Teenage pregnancy has seen a considerable drop after attaining an all time high in the 1990’s. However, it still remains an important health issue, significant in the developing countries of the world. An estimated 15-20% of the total deliveries in a year constitute of teenage mothers. Medically, teenage mothers are at a high risk of various health problems such as anemia, pre-term labor along with cesarean section and other complications. Such pregnancy complications are also one of the major reasons for death toll of teenage mothers going to a high number of about 70,000 girls across the globe every year.
Clinically, teenage mothers are at a very high risk of eclampsia, pre-eclampsia and anemia. Not only the mother but their off-spring is also at a higher risk of prematurity and still birth. Infants born to a teenage mother is likely to have lower birth weight than an average infant born to an older woman.
There are a lot of body changes that happen during pregnancy and when a teenage girl conceives, it becomes more complicated as the expecting mother is still a growing child. Pelvis bones do not generally attain their maximum size before the age of 18 that does not allow the teenage mother to deliver a normal size baby through the vaginal area.
Babies born to teenage mothers are more likely to die in the first year of their life as compared to those born to women above the age of 20 years. Besides the medical complications for a teenage mother, such babies are at a higher risk of poor overall development than the regular babies. Most teenage mothers are socially deprived and are subject to bad eating habits in spite of actually needing double nourishment. Mental stress and trauma in some cases result in further complications in such kind of pregnancies.
Prenatal care is of huge importance during this period and many of the teenage mothers are deprived of it due to the lack of their social acceptance and family support. Also, teenage expecting mothers are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure than normal mothers above the age of 20 years. They are more likely to develop problems such as depression, shame, guilt. Most of the times, the teenage fathers opt out of the burden of bearing the responsibility of the child and that results in additional stress for the teenage mother.
Dealing with teenage pregnancy issues is a problem yet to be handled in a more strategic manner. The rise in the use of contraceptives is still unable to curb this issue especially in the rural areas. Proper education and guidance would mean a lot to the youngsters who venture into unprotected pleasure.