Everyday young girls are faced with life changing decisions, whether or not to tell someone their pregnant or might be pregnant. Teens fear what others will say about them or how their family and friends will react to them being pregnant. What teens do not realize is by not seeking help or informing someone their pregnant, they place themselves and their children in harm’s way. Starting the moment they become pregnant their chances of having health risk, during the pregnancy has already begun.
There are several consequences and health risks that effect teens during and after pregnancy such as: gaining too much weight, not gaining enough weight, use of drugs, alcohol and smoking, infections caused by STDs, lack of nutrition, premature birth, death, substandard or insufficient education, abuse and neglect, crime and having more children. Effects on Mother Teenagers are not as educated about pregnancy as many adults are, because of this they do not understand how important it is to receive prenatal care, and several teenagers do not receive prenatal care until late into their pregnancy and some not at all (Miller, 2006).
Most of the time teens are afraid to tell someone their pregnant or even might be pregnant because they are ashamed and afraid. Majority of teenagers are usually in denial about being pregnant they feel if they do not acknowledge being pregnant then they will not truly be pregnant, which in return pushes the chance of receiving prenatal care back further. When teens do not receive prenatal care they have less chances of detecting problems early. Prenatal care can help educate teens on some of the right things to do during pregnancy to help avoid some of the health risks associated with beginning pregnant so young.
One of the main health risk teens face during pregnancy is gaining too much weight (“Pregnancy and Nutrition,” 2000). This is caused by not eating the proper foods, lack of exercise, and not knowing what is good for them or the baby. Gaining too much weight can also cause them to be tired all the time, not have much energy and it also can cause their blood pressure to be high, which increases a chance of a stroke, or even cause sugar problems, which leads to diabetes. Some teens even have back problems from carrying all the extra weight around.
Another health risk pregnant teens are faced with is not gaining enough weight (Hoffman, 2008). This is usually caused by poor nutrition, a lack of eating the proper foods and not taking prenatal vitamins regularly or not at all. Teenagers tend to eat tons of junk foods that are high in sugar and fat. During pregnancy teens should eat healthier foods to help give the baby the nutrition needed to grow strong and healthy, also to help keep them healthy as well. A third health risk would be the use of drugs alcohol and smoking during pregnancy (McClure, 2007).
The effects of these substance can be harmful to a mother, and her child during pregnancy. The use of any of these three substances can make a teen mother go into early labor, cause the child to be still born, cause the child to be born addicted to any one of these substance, cause the mother to have a higher chance of having a tube cal pregnancy, a higher chance of becoming infertile, a higher chance of the placenta separating, and just increasing the chance of a complicated pregnancy. A fourth risk would be the teen’s emotions. During pregnancy the teen normally become emotional.
Some teens are torn between keeping their baby, giving their baby up for adoption or terminating the pregnancy all together. Some teens feel ashamed that they are pregnant at such a young age others feel as if they are trapped; some even believe that they are loved now that they have a baby; some feel as if they are alone with no one to turn to. As a teenager their emotions are already all over the place so during pregnancy teens seem to be a little more sensitive. Teens seem to have a higher rate of having depression after the baby is born.
The final health risk pregnant teens face is infection in the uterus. Most infections in the uterus are caused by contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). STDs can cause cancer to the cervix, premature labor; infection in the uterus after the baby is born, and increases the chances of having to have a c-section and even can rupture the membranes that surround the baby in the uterus. To lower the chances of getting STDs condoms should be used during intercourse this will help protect the mother and the baby from infections caused from STDs (Hoffman, 2008).
Effects on the baby One of the health risks babies’ face is lack of nutrition, this can lead to all kind, of birth defects (“Teen Pregnancy,” 2000). For instance, if a mother gets diabetes from too much junk food or other bad eating habits during pregnancy then the infant can be born over weight, with low blood sugar problems and possibly breathing problems. The baby may also experience social and emotional problems as well. The infant usually spends 40 weeks in the womb and during this time they need vitamins and nutrition.
If the child does not remain in the womb 40 weeks they do not receive enough vitamins and nutrition. A second health risk babies face is being born premature (McClure, 2007). They usually are born with low birthrate. This occurs when the infant is born weighting 5. 5 pound or less (Hoffman, 2008). When an infant is born small like this they usually have to be put into an incubator because they have problems controlling their body temperature. Sometimes they need to be placed on a ventilator for help with breathing because their lungs did not have a chance to develop fully.
Babies born early may have problems controlling their sugar levels as well. Normally premature infant’s hearts are under developed causing heart problems, the brain is usually under developed causing possible mental retardation, cerebral, hypothermia, chronic lung disease, autism, and even psychological damage. There are a variety of problems that infants are at a higher risk of obtaining if born premature. The third health risk would be the effects of the mother smoking during pregnancy (McClure, 2007).
For instance, it can cause the oxygen supply to the baby to be reduced, slow the growth of the of fetus down, reduce blood flow to the baby because the mother blood vessel are narrower, weaken the infants breathing after birth, causes mucus to block the babies airway, increase the changes of SIDS, slows down mental and academic performance, cause the child to be hyperactive, and have behavioral problems later in life (Swierzewski, 2009). All these things affect the child if a mother smokes during pregnancy. The final risk for infants is death, an infant’s body that is under nourished, under developed and underweight can all lead to death.
Even after birth an infant born to a teen mother has a higher chance of dying all the way up too there first birthday ( Swierzewski, 2007). Infants can die during the birth from the umbilical cord being wrapped around a part of the baby’s body in the womb, stress which can cause the infant to pass a bow movement while still in the womb. Even after birth children still can die from, SIDS usually within the first 6 months of their life or just from accidents. Consequences of teen pregnancy One consequence would be incomplete education.
So many teenagers drop out of school after having their babies, some even while they are pregnant. There is a small amount of teens that go on to receive their high school diploma even less go on to college. When teenager drops out of school they have a hard time finding a decent paying job to take care of themselves and their baby because of lack of education. This leads to teens being on welfare, for a source of income to supply the needs of their baby and themselves. There are cases when teen live in poverty with their children because of lack of education for a job. A second consequence would be abuse and neglect.
So many teenagers know so little about raising a child which sometimes leads to neglect or abuse. Some teens get irritated, easy because the baby is crying all night so they just let them cry. This is a form of neglect as well as not feeding the baby when they are hungry. Leaving a child in a solid draper all day is a form of neglect and abuse. A third consequence would be having more children and getting involved in crime. When a teenager has a child as a teen the chances of them having another child before their in their 20’s is high. A good percent of children who had teen parents end up being teen parents themselves.
There is a high rate of boys that father children as teen who get involved in criminal activities and teen mothers due to stress and other problems. After reading about all the problems that teen mothers and their children can go through by being pregnant at such a young age do they still want to have unprotected sex? What about all the things they miss out on or are not able to provide to themselves and their children is this the life they want to live? Is there help for our young teens? Who do they turn to? How do they go about getting informed or what to do? What is more important?