When School Lacks Resources, Pregnant Teen Finds Support At UnityPoint In-School Health Clinic

When Tania Quintero was pregnant, she might’ve missed so much more of her high school experience if it wasn’t for the UnityPoint In-School Health Clinic. The Peoria High School student had the unique challenge of attending high school throughout her pregnancy, and school staff didn’t have the resources to help her through it. But with the help of the experienced clinicians at the Unity Point In-School Health Clinic, Tania, now 18, found the support she needed.

When Tania’s pregnancy test came up positive, she was in complete shock. But the UnityPoint In-School Health Clinic staff was there to give her all the information she needed to decide what to do next, like how many weeks pregnant she was, information on a women’s center where she could get an ultrasound, and resources on what her options were.

With such a supportive and non-judgmental staff on-hand, Tania soon found herself stopping in at the clinic regularly to ask questions about her pregnancy, like if the cramps she was experiencing were normal and why her body was changing in certain ways. “They explain everything better than the normal doctor,” Tania says.

But it was late in her pregnancy when Tania really started to lean on the UnityPoint In-School Health Clinic. She says going to the school nurse when she wasn’t feeling well really wasn’t an option if she didn’t want to miss class because the school nurse would’ve just sent her home. That’s why, toward the end of the school year, Tania says she came to the clinic every single day.

“It was pretty hard. We finished school in May, and I was already 10 months pregnant, and we had to walk up and down the stairs a lot, and the [school] nurse really doesn’t tell you what you need to help [feel better]. You just had to go home,” Tania says. But the clinic staff gave her the resources and support she needed to make it through the school day during those final months of the school year — and her pregnancy.

Tania says the UnityPoint In-School Health Clinic is beneficial for students like her because they keep everything confidential. “Some students, including me, at one point we’re afraid to talk, and if we’re trying to get on birth control or something like that, […] I think it’s helpful to know you have somebody to talk to knowing they won’t go and tell your parents,” says Tania.

With graduation on the horizon, Tania is looking into ultrasound technology programs as a potential career path. She was inspired while she was pregnant with her son Edwin, who’s now a healthy eight-month-old boy. She’s looking into colleges now and is looking forward to a bright future for her and her son.

For more information on the In-School Health Clinics or how to enroll your child contact our team at 309-692-6650 or info@hulthealthy.org