Risks Associated with Teen PregnancyJuggling.jpg

There are high risks associated with teenage pregnancy for both you and the baby.
Risks for you (the mother) include:
  • Alienation from peers
  • Academics
    • less than 1/2 of teenage mothers graduate high school
    • less than 2% get a college degree by age 30
    • 50% more likely to repeat a grade in school
  • If you don’t finish high school you can’t get a job which means you can’t pay for new clothes, diapers, food, or bills
  • Teens have a higher risk for complications during the pregnancy than older women which can make you and your baby sick or even die:
    • Pregnancy-induced hypertension (aka high blood pressure)
    • Anemia (not enough red blood)-see Nutrition
    • Obstructed labor
    • Uterine rupture
    • Preterm labor
  • Depression after the pregnancy is common related to a lack of support, isolation from family/friends, financial pressures, and negative societal attitudes
  • Death—4 times the risk of maternal death than women over 20 years of age

Risks for baby:
  • Premature birth and low birth weight
  • Abuse and neglect related to the mother being unsure of her roles and responsibilities
  • Birth defects related to poor nutrition and/or exposure to harmful substances
  • 50%LBW_Baby.jpg higher death rate compared to older mothers

Before getting pregnant, try to think in the long-term. Do you want any of these things to happen to you or your potential baby?

References:
Medline Plus. (2010). Teenage pregnancy. Retrieved from www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/teenagepregnancy.html
Braine, T. (2009). Adolescent pregnancy: a culturally complex issue. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 87(6), p. 410-411.
Mahavarkar, S.H., Madhu, C.K., & Mule, V.D. (2008). A comparative study of teenage pregnancy. Journal of Obstetrics and Gyneaecology, 28(6), p. 604-607.