Posts Tagged ‘problems’

The risks of teen pregnancy

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

teenage-girl-2For so many women, pregnancy is a wonderful time: full of hope and excitement about a new baby. But for teens, pregnancy brings some  challenges.

Teen mothers and their babies face special health risks. Compared to other pregnant women, the teen mom is more likely to face complications. Examples:  premature labor, anemia and high blood pressure.

Babies born to teen moms are at increased risk of premature birth, low weight at birth, breathing problems, bleeding in the brain,  and vision problems.

Teen pregnancy also affects a young woman’s educational and job opportunities. Teen moms are less likely to graduate from high school than other teenagers. They are also more likely to live in poverty than women who wait to have a baby.

Today is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Teen birth rates in the United States are on the rise again after a steady decline between 1991 and 2005.

If you are a teen, please think carefully about getting pregnant. If you know a teen, help her understand why it’s usually best to delay pregnancy.

For more information, read the March of Dimes fact sheet.

Steroids and preemies

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Often when women go into preterm labor, they are given drugs called steroids to help the underdeveloped lungs of the baby.  Also, premature babies sometimes get these drugs after birth. Lung disease is a serious threat to a baby born too early.

Steroids have helped save the lives of millions of babies. But a new study has found that one type of these drugs called glucocorticoids may damage a baby’s brain and cause developmental problems. The research was done with mice at the Washington University School of Medicine. So it may or not apply to human babies.

In 2002, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that glucocorticoids not be given to babies after birth. But sometimes women at risk of preterm birth still get these drugs. The decision can be difficult, “If I don’t take the drug, my baby may die. If I do, he may have some brain damage.”

The researchers believe that glucocorticoids may be needed in some cases to save a baby’s life. But they hope that, in the future, new drugs will be available that pose no risk to the brain.

The Web site of Washington University has more information.