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this week


By Crystal

Unwanted teen pregnancy is not a new phenomenon. Although the number of teenage girls getting pregnant is going down, unplanned teen pregnancy still happens far more often than it should. Teenage pregnancy effects both the child and the mother in many ways when a pregnancy is unwanted.

There can be a of health problems associated with teen pregnancy. It is common that a young mother will not gain enough weight to carry a baby to full, healthy term. This can cause the baby to be born with low birth-weight and result in underdeveloped organs, a condition that can result in health problems or even death.

The age of the mother can also influence the decision to stop any bad habits while pregnant. Habits like drinking or smoking have life-long effects for an unborn baby. Drinking during pregnancy can lead to a very serious disorder called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or FAS. Similarly if a mother smokes during pregnancy, the baby can have growth problems or health problems that are associated with smoking.

The issues that can effect teen moms go beyond health risks. There are the economic concequences of having a baby too young. It can be really tough to finish school when you have a new baby and this limits the type of jobs that are available in the future. Well-paying jobs require a lot of training and time is always tight when there’s a baby around. Some young moms have great support systems and many do not. Statiscially many boys will leave their pregnant girlfriends even before the baby is born and very few will remain around to help raise the child. Being a single mom adds even more stress to the young mom because she will only have one income to rely on, her own.

There are a lot of things that teens can do to prevent unwanted teen pregnancy. Using birth control is one way to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy. Another sure-fire way to avoid unwanted pregnancy is to abstain from sex (not have sex). Sex is a big decision with big risks and big responsibilities.

If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant you are probably going to have a lot of conflicting feelings; moments of anger, guilt, excitement or depression. The most important thing you can do is find somebody who can support you and help you realize what all of your options are. If you are dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, be sure to speak to a professional who is knowledgeable and open-minded and won’t pressure you into any decision. Having a baby is the most life-changing, important thing that will ever happen to you so make sure you deal with it in a responsible way. A child is a lifetime commitment.


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