Teenage Pregnancy Complications

The March of Dimes which is a well known American health charity organization, whose aim is to improve the health of babies by preventing premature birth, infant mortality and birth defects. According to this organization, America has the maximum number of teenage pregnancies. Pregnant teenagers are at a high risk of pregnancy complications. Premature birth, Poor health habits, and sexually transmitted diseases can take a toll on the teenage mother and the unborn baby. Some of the complications are listed below:

Premature Birth

  • Teenage mothers are at a higher risk of delivering premature babies or low birth weight babies.
  • Premature babies have immature organs and the lungs especially are not matured which results in respiratory dysfunction.
  • The baby may be placed on a ventilator till the lungs start functioning normally.
  • These babies also can suffer from bleeding in the brain, intestinal problems and vision loss.
  • According to the March of Dimes babies born to teenagers are 100 times more prone to die in the first years of life.
  • Teens who do not gain weight are three times more likely to have a preterm birth.
  • Among all the races, African-American teens have a high risk of giving birth to low-birth weight babies.

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD’S)

  • Unsafe sexual practices can put these teens to contract sexually transmitted diseases.
  • There are approximately nineteen million occurrences of STD’s every year within the 15-24 age group.
  • Chlamydia infection is another STD that is transmitted during the birth process to the baby.
  • This infection causes pneumonia and severe eye infections.
  • Syphilis is another disease transmitted sexually that causes blindness and infant or maternal death.
  • Gonorrhea is an infection that may cause blindness, meningitis, septic arthritis and pneumonia in the newborn.
  • HIV that causes AIDs also can be transmitted to the newborn through the placenta.

Health Habits

  • Many teens have very poor diets.
  • Many do not take prenatal vitamins and seek prenatal care.
  •  Some abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse can put the infants at a greater risk for chemical dependence, infections and poor intrauterine growth.
  • According to the March of Dimes, more teenage girls smoke then women who are 25 years and older.
  • Smoking is another reason for premature birth, placental problems and sudden infant death syndrome.
  •  Babies born to teens who are addicted to methamphetamine or cocaine also have withdrawal symptoms. They will give high pitched screams and have difficulty feeding.

1 response to Teenage Pregnancy Complications

  1. Awesome column , I am going to spend more time learning about this subject

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