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Description: Teen pregnancy presents additional concerns for the young woman's physical and emotional health. Depending on the teen's lifestyle and support, pregnancy can be a challenging time. To learn more about teen pregnancy watch this video from About.com

Teen pregnancy presents additional concerns for the young woman's physical and emotional health. Depending on the teen's lifestyle and support, pregnancy can be a challenging time. To learn more about teen pregnancy watch this video from About.com Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello I’m Dr. Stuart James Fischbein. I’m a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. You can find more about me at www.BirthingInstincts.com. I’m here today on behalf of About.com to discuss with you teen pregnancy.

Teen pregnancy is actually on the decline in the United States right now, which is actually great, but still it happens far too frequently. The biggest difference in teen pregnancy, between that and an older woman who has a pregnancy is a level of maturity, generally. And sometimes it has to do with nutrition, sometimes it has to do with denial, sometimes it has to do with lifestyle – not taking care of themselves so well. So there are slightly greater risk factors for a woman who is – for a teen who is pregnant.

It also encompasses a broad category because you’re talking when you say teen pregnancy about 13 year olds all the way up to 19 year olds. And certainly 18 and 19 year old are legal and mature, and can make some decisions according to the law by themselves. So that would be a different category that I would think than 13 or 14 or 15 year old. A lot of those young girls tend to either deny pregnancy. If they are pregnant they are probably not eating necessarily as well, so they are more at risk for gestational diabetes or pre-term labor or some of the other things that prenatal care can help prevent like nutritional issues and things like that.

There is also the level of maturity, there is also the ability to handle the emotional changes that come with pregnancy, whether or not it has to do with the family and the social situation, or whether it has to do with the physical stresses on the body as the pregnancy progresses and especially in labor. Labor is a time when a woman becomes really empowered by herself and looks inward to use that inner strength to give birth. And a lot of teenagers are sadly not mature enough to deal with that so the emotional level interferes with the ability to labor properly and sometimes you’ll see a higher caesarean section rate in teen pregnancies.

Clearly, prevention is the best thing that can happen. And using birth control or abstinence would be the best choice when you are a teenager. But if you are pregnant, please don’t hide it. Please bring it forward to your school counselor or your parents, your physician, whether it’s your pediatrician or a clinic, but do not hide it – come forward, because the health of your baby is at stake.

Again, I’m Dr. Stuart James Fischbein. Thank you so much for watching. If you would like to learn more, visit us online at About.com.




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