Complications And Risks Of Teenage Pregnancy
Teenage pregnancy has always been a burning issue in USA. In recent years aggressive campaigning, warnings from major health organizations and media promotions have increased awareness about teenage pregnancy. According to the latest teenage pregnancy facts released by CDC, teenage pregnancy rates have declined by 37% from 1991 to 2009 in USA. Despite the decline, health experts say that teenage pregnancy is still a major issue of concern since the rates of teenage pregnancies are approximately nine times higher in USA, as compared to other developed countries.
In a statement, Thomas R. Frieden, director of CDC commented, Though we have made progress in reducing teen pregnancy over the past 20 years, still far too many teens are having babies. Preventing teen pregnancy can protect the health and quality of life of teenagers, their children, and their families throughout the United States. According to the opinion of experts, teenage pregnancy is more complicated than adult pregnancy and is associated with physical, emotional, financial and psychological risks, both for the expectant mom and the baby.
Medical risks of teenage pregnancy
According to National Institutes of Health, teenage pregnancy poses health risks and can even result in illness and death. This has been proved by a teenage pregnancy report published by UNICEF, which states that approximately 70,000 teenagers die every year from pregnancy-related complications. It further states that the baby is at 60% greater risk of dying within one year of age, if the mother is less than 18 years, at the time of giving birth. CDC data shows that teenage pregnant women suffer from health complications because they are unaware of the importance of a healthy pregnancy diet and hardly consider the pregnancy tips. According to ACOG, pregnant teenagers also have higher chances of experiencing preterm labor.
Psychological and emotional risks of teenage pregnancy
Adolescence is a period of intense conflict and emotional turmoil. The issue of pregnancy can result in extra pressure and confusion for the teenage mother and she can end up suffering from serious emotional and psychological problems. Experts opine that during pregnancy, the teenage mom can feel alienated from her peers, experience poverty due to lack of a regular job and depression.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states that after discovering the early signs of pregnancy, teenagers often experience conflicting emotional reactions towards the yet-to-be born baby. Since they do not have much knowledge about healthy pregnancy and motherhood, they are usually overwhelmed by fear and anxiety. Experts say that the intense emotional reaction can cause undue stress, resulting in the neglect of the child by the teen mother.
Financial and social risks of teenage pregnancy
According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 90% of pregnant teenagers decide to give birth, which can result in financial hardships for the mother and the baby. ACOG data reveals that teenage moms usually drop out of school/college to seek employment and are more likely to be associated with low-income jobs. CDC states that low income can affect the health of the teenage mother and the newborn baby, since studies indicate that low income often leads to poor health.
According to CDC, pregnancy during teenage are associated with social risks as well. Babies born to teenage mothers remain highly dependent on public health care and are more likely to suffer from chronic medical conditions. This places a greater burden on the society. In fact, ACOG states that the yearly cost of teen pregnancy in USA is approximately $7 billion.
Experts agree that teenage pregnancy is associated with various risks and complications. Studies indicate that teens are becoming sexually active at a young age and therefore, proper steps must be taken for dealing with this problem.