Many people say it’s the journey and not the destination, and that is true for mostly everything. It’s about enjoying the hike up the mountain, not so much getting to the very top. It’s about racking up the wins throughout the sports season and not so much just the state competition. But in sometimes, it might feel like we just want to get there already, to our destination. As teenagers, it’s an awkward place to be, because teenagers aren’t considered kids, but not yet full adults, which makes it easy to understand why some of us might rush into adulthood. Teen pregnancy in females 15-19 in the United States has plummeted from the 1990s where 61.8 births out of 1,000 to 2015 where there were 20.3 births out of 1,000, but teens are also far more likely to give birth in the United States than any other industrialized country in the world. Childbearing could be a first hand learning experience, but isn’t worth the consequences that it comes with which lead to health issues, problems with education and potentially an unstable environment. Being pregnant as a teen could be slightly beneficial to the teen mother’s overall health, but it could also have a negative impact to the mother’s and baby’s physical and mental health. Pregnancy in teens is harmful to the parent and the child, because it will cause poor physical health, problems for their mental health and could also result in physical health problems for the baby.
Pregnancy itself can be beneficial to a woman’s physical and mental health. David Acker, the chief of obstetrics and gynecology at the Women’s Hospital in Boton said, “One group of women in particular, those with diabetes make good use of pregnancy to learn how to better manage their diseases” (parent.com). This is a tremendously great thing, because some people that have experience with diseases could give up and not try their best to deal with it. But, while being in the process of bringing another life into this world, that could possibly give them more motivation to keep going, because they’ll be more considerate. Women will be more conscious of everything they do because they won’t oly affect their own life, but their child’s.“Foods you love may start to taste funny, certain smells may get smellier, you may get touchy about being touched – you get the idea.” (Vitamedmdrx.com). While these senses are sensitive, it can be easier to avoid smoking and other drugs, which results in a healthier pregnancy. Sensitive senses can also be beneficial because it could potentially increase eating more. While this could be a negative effect to some people, it can also be positive for others who need to get more nutrition into their diet. “Some women find their body image actually improves with pregnancy” says Mae Shoemaker, past president of the International Childbirth Education Association (Parent.com). Confidence as a mother is important because if someone feels like they’re capable of doing something, they have a higher chance of executing it compared to if they didn’t believe in themself. In this case, if mothers believe that they can be a suitable mother for the baby, they most likely will be. On the whole, pregnancy can be rewarding because it can provide more motivation and inspiration to some of those that need it.
Being pregnant as a teen can cause poor mental and physical health for the parent. “Teen moms are twice as likely to experience postpartum depression as their adult counterparts.” (healthline.com). Postpartum depression is a type of depression that is heavier and usually happens after they have given birth. Postpartum depression can lead to feeling unworthy and could also cause anxiety along with other effects. While being a mother it’s important to have self-confidence, because it will lead to trying their best to fulfill the baby’s needs. The mother will try her best because she feels capable of doing it. But with depression, people can feel incapable which might even lead to giving their baby up for someone else to care for.Poor mental health can change a person’s whole perspective on everything, and can immensely affect how they feel about things. Some teen moms will face depression to a point where they have suicidal thoughts which isn’t healthy at all while being pregnant or taking care of a child. Some thoughts could include harming themselves or their baby which is dangerous because it is life-threatening. Young women are more biologically prone to STD’s and other diseases like anemia, preeclampsia and high blood pressure. (cdc.gov). Younger people in general have more chances of getting diseases which could be a reason not to get pregnant as an adolescent. While having exposure to more diseases, some of them could be inherited to the child. Not only can some diseases be passed down, but it will also be harder to take care of a child while the teen is trying to care for herself. Depending on how serious the disease is for the parent, the child’s needs could be neglected or they might not be receiving the amount of attention that they need. “Teens could experience malnutrition as this is one of the physical health effects they could be impacted with” (reverehealth.com). Malnutrition can make it harder for the adolescent to provide the baby with their necessities. While experiencing malnutrition, it’s another responsibility and thing to take care of while raising a child, which can make it that much more difficult. Also, the way that the mother eats, can affect they way the child eats, so the child might also experience malnutrition. Malnutrition can also affect the teen mom herself. The lack of nutrition can be dangerous because the mother can get sick until she receives the proper nutrition which means this could affect the amount of attention that the baby is getting. Teen pregnancy isn’t worth all of these overall health issues, but pregnancy is worth the wait to avoid some of these consequences.
Teen pregnancy can not only harm the teens mental and physical health, but it will also cause unique health problems for the baby. With teen pregnancy, babies are at greater risk low birth weight, infant mortality and developmental delay. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Developmental delay and infant mortality can be really harmful to the child because they might not have all of their organs fully developed, and a lot of organs in our body are necessary to perform certain functions. Low birth weight can also be dangerous because it could potentially cause problems that are more long term. Some of these effects could include delayed motor and social development or learning disabilities. Other negative physical effects for the baby include bleeding in the brain, asthma, and vision/hearing problems (reverehealth.com). These physical effects can be really harmful because they are more long term than they are short. For example, vision and hearing problems, and asthma can stay with someone for a lifetime or they could get better but it would take some time. Bleeding in the brain can also affect the baby in a harmful way because it can result in strokes, loss of brain function and other such as difficulty walking or speaking. Risks of social impairment and mild behavior disorders. Boys are more likely to be rebellious, aggressive and not under control. Girls are more likely to have greater aggressiveness, fearfulness and feelings of inferiority (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). It can be more likely for children to have mild disorders which could potentially make caring for the baby even harder. While having children with a higher chance of having a rebellious attitude, it’s harder to care for their child because the parents are still teenagers, and most likely won’t know what to do. Since children of teenage parents are more likely to have an attitude that is not really under control, those children also have a higher chance of becoming teenage parents compared to their peers who have adult parents. This is most likely due to the example that their parents are setting. Being pregnant as an adolescent can be so risky because not only could mothers potentially set up health problems for themselves (that they would have less of a chance of getting if they weren’t pregnant so early), but also for their children.
Although childbearing could be a potential motivator individually, it can cause poor health for the child and mother. Being pregnant as an adolescent mother is unsafe because it won’t only cause overall health problems for the mother, but also for the baby. Pregnancy comes with countless hardships that can only really be fully understood by someone who has went through it. Even though it can cause possible side effects, it is still a beautiful thing to bring new life to this world. But although our bodies are capable of bringing new life into this world, it’s important to also be considerate and aware of the potential consequences to teen pregnancy. It’s better to have higher chances of a healthy pregnancy, and higher chances of being stable enough to fully attend to the baby’s needs than to bring life into this world too early to a point where the child isn’t getting the support they need for a successful life. The outcome of any situation can be beautiful or it can be more difficult than it needs to be, but it’s all about the choices we make.