Teenage pregnancy is a growing concern worldwide and the influence of media and the internet, tolerance of promiscuity, peer pressure, lack of supervision from adults, lack of knowledge about contraception, sexual abuse, dating violence, socioeconomic factors, age discrepancy in partners and childhood environment of violence have contributed to this.
Normal pregnancy alone already poses danger to a woman beyond 20 years of age, more so, if the woman is a teenager. The primary reason is because of an underdeveloped reproductive system.
Risks to the mother include prolonged labor, placenta previa, pregnancy induced hypertension, significant anemia and toxemia. There are also problems the woman may face like lack of prenatal care resulting to malnutrition, poor eating habits, smoking, abortion, substance abuse, drug dependence and death.
Other than the physical and medical risks of teenage pregnancy, it also brings mental, emotional, psychological and financial problems to the woman and her family.
It is not only the mother who is at risk in teenage pregnancy, but a greater risk is placed on the infant. This is due to poor prenatal condition for the child inside the womb, the resulting effect could be immature organ system (brain, lungs and heart), inability to adapt to the outside temperature, decreased blood sugar levels, mental retardation and death. Babies of teenage mothers are also found to be of low birth weight and are often born premature.
So if you are a teenager and are pregnant at the moment, the best thing to do is to seek a support group and a health provider that will guide you through the process of childbearing and help prepare you for labor and delivery. It will save both your life and your baby.