Teen Pregnancy and It's Effects

Published: 22nd February 2008
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Teen pregnancies are still the norm in much of the developing world. Each child born to a young girl normally is considered a blessing.
Despite the fact that the teen birth rate is slowly falling, there are still an estimated one million teen pregnancies in the United States alone. About 85% of these pregnancies are unplanned, which in any population can increase the risk for problems. The biggest risk for teen mothers is delaying prenatal care or worse, 7.2% received no care at all.
The reason for lack of prenatal care is usually delayed pregnancy testing, denial or even fear of telling others about the pregnancy. Most states have a health department or University clinic where prenatal care is free or low cost and patient confidentiality is very important, meaning no one can tell the teen mother's family.
Teenage mothers are less likely to gain adequate weight during their pregnancy, leading to Low Birth weight which is associated with infant and childhood disorders and a high rate of infant mortality. Low-birth weight babies are more likely to have organs that are not fully developed, which can result in complications such as bleeding in the brain, respiratory distress syndrome, and intestinal problems.
Children born to teenage mothers are less likely to receive proper nutrition, health care, and cognitive and social stimulation. As a result, they may have an underdeveloped intellect and attain lower academic achievement.

Effects

Effects of teen pregnancies on the children involved. These children are far more likely to grow up in poverty, to have more health problems, to suffer from higher rates of abuse and neglect, to fail in school, to become teen mothers, to commit delinquent acts and adult crimes, and to incur failed adult marriages and other relationships.




The burdens of early childbearing on disadvantaged teens are undeniable. Trying to untangle the factors which contribute to teenage pregnancy from its effects, however, leads to a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" dilemma. Educational failure, poverty, unemployment and low self-esteem are understood to be negative outcomes of early childbearing. These circumstances also contribute to the likelihood of teen pregnancy.

In general, teen mothers have much lower levels of educational attainment than other women, which severely limit their career options and sharply increase their likelihood of economic dependency. Only 70% of teen mothers complete high school or earn a GED, and far fewer risk Factors. Although it is not inevitable, some life circumstances place girls at higher risk of becoming teen mothers. These include poverty, poor school performance, growing up in a single parent household, having a mother who was an adolescent mother, or having a sister who has become pregnant.

Teenage pregnancies have become a public health issue because of their observed negative effects on perinatal outcomes and long-term morbidity. The association of young maternal age and long-term morbidity is usually confounded, however, by the high prevalence of poverty, low level of education, and single marital status among teenage mothers.

Children of teenage mothers have significantly higher odds of placement in certain special education classes and significantly higher occurrence of milder education problems, but when maternal education, marital status, poverty level, and race are controlled, the detrimental effects disappear and even some protective effects are observed.

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Comments
Maggie_Coleford on September 5, 2011 said:
Teens, who are carrying a baby to term, have special health concerns, and your child will have a healthier pregnancy - emotionally and physically - if she knows she doesn't have to go it alone
Teen Pregnancy on September 5, 2011 said:
Teenage pregnancy is formally defined as a pregnancy in a young woman who has not reached her 20th birthday when the pregnancy ends.
Emma on September 9, 2011 said:
There are many stereotypes linked to teen pregnancies, however they are not all bad. Some teens make great parents and should not always be judged in a nagative light. Not all teen mums are single parents and those with the support from the babies father throughout the pregnancy are much more likely to give birth to a healthy baby and be good quality parents.
Judy on May 8, 2012 said:
Thanks for this article, I was amazed to read that more than 1 million teenagers get pregnant. This truly is a big issue for our society, and not an easy one to tackle. Whilst I believe that teenagers can be a good parents its hard to see how a child can get everything that they need, when typically their parents will still be at college.
Hayley on May 8, 2012 said:
I think that to some extent teenage pregnancy has been glamorized by the media, in the United Kingdom teenage girls can get a house and $1,000's of dollars of benefits per month, making this almost a lifestyle choice for some girls. A worrying trend, which needs careful regulation.
Rebeccas on May 8, 2012 said:
Have you watched teen mum? I love it!
Hiding pregnancy on May 8, 2012 said:
Sorry to go off on a tangent but I just read a great article about hiding your pregnancy, seems its something of an issue for TV programs that have to cope with production schedules that not match up to the human schedules. LOL Check my name for the link.
Teen pregnancy on January 27, 2013 said:
Like it or not teen pregnancy is a feature of our society, as long as their are girls of child bearing age there will be teen pregnancies, education can help, but the natural instinct is to reproduce and that is hard to resist!

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