Pregnancy is one of the pivotal moments of a woman’s life but not when you’re young with a bright future ahead. Teen pregnancy is one of the most difficult experiences any young woman can go through. The stress of pregnancy, revelation of pregnancy to parents, and moving on despite the shame and worry can be nerve-racking. Indeed pregnancy especially during teenhood will never be easy.
According to studies, teenage pregnancies in the United States have decreased steadily over the years. In 1991, there were 60 out of 1000 young women who gave birth and in 1998, 51 out of 1000 gave birth. This decrease may be due to the effective use of birth control and decreased sexual activity among teens.
Yet teen pregnancy rates remain high. According to Women’s Health Channel, in the United States alone, approximately 1 million teenage girls experience pregnancy every year. At least 5% of young girls give birth and in 1997, at least 13% of the births in the US are of teenage girls. Health risks to the baby and children out of teen pregnancy are more likely to experience health, social, and emotional problems. An increased risk for complications such as premature labor in teen pregnancy and socioeconomic consequences are present.
But there are more serious problems for the teenage mothers-to-be than the statistics and how the world views them either negatively or positively. Both the baby and the mother are at risk in major areas of life such as school failure, poverty, and physical or mental illness.
Pregnant teenagers may not seek proper medical care that may lead to a bigger risk of medical complications. In their pregnancy, they need understanding, medical care, and education – particularly in nutrition and complications of pregnancy.
Pregnancy to teenagers brings all sorts of emotions. Some do not want their babies while others feel that its creation is an achievement. Some feel guilty and anxious while others feel that they need to baby to love but not aware of the special care it would need. Also, depression is common during pregnancy in teenagers. And when worse comes to worst, a pregnant teenager may even require the help of a mental health professional.
Teen pregnancy can be risky to unborn babies. Teen pregnancy results to underweight babies, poor eating habits of the teenager, and smoking and drinking tendencies of the pregnant girl. Lastly, pregnant teens are less likely to seek prenatal care.
Unwanted pregnancy can be prevented through open communication and providing guidance regarding sexuality, contraception, and risks and responsibilities of possible pregnancy. Sexual education and family life in schools can also prevent unwanted pregnancies. Finally, support of family and love will greatly help pregnant teens.