Teenage Pregnancy Complications

Teenage Pregnancy Complications

The US has been battling teenage pregnancy for decades now, and it was usually high in the year 2010 when compared other developed nations, according to the CDC. As teenage pregnancies increase, so also teenage pregnancy complications. As a result, many babies are either born preterm or are stillborn.


There are many reasons for teenage pregnancy complications. The first and foremost is that teenage girls often do not receive prenatal care that they ought to. These girls do not eat properly, as a pregnant woman should do, they do not take the vitamins that pregnant women should take, and usually they try and lose the weight they gain while they are pregnant. In addition, many teenage girls also resort to illicit drug use, smoking and alcohol consumption during their pregnancy which has a harmful effect on the growing fetus. As per WHO, the pelvis of a woman is not fully developed until she reaches 18 years and hence, teenage girls find it difficult to give natural birth during labor, which leads to several other complications for the mother as well as the baby.

Some of the common teenage pregnancy complications are as follows:

When a woman gets pregnant, her hemoglobin count should be a minimum of 11 g/dl. If it is less than this, the woman is considered to be anemic. Anemia is significantly high among pregnant teenage girls compared to older pregnant woman. This anemia is not age related. Rather it is because of the poor eating habits that teenage girls have. As a result many teenage girls suffer from iron-deficiency anemia as well as folic acid deficiency, which can result in neural tube defect. Also, when a teenage girl is anemic, it can increase the chances of the girl dying during childbirth, according to WHO.

Another teenage pregnancy complication is preterm birth. Girls under 18 years have a higher chance of going into labor before their 37th week of pregnancy. This can result in the death of the baby. Even if the teenage girl gets sufficient prenatal care and good nutrition during pregnancy, the chances of preterm birth among teenage girls is high compared to older women, as per WHO.

When a baby is less than 5.5 lbs at birth, it is considered as low birth weight. Many teenage girls tend to smoke even while they are pregnant and this reduces the oxygen reaching the growing fetus. As a result, the baby is born with low birth weight. This can also occur due to poor eating habits while being pregnant. It has been observed by the Western Michigan University that around ten percent of pregnant teenage girls give birth to low birth weight babies. Such babies are likely to suffer from physical, psychiatric as well as behavioral issues.

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