Teenage pregnancy promotes premature birth


There is nothing more pleasing for parents than seeing their child after birth.  Every parent wants their child to be healthy and born at the right time.  But, human body is complicated and some children are born pre-maturely.  An Irish study revealed that pregnant teenagers, 14 to 17 year old, are more likely to give birth to a premature child. 

The findings were reported in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, also revealed that teenagers were likely to give birth early to second child.

What did study involve?

  • Researchers studied more than 50,000 women in England with ages ranging from 14 – 29 for a period of two-year.  
  • 3,600 women were aged from 14 – 17 and more than third of them came from socially deprived areas.

What were the main findings of study?

  • Women aged under 17 were 21% more likely to have a premature baby with their first pregnancy and 93% more likely to have their second baby early.
  • There was also a link with younger mothers and having a baby with a low birth weight.

What is the reason for teenager giving birth prematurely?
Researchers are not clear about the reason for the premature births by teen agers.  Professor Louise Kenny, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Cork University Maternity Hospital and study leader, said more research was needed to find out the exact cause of premature babies in teenage girls. She said one issue was that teenage mothers tended to turn up to health services later in their pregnancy than older mothers and were more likely to miss check-ups.

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What did research revealed about the second child?

Research said that teenage girls are more likely to give birth to second child too.  Researcher Dr. Ali Khashan, from University College Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, said it “It is also possible that the increased risk of poor pregnancy outcome in the second teenage pregnancy is related to numerous complicating factors such as greater social deprivation and less prenatal care,” he added.

Dr. Kenny acknowledged that “It might be the pre-existing risk factors that are increased by the physical and psychosocial demand of another pregnancy during teenage years – but again more research is needed.”

Professor Steve Thornton, spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said he suspected there were a host of complex social and behavioural reasons behind the findings.

Many countries have put legal limit for marriage for women, which is usually 18 years of age.  I think teenagers at age younger than that are not ready for the child either mentally or physically.  Bringing up a child in this world is a huge responsibility, teenagers should think twice before they decide to give birth to a child at such a young age.

Source: bbcnews

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