Teenage Pregnancy

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Teenage Pregnancy

"Over one million teenage girls become pregnant each year. In the next 24 hours, about 3,312 girls will become pregnant. In addition, 43% of all adolescents become pregnant before the age of 20. These are incredible statistics when you consider that there are only 31 million females. The United States has the highest adolescent pregnancy rate in the developed world. As statistics show one in nine women between the ages of 15 through 19 become pregnant each year. Also, every 26 seconds a teenage girl becomes pregnant and every 56 seconds a child of a teenage mother is born."

A child needs a nurturing and stable environment in order to prosper and grow. A child born to a single teenage mother is much less likely to succeed and have decreased cognitive skills. Often times a teenage mother may be too self-absorbed with her voyage of personal discovery to be able to meet the needs of her child. Having been thrust into premature adulthood, she cannot possibly confront life and the challenges of parenthood with maturity and responsibility. Therefore it can be assumed that a child born to a single teenage mother is more at risk for emotional, cognitive and other such problems than the child of a mature, adult mother. Sometimes single teenage mothers have adequate support systems for raising a child. In these cases, their parents often provide a home, financial support and childcare. Some school districts provide special programs for teen parents which include instruction in careers and parenting experience in daycare setting where they learn how to care for their child's needs; these experiences give the mother social support as well. Unfortunately, these situations are more the exception than the rule. A single...

... middle of paper ... a teenager unhampered by the responsibility of a child. In addition, she cannot prepare her child for adulthood because she has not yet reached it herself.

Besides the emotional problems, there are also physical problems for a teenage mother. A teenage mother is more at risk of pregnancy complications such as premature or prolonged labor, anemia and high blood pressure. These risks are even greater for teens who are less than 15 years old. Nine percent of teenage mothers have low-birth weight babies. Low-birth weight babies are much more likely to grow up with cognitive, emotional, and physical complications than fully developed babies.

To conclude, Teenage pregnancies lead to a decrease in cognitive, social, and emotional development in children. In addition to the baby stagnating developmentally, the teenage mother is unable to continue to mature as well.