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Teen Pregnancy

While the trend in teen pregnancy rates tends to be on the decline, approximately one million teenage girls become pregnant each year. Teenagers who have a baby have a 25% chance of becoming pregnant again within two years.

Health Risks to Baby

In order to have a health baby, t is important that pregnant teenage girls learn about proper eating habits. Teenage girls who are pregnant are less likely to gain adequate weight during their pregnancies as compared to adult women. Inadequate weight gain during pregnancy can cause the baby to have a low birth weight and health disorders. Low birth weight babies are also more susceptible to having problems with their organs due to underdevelopment.

Teenage girls are also less likely to get routine prenatal care. A baby who is born to a mother who has not received regular prenatal care is more likely to die before they reach their first birthday.

Teenage girls are more likely to be involved in behaviors that are not beneficial to their baby's health. Unhealthy behaviors may include drinking, smoking or taking drugs during their pregnancy.

The Children of Teenage Mothers

While there are always exceptions, children who are born to teen mothers are less likely to have their health needs met. This can include nutrition, health care, as well as cognitive and social stimulation.

Research shows that a male who is born to a teenage mother is more likely to be put in prison as an adult, versus their peers who were not born to a teenage mother. A female who is born to a teenage mother is more likely become teen mothers than her peers who were not born to a teenage mother.

What You Can Do

  • Teenagers need to have an adult in their lives who will allow them to talk openly and honestly about their feelings, the opposite sex and peer pressure.
  • Teenagers should be made to feel that they are special and loved for who they are. Many teens turn to sex because they do not feel love or accepted at home.
  • Educate your teenager about sex and contraceptives.
  • Teens need to be taught proper communication skills so they can handle the pressures to have sex before they are ready.
  • Foster your teenager’s independence. Show him or her that they do not have to be a follower, but they can be a leader. Teach teenagers that they do not have to engage in any activity just to fit in.

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