Early pregnancy is a major challenge that teenagers face in contemporary society. Unintended pregnancies entail serious health repercussions for both teenage moms and their newborns. Pregnancy and delivery complications are the leading cause of death among women aged 15–19 globally, with low- and middle-income countries accounting for 99 percent of global maternal deaths among women aged 15–49 (World Health Organization, 2020). Teen moms aged 10–19 years are more prone to develop “eclampsia, puerperal endometritis, and systemic infections” than female aged 20–24 years. Moreover, each year, about 3.9 million unsafe abortions that involves girls below 19 years are done, contributing to maternal deaths, morbidity, and long-term health risks. Early childbirth can put babies and young moms in danger. Babies born to mothers bellow the age of 20 have a higher risk of birth defects, premature delivery, and major neonatal complications. Accelerated, recurring childbirth is a matter of concern for young moms in some situations because it entails significant health concerns to both the mother and infant.
Social and economic consequences of teenage pregnancy
Stigma, abandonment, or aggression by partners, family may be social consequences for pregnant teens that are not married. According, World Health Organization, “Girls who become pregnant earlier than the age of 18 are more liable to undergo abuse in a domestic situation and in marriage” (2020). Adolescent pregnancy and childbirth regularly the reason for ladies to quit school; while attempts are being made in certain places to permit them the chance to go back to school after childbearing, this may damage girls’ subsequent education and career opportunities.
Nurses and healthcare professionals play a significant role in ensuring that the rate of teenage pregnancies is regulated and effectively dealt with in the community. As much as there are measures put in place to ensure that the number of teenage pregnancies is reduced. Due to the obvious possibility for large-scale health implications and the accessibility of recognized, successful solutions, “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)” designated adolescent pregnancy as one of seven “winnable conflicts” and a public health concern. Some of the promotion plans include;
- Comprehensive sex education
Sex education for kids in the United States has sparked heated controversy among experts, legislators, and the general public. Federal money for direct assistance of local groups teaching sex education has fluctuated between financing for celibacy initiatives and financing for more comprehensive programs. Federal financing for adolescent pregnancy primary prevention that provides more proper sex education started in 2010 with two initiatives: the “Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP),” which funded states, and the “Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPP),” which funded counties. TPP provided grants to local public and commercial organizations on a competitive basis to “replicate evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention program models that have been proved to be effective via rigorous evaluation studies.” Teaching people young sex education has played a significant role in helping to reduce the effects of early pregnancies among teenagers since it teaches them about the possible effects and consequences of early pregnancy (Mark & Wu, 2022). Teens who got proper sex education are 60% least probable than others who do not get sex education to disclose getting impregnated or impregnating somebody.
- Youth Social Development
Youth social development programs emphasize the mental and personal skills necessary to protect risky behaviors, such as premature sexual participation. These programs are predicated on the notion that youth who delay sexual relations have high academic objectives, peers who hold common values, and parent-child relationships characterized by surveillance, motivation, and open dialogue. The Seattle Social Project Plan is a program aimed at improving social abilities of children and their connection to their family and school. Through this initiative, elementary institutions should need to be given intensive training in the school’s curriculum (Mueller et al., 2017). In the intense training arm, teachers and parents got yearly instruction in progressive instructional leadership, problem-solving skills, child behavior development, and teenage drug use avoidance. In the United States of America, teen pregnancy is not always proportional across all the states. Teenage pregnancy has always been higher in the Black American community than in other ethnic groups.
Moreover, The Teen outreach is another social program that engages youths, especially adolescents who are at greater risk of becoming pregnant. This approach was created as an education initiative that engages teenagers in community volunteer work (Lugo-Gil et al., 2018). Volunteering is tied to a classroom curriculum that covers a wide range of themes, from family dynamics to human growth and development. This combination of activities enables pupils to become “help providers” rather than “help recipients.” Participants form relationships with program staff and build a sense of competence and self – determination while discovering the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. When youths engage in these community programs, it provides moral lessons on how they effectively help them focus on community development rather than engaging in immature affairs that may lead to early pregnancy.
- Abstinence approaches
Abstinence programs may not educate, advocate, or push contraceptive usage; they educate that abstinence is the only sure technique to prevent unplanned pregnancy, STDs, and related health concerns (Brindis et al., 2020). Abstinence is often regarded as the only method of contraception which always prevents pregnancy. As there is no potential for sperm to fertilize an egg, abstaining assures that a female would not become impregnated. Many alternative birth control techniques have a good success rate when used correctly, although they can malfunction on some occasions. Abstinence programs should be introduced in different institutions, especially high schools and tertiary institutions where pregnancy is common among teens. Through the government, there should be special training for all teachers in order to counsel students on the significance and the long-term implications of early pregnancy.
Impact of teenage pregnancy
Young mothers are less likely than teens who are not pregnant to complete high school and are far more likely to have under vocabulary and literacy skills. These adolescents are often more likely to experience negative self-esteem and depression disorders. Many of them have behavioral and drug issues, and they lack the means to completely promote their children’s emotional growth and development. Acknowledging the potential risks factors for adolescent pregnancy is essential for lowering the incidence of adolescent parenthood (Fisher, Danza, McCarthy & Tiezzi, 2019). They are also more likely to have suicide ideas as non-mothers. ” Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)” is more common in young mothers than in other young women. This might be since young parents are prone to experience psychological and/or physical assault.
Mental health conditions in teen moms
As a result of giving birth and being a new parent, teen mothers may encounter a range of mental health concerns. These conditions include;
- Baby Blues: The “baby blues” are sensations that a woman suffers one to two weeks following childbirth. Mood fluctuations, worry, melancholy, exhaustion, poor concentration, eating challenges, and sleeping challenges.
- Postpartum depression: Postpartum depression is characterized by more suffering from serious effects than baby blues. Postpartum depression is commonly confused with the “baby blues” by women. The signs of “baby blues” always disappear after a few weeks (Mayo Clinic, 2018).
Teen pregnancy has been a significant challenge in contemporary society despite various plans and government involvement in various countries to minimize the challenge. The above study has significantly discussed various plans and prevention that can be used on different occasions to reduce the rates of pregnancy among teens.
Brindis, C. D., Decker, M. J., Gutmann-Gonzalez, A., & Berglas, N. F. (2020). Perspectives on adolescent pregnancy prevention strategies in the united states: looking back, looking forward. Adolescent health, medicine, and therapeutics, 11, 135.
Lugo-Gil, J., Lee, A., Vohra, D., Harding, J., Ochoa, L., & Goesling, B. (2018). Updated findings from the HHS teen pregnancy prevention evidence review: August 2015 through October 2016. US Department of Health and Human Services.
Mark, N. D., & Wu, L. L. (2022). More comprehensive sex education reduced teen births: Quasi-experimental evidence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(8), e2113144119.
Mayo Clinic, (2018). Postpartum Depression. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617
Mueller, T., Tevendale, H. D., Fuller, T. R., House, L. D., Romero, L. M., Brittain, A., & Varanasi, B. (2017). Teen pregnancy prevention: Implementation of a multicomponent, community-wide approach. Journal of Adolescent Health, 60(3), S9-S17.
Fisher, R., Danza, P., McCarthy, J., & Tiezzi, L. (2019). Provision of Contraception in New York City School‐Based Health Centers: Impact on Teenage Pregnancy and Avoided Costs, 2008–2017. Perspectives on sexual and reproductive health, 51(4), 201-209.
World Health Organization, (2020). Adolescent pregnancy. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-pregnancy