Posts Tagged ‘teenage’

Teen pregnancy

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

bellyOver the past 20 years, the rate of teen girls having children has dropped by about 40% to its lowest level since they began keeping records 70 years ago. That’s good news, but it’s not great. 

Did you know that, according to the CDC, teen birth rates in the US are up to 9 times higher than in most other developed countries? Hispanic and black teen girls are about 2-3 times more likely to give birth than white teen girls. Girls born to teen parents are almost 33% more likely to become teen parents themselves. Only about 50% of teen mothers get a high school diploma by age 22, compared with 90% of teen girls who do not have a baby. And, at the risk of sounding crass, teen childbearing costs US taxpayers about $9 billion each year.

Premature birth is a big issue for us, as you know. But did you know that teen moms are more likely than moms over age 20 to give birth prematurely? Many teens smoke and babies of women who smoke during pregnancy are at increased risk for premature birth, low birthweight and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). These moms have an increased risk for pregnancy complications, including placental problems, anemia, and high blood pressure.

Teenage mothers are more likely to have a low-birthweight baby and most low-birthweight babies are born prematurely. Babies who are premature and low birthweight may have organs that are not fully developed. This can lead to breathing problems, such as respiratory distress syndrome, bleeding in the brain, vision loss and serious intestinal problems. Babies of teenage mothers are more likely to die in the first year of life than babies of women in their 20s and 30s. The risk is highest for babies of mothers under age 15.

So, it’s good news that the teen birth rate has dropped, but we still have a long way to go to give every baby a healthy start. The reality of these facts and figures may surprise some people – serious complications exist for the young. Help us spread the word.

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.