Teenage Pregnancy: Associated Risks and Health Issues

Teenage pregnancies are alarmingly common these days and are mostly unwanted. It is true that the rate of teenage pregnancy worldwide has reduced in the past couple of decades but the number is still high and needs to be checked. One of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world is in the US where the number is almost 9 times higher than that in other developed countries.

In many ways, getting pregnant as a teenager poses many types of risks to the health of the mother as well as that of the baby. Moreover, it also leads to several other problems such as dropping out of education, poor care of the baby and strained relations. The following is some more information about teenage pregnancy:

teenage pregnancy associated risks and health issuesMedical Risks and Realities of Teenage Pregnancy

  • Lack of prenatal care-most teenage girls who get pregnant are not very well supported by their parents and thus the risk of not getting prenatal care is high. Prenatal care is very important for the birth of a healthy baby and also for the health of the mother after pregnancy. Prenatal care involves proper medical scans, checkups, the right diet, the right supplements and proper rest. In the absence of this care, the mother may be at a risk of developing abnormalities and disorders including birth defects and neural tube defects.
  • High blood pressure-teenagers carrying a baby are at a higher risk of getting high blood pressure. This condition is commonly known as pregnancy induced hypertension. Moreover, they are also at a greater risk of developing preeclampsia.
  • Less weight gain-teenager mothers are also less likely to gain weight during the time of pregnancy which may lead to low birth weight of the baby. This can lead to many disorders in the baby and may also sometimes lead to infant mortality.
  • Lifestyle differences-teenage girls are also more likely to smoke, drink and take drugs during or before pregnancy which too can pose many health risks and problems for the baby.
  • Improper baby nutrition-babies born to teenage mothers are also less likely to get proper nutrition, social stimulation, healthcare and cognitive stimulation. This may lead to lower academic achievements.
  • Abuse and neglect-another risk of a teenage pregnancy is the fact that babies born to teenage mothers are more likely to experience abuse and neglect in their early years of life.
  • It is a fact that girls born to teenage mothers are more likely to become teenage mothers themselves. Infact up to 22% females born to teenage mothers become pregnant during their teenage years.

Teenage pregnancies are a reality and must be minimized as much as possible. All over the world, teenage pregnancies result in the birth of babies who do not receive proper care, proper nutrition, the right education and most of all-the love of a father. Most teenage pregnant females do not marry the father of the baby and this may lead to neglect and abuse of the baby in the lifetime.

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