The teen birth rate has been steadily falling for years, but it still remains the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized countries. About eighty-five percent of these pregnancies are unplanned, which in any population can increase the risk for problems. The biggest risk for teen mothers is delaying prenatal care or worse, about seven percent received no care at all. The sign of pregnancy:Missing one or more menstrual periods is the classic sign of pregnancy. But this can be tricky for teenage girls, whose periods aren’t yet regular.
It can also be tricky for girls whose cycles are off as a result of excessive dieting or exercise, low body fat from sports, or anorexia.The full list of pregnancy signs includes:A missed menstrual periodNausea or vomiting — called “morning sickness,” though it can happen throughout the daySudden, intense aversion to certain foods, especially meats or fatty, fried foodsSore nipples or breastsUnusual fatigueFrequent urinationUnusual mood swingsOf course, a positive pregnancy test is another sign of pregnancy. Today’s home pregnancy tests are generally considered accurate. These simple kits can be bought over the counter in drugstores.Problems with TeensOne of the many reasons that teen pregnancy is not a good idea is the issues that arise, including the above-mentioned lack of prenatal care.
The reason for the lack of prenatal care is usually delayed pregnancy testing, denial or even fear of telling others about the pregnancy. Most states have a health department or university clinic where prenatal care is free or low cost and patient confidentiality is very important, meaning no one can tell the teen mother’s family.Because the body of a teen is still growing she will need more nutritional support to meet both her needs and that of her baby. Nutritional counseling can be a large portion of prenatal care, usually done by a doctor or a midwife, sometimes a nutritionist. This counseling will usually include information about prenatal vitamins, folic acid, and the dos and don’ts of eating and drinking.Feeling Alone everytimeEspecially for teens who think they can’t tell their parents they’re pregnant, feeling scared, isolated, and alone can be a real problem. Without the support of family or other adults, pregnant teens are less likely to eat well, exercise, or get plenty of rest. And they are less likely to get to their regular prenatal visits.
Having at least one trusted, supportive adult — someone nearby in the community, if not a family member — is invaluable in helping them get the prenatal care and emotional support they need to stay healthy during this time.