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Effects of Teenage Pregnancy

by
author image Julia Bodeeb
Julia Bodeeb started online writing in 2007. She also worked on staff in medical publishing for more than a decade as a reporter, managing editor and in book acquisitions. She won a Pulitzer Center Global Issues/Citizen Voices Award in 2008. Bodeeb has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Monmouth University and postgraduate credits in psychology and law.
Effects of Teenage Pregnancy
Young woman reading a pregnancy test. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Overview

Teenage pregnancy is a serious issue that may seriously impact the future of a young woman. Any teen pregnancy will be a challenge as teens typically lack skills needed to handle a pregnancy and motherhood. Patience, maturity and ability to handle stress are required by pregnant mothers of all ages. A teen pregnancy may also impact the baby. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that babies born to teens may have weaker intellectual development and lower skill set scores at kindergarten. They may also have ongoing medical issues and behavioral issues.

Medical Complications

Medical complications often occur in pregnant teenagers, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Too often, teens do not seek adequate medical care during the pregnancy. Complications that may occur during a teen pregnancy include anemia, toxemia, high blood pressure, placenta previa and premature birth of the baby. Ongoing medical care is crucial to prevent these complications from threatening the pregnancy and the mother's well being.

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Emotional Crisis

A teenager may suffer an emotional crisis if she becomes pregnant and does not want the baby. This crisis may lead to rash behavior such as attempting to self-abort the baby or a suicide attempt.

Worries about Future

Uncertainty about the future may arise when a teen is pregnant. A teen may feel she does not have enough knowledge to be a mother. She may also have fears about how having a baby will impact her own life and dreams for the future.

Delayed Education

Education may be put on hold when a teen becomes pregnant. Some pregnant teens may decide to leave high school. Others who were planning to attend college in the future may put off that experience after becoming pregnant. They may decide to focus on the baby or getting married rather than pursuing further education.

Smoking & Drugs

Smoking and drug use may be problematic during a teen pregnancy. A teen may not have the willpower to stop using substances that can harm the developing baby.

Exhaustion

Exhaustion may arise during a pregnancy. A pregnant teen should try to exercise during the pregnancy; however, if exhaustion arises it is important to know that this is often a normal part of pregnancy. Getting the standard 8 hours of sleep every night (or more) is important.

Depression

Depression may arise when a teenager is pregnant. The teen may fall into a depression while trying to handle the emotions a pregnancy creates and all of the possibly negative feedback about the pregnancy from friends and family. The fluctuating hormones that a pregnancy causes may also prompt depression.

Neglect of Baby

Once their baby is born, teenagers may not be willing or able to give it the undivided attention it needs. A teen may not be an adequate mother because she is overwhelmed by the constant needs of the baby. She may grow annoyed at the lack of freedom to interact with her peer group due to the baby.

Trouble with Finances

Financial difficulty may arise during a teen pregnancy or after the baby is born. It is expensive to raise a baby. Teens who do not have full-time employment may struggle to cover the basic expenses of life upon having a baby.

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References

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