For the last four years, we have loaned three ‘virtual babies’ to schools within the Manchester Diocese. We are very much aware of the high teenage pregnancy rate in Manchester and the babies are used to help pupils develop a sense of responsibility towards pregnancy and childbirth.
In addition we have three babies that are used to demonstrate specific conditions: a fetal alcohol affected baby, one showing the effects of drugs taken in pregnancy and a third which demonstrates the effects on the brain when a baby is shaken. These are also being used in schools which are not involved with the programmable babies.
Studies show that using these resources does not in itself reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancies. However, feedback from students indicates that these young people will make more considered choices in the future. One girl explained that having taken a virtual baby home had not put her off pregnancy but she did now realise that a baby needed two parents and a stable family life.
For enquiries about the loan of babies or for more information, please contact Jennifer White at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 723 5537.
(taken from Life Choice Ltd)
Before these babies were invented there was nothing for young people to compare with being a teen parent. The Babies, plus a six week programme, have really worked and with the support of parents and their feedback, adds to the evidence of the project working effectively.