Risk Factors For Teenage Pregnancy.

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Pregnancy is a natural process for women, and while most mature women can handle a pregnancy with minimal complications, a variety of risk factors are associated with teen pregnancy. These are based on the maturity of the mother physically, mentally and emotionally. Teenage pregnancy is difficult on the mother and baby in many ways, and special circumstances are often needed for young mothers and their babies to thrive.
Pregnancy can take a toll on a woman’s body when she is fully mature and at the appropriate childbearing age. Teenagers have an even more difficult time recovering from the physical stress of pregnancy, and the physical complications that may arise can be devastating to the mother and her child. A teenager’s body may not be equipped to handle the growth of a fetus, depending on her age and maturity level, and thus it can be harmful to a baby who is not able to grow to its full potential. Extremely young mothers who have smaller statures may be at higher risk for a cesarean section than adult mothers, as the baby may be too large to fit through the birth canal safely.
Safety comes in the form of where the teenage mother lives, the support she has and the attitude of the father toward the pregnancy. Safety may be a risk if her parents are not supportive, as she may not have a safe place to stay. She may be forced to live in unhealthy, unstable conditions or, in severe cases, a pregnant teenager may be homeless. The attitude of the father toward the baby can also play a role in how safe the mother feels. If he is upset with the pregnancy or blames the mother for what happened, he may become abusive, causing potential harm to the mother and her unborn child.
Education is often a double-edged sword with regards to teenage pregnancy. Often, teenagers who receive a lesser education are at higher risk for pregnancy. This is inversely correlated with socioeconomic status, and those who receive lower quality education may be more likely to become pregnant. On the other hand, many young teenagers who become pregnant during their time at school are likely to drop out. While this is not the case for all teenage pregnancies, a high percentage of them will drop out of school to care for their baby or to get a job to support the baby. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy, an average of 60 percent of teenage mothers will terminate their education early and not return.
Most teenagers are resigned to working minimum wage jobs with inflexible hours. While minimum wage jobs are better than unemployment, the income is typically unable to support the full needs of a family. Often, this means that the mother and/or her baby will be forced to suffer by missing important items such as food, clothing and health care. Supporting a child can be very expensive, and teenagers are less likely to be able to fully support their child without additional support from other resources, such as government financial or housing assistance, (women, infants and children) programs, food stamps, or other means of welfare provided by the state. According to CNN, these programs are designed to help with the financial stressed of raising a baby, but they aren’t always able to provide the full financial support needed to raise a child with increasing food costs and budget cuts.
Any mother will attest to the challenges that come with raising a child. While it is a rewarding relationship for most, there are difficulties that come with it. An adult woman is more likely to be able to handle these, as she has had more life experience than the average teenager. Teenage pregnancies often result in the inability to handle everything that comes with raising a child, and this can result in depression, severe frustration, and, if left without support, can foster a very negative relationship with the child over time. According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, babies born to teenage mothers are 50 percent more likely to become victims of child abuse.

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