Risks of Teenage Pregnancy

There are many risks of teenage pregnancy for both the young mother and her baby. Some of these risks of teenage pregnancy are health related, but there are also plenty of risks associated with other aspects of being pregnant especially for teen mothers.

Teens are at the higher risk for health problems during pregnancy and for the baby. The reason for this is because many teens who get pregnant are not fully developed and have issues with the toll pregnancy takes on their body. Babies of teen mothers might end up underdeveloped or low birth weight as well as other potential issues. Keep reading to learn more about the risks of teenage pregnancy.

Risks of teenage pregnancy:

With about 40 teenage girls getting pregnant out of every 1,000, the number of pregnant teens is still relatively high in the United States in comparison to other developed countries despite a slight decrease in the number of pregnant teens in recent years. Those teens that are at risk of becoming pregnant are often uneducated, may be of minority decent, live in poor economic conditions and are often of a single parent household. This data is conclusive from statistics tracking teens who are most at risk for teenage pregnancy. Prevention and education efforts are the best way to decrease the risks of teenage pregnancy. Teens who practice safe sex using condoms and birth control or even practice abstinence are the least likely candidates for an unplanned teen pregnancy. In these other situations, teens are not educated when it comes to practicing safe sex and often do no know what they are doing to prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Teens who are promiscuous and do no practice safe sex exhibit risks of teenage pregnancy. These reasons are why education about safe sex and abstinence are essential to any teen’s education. As a parent it is important to talk to your teen about these kinds of issues. You may think they won’t become exposed or be at risk of teenage pregnancy until they are older, but statistics are showing that teen pregnancy is happening at younger and younger ages. Talk to your teen before they learn about sex and the incorrect information about sex from their friends and peers. There are so many teen pregnancy myths that parents should work to dispel for their teen with the facts before it is too late.

Other risks of teenage pregnancy:

As previously mentioned, there are many health risks for both the mother and the baby in cases of teenage pregnancy. Because teen moms often do not have access to prenatal care, they are less likely to receive the proper health and nutrition during the gestation period. They are also less likely to be healthy prior to getting pregnant, which can affect their overall health as well as that of the baby. Because prenatal care is so important, especially during the early months of the pregnancy, not having access to this can cause a number of things to go wrong during  the pregnancy or deliver. Some of these negative results can end up with the baby having severe mental retardation and other birth defects. In the worst case scenario, the baby can even be stillborn or have such severe health results they do not make it past infancy. High blood pressure among teens is also a risk of teenage pregnancy. Pregnancy-induced hypertension often occurs during teen pregnancy, which also increases their risk for preeclampsia. This is a dangerous medical condition combining high blood pressure with excess proteins found in the urine. This causes swelling of the mother’s hands, face and may damage the internal organs. These are all medical risks of teenage pregnancy. However, with the proper treatment, they can be prevented and treated properly. If not prevented or treated, they can disrupt the growth process of the unborn baby. This is often why teen mothers face the increased risk of premature birth, which can result in so many other health problems for the baby as well possible early death.

There are also other issues and risks of teenage pregnancy that aren’t exactly medically related. Because teens are often not fully emotionally developed they find an increased risk of emotional issues like postpartum depression and anxiety. Many teens do not know how to relate to their peers anymore  because they find facing the responsibility of teenage pregnancy changes their life focus and they don’t have as much in common with their old friends. Teen moms also have trouble relating to older mothers too because they are at different places in their life. This is a problem because the teen feels alone and isolated in addition to so many of the other emotional issues they face as a first-time mother.

Preventing the risks of teenage pregnancy:

The best way to avoid the risks of teenage pregnancy is to practice safe sex or abstinence and not get pregnant in the first place. However, if it is already too late and you are a teen facing the risks of teenage pregnancy, it is a good idea to get early prenatal care. Even if you think you can’t afford to see a doctor, there are financial assistance programs offered by the hospital and state in order to ensure you receive quality prenatal care to protect your life and the life of your unborn baby. Stay away from negative vices like alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. All of these substances negatively affect your pregnancy and can lead to serious development problems and even death in your unborn child. Be sure to ask for emotional support. Going through a pregnancy can be tough for anyone, but especially a teen mom. Talk to your parents, friends and other family and see professional help if necessary. Through these steps you can actively prepare to have a healthy pregnancy.

Sources: webmd.com