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Breast Feeding

Is Teenage Pregnancy A High Risk?

12/28/2000

Question:

Is teenage pregnecy at high risk?

Answer:

A teenage or adolescent pregnancy may be a high risk pregnancy. However, many factors determine if a particular pregnancy is high risk, and age is just ONE of the factors. During adolescence, physical growth is completed, if pregnancy occurs prior to this time, the pregnant adolescent is at risk for cepholopelvic disproportion (CPD) (a condition when the baby`s head is larger than the mother`s pelvis, requiring a cesarean delivery). Also, during adolescence the nutritional status is often less than desirable. Many adolescents do not drink milk, and are very concerned about their weight; therefore they often develop iron deficiency anemia, and give birth to preterm and low-birth-weight infants. In addition the rate of pregnancy induced hypertension (also called PIH and toxemia) is higher. However, if you are a teenager and pregnant, the most important thing for you to do is to seek prenatal care, and to follow the advise of your health care provider. They will focus YOUR care to meet the needs of you and your growing baby. They will also work with you and your family to discuss your options and to help everyone adapt to the pregnancy. It is EXTREMELY important that you get prenatal care as early as possible, since early and regular prenatal care are associated with a better pregnancy outcome for both mother and baby.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati