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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hold head high while pregnant

Kathy Mitchell And Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: My situation is tough. I am a pregnant teenager, 16 to be exact. Aside from my family and a few friends, no one knows the whole truth, which is that I was raped.

I no longer want to leave my house because I get harassed constantly when I’m out in public. I hear derogatory things like, “There is a baby having a baby.” I am not sure how to address situations like this. There are not many pregnant teenagers in my area. I am only about four months along and excited for my child, but the people in my community are making my life miserable. Is there anything I can possibly do to make them mind their own business? – A Teen in Need

Dear Teen: Not really. It will serve no purpose to hide or be ashamed. This is not your fault. Maintain your dignity at all times and respond politely to anyone who addresses you. Those who look askance at your condition will eventually get used to it and you will be less annoyed by them. In the meantime, if you have not yet had counseling, please contact RAINN (rainn.org) at (800) 656-HOPE (800-656-4673).

Dear Annie: I have finally met the woman who fulfills me in every way. “Nora” is thoughtful, caring, beautiful and, most important, trustworthy. Here is my dilemma: She often has a foul body odor. This turns me off when I would like to be intimate.

Do you know of any female hygiene products I could buy for her that might help? We have a newborn son, and Nora refuses to use an antiperspirant because of the aluminum content. However, the deodorant she currently uses does not seem to be strong enough. Also, she has somewhat hairy armpits, which adds to the problem. She doesn’t believe in shaving them.

Is there a tactful way to approach either of these subjects, or should I just keep my mouth shut? – Holding My Nose

Dear Holding: Some women object to shaving body hair, and if Nora is one of them, we think you should try to accept it as best you can.

The body odor is a different issue, and you should discuss it with her. If she recently gave birth, her hormones may still be a bit out of whack and will settle down over time. It’s also possible she has an infection and should discuss it with her doctor. Otherwise, she can check online or at health food stores for other natural deodorants that may work better. Until then, when you want intimacy, suggest showering together. It can be both sensual and helpful.

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar are longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net.
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