unfortunate, serves as a lesson to her on how she would interact with men moving forward.

“If the baby’s father has decided not to be part of the child’s journey, the young mother can opt for informal jobs as she puts her finances in order. She should also strive to complete her studies. Once she gets a good source of income, and has healed emotionally, she can then decide to get into a new relationship,” added Thuo.