By: Kaylyn Dubbs
Facts and Figures
- 3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. That’s nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year.
- Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school. More than 50% of teen mothers never graduate from high school.
- About 25% of teen moms have a 2nd child within 24 months of their first baby.
- Less than 2% of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30.
- The U.S. is one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world.
- Babies born to teenage mothers are more likely to die in the first year of life compared with babies born to mothers older than 20 years of age.
- 8 out of 10 teen dads don’t marry the mother of their child.
- A sexually active teen who doesn't use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year.
- Almost 50% of teens have never considered how a pregnancy would affect their lives.
- Teens had fewer babies in 2010 than in any year since the mid-1940's.
Heath and Risks
- There are special risks to a baby when the mother is not fully mature. Most teenagers are not psychically, emotionally, or financially ready to carry and care for a child, their babies tend to have low birth weight and have a high risk in having a disease.
- Teen mothers are at greater risk of having medical complications. The teenage mother is more likely to receive little or no prenatal care, she often becomes anemic and is more likely to develop preeclampsia, a severe condition associated with high blood pressure.
- Vitamin deficiencies are more common, the teenage mother's weight gain is likely to be inadequate, since the teenage mother is still growing herself, she needs to eat properly not only for her own growth but for normal growth of the baby.
- Pelvic bones don't reach their maximum size until about the age of 18, so the pelvis of the teenage mother may not have grown enough to allow vaginal delivery of a normal-size baby, So having a c-section is high in teens.
- The teenage mother is less likely to eat correctly during pregnancy, her baby often has a low birth weight (less than 51/2 pounds), making it more likely the baby will become ill.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can Cause Pregnancy? What can't?
The following activities carry the highest risk of pregnancy:
- intercourse, with or without protection
- contact between the female genital area and sperm or pre-ejaculatory fluid
- anal sex if any sperm makes contact with female genital area.
The following activities will not ever cause pregnancy:
- holding hands
- heavy petting or making out with clothing on
- making out in a hot tub or swimming pool
- touching of genitals with hands
- homosexual relations
Does using Birth Control mean you're safe?
- No birth control is not 100% effective. If you use it correctly it can be, but using it the wrong way it won't be effective.
- The teen mother should take parental classes early in their pregnancy, eat a nutritious diet, take prescribed vitamins and iron supplements, and do healthy physical activity.
- A supportive family can help the teen mother with her new responsibilities, but social service agencies may be needed to help her find ways to finish school and seek employment.