Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy
One major problem that can be faced by parents is issue of teenage pregnancy. Teenage girls between 13 and 17 years of age who get pregnant often totally unaware of the consequences of teenage pregnancy. Pregnancy during this period of life can cause many trials and tribulations, not just for the teen, but also for the wider family. The most common consequences of pregnancy experienced by teens are economic and social strife, moral confusion and potential severe health risks and complications.
The common consequences faced by teen mothers during pregnancy are:
To Keep the Baby or Not:
The very first dilemma faced by a pregnant teen is whether to keep the baby or not. Most of them may not be ready to be parents and think of terminating the pregnancy. They believe that this is the best option to get rid of the situation. If they decide to have the baby then they are faced with another dilemma i.e. whether they want to raise the baby or give it away for adoption. Many teens oppose abortion and yet feel incapable of caring for a baby at that point of their lives. Teens in this situation can opt for surrogate motherhood or adoption.
There are many consequences that can affect the health of teenagers. As they are more likely to smoke, drink and abuse drugs, this may result in loss of weight and can eventually lead to low birth weight of the baby. They are at risk of premature birth which again leads to low birth weight. Babies with a smaller birth weight may have underdeveloped organs which can lead to serious health problems during life. Health problems in babies may include intestinal complications, infant mortality, loss of vision, lung problems, respiratory distress syndrome and brain hemorrhage.
As teenagers are unaware of the regular parental care required to care for a baby, their inability to offer this to the child may affect the baby and the baby may die in the first year due to lack of proper nurturing. Teenagers should avoid abusing any substance both prior to and after the birth in order to improve the health of the baby.
Teenagers may have to face lots of social consequences along with health risks. They have to face the reactions from their parents and may even get alienated from their friends. Most of the teens find it very hard to let go of their pre-pregnancy lives and to take responsibility of being a parent and it is often the fact that the father and mother of the baby, split up due to immaturity, leaving the (often) the mother to single the parent the child for the remainder of its upbringing.
Pregnant teens often experience great difficulty in managing their finances as they are forced to drop out of their schools. About only 33% of these teens earn high school diploma so finding a decent job afterwards can be very difficult due to their shortened education. About 80% of the teens rely on welfare and this may result in poor care and nutrition for both the baby and parents.