The issue of teenage pregnancy continues to attract attention from parties in various sectors. Although the society continues to shun teenage pregnancy, there haven increasing consent that its effects spread beyond the teenage mother, her child, and family. In this regard, efforts directed towards mitigating the teenage pregnancy menace continue to receive support. The effects of teenage pregnancy as witnessed in nursing, healthcare, and the economy raise considerable interest.
Teenage pregnancy is associated with various medical risks such as poor prenatal care, high blood pressure, premature births, sexually transmitted diseases, and depression (Katz, 2011). Pregnant teenagers, especially those lacking parental support, face increased risks of poor prenatal care. Prenatal care is crucial especially during the early stages of pregnancy. It helps health professionals to monitor a baby’s growth and tackle any medical complications that may arise. Furthermore, prenatal care ensures appropriate levels of different components, such as folic acid, that are essential in preventing various birth defects. Research shows that there is a high risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension among teenagers unlike in adult women (Dawn et al., 2012). Other risky conditions such as preeclampsia are also rampant among pregnant teenagers.
Medical surveys indicate a close relationship between premature births, common among teenage mothers, and various health issues such as respiratory, digestive, and cognitive problems. Because of their limited knowledge, teenagers are prone to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV. Their understanding regarding protected sex and emergency contraception in case of contraceptive failure is generally low. Contracting STDs is detrimental to the well being of both the baby and the mother. Teenage pregnancy is associated with detrimental psychological outcomes such as postpartum depression and isolation. Surveys show that teenagers exhibit higher levels of depression largely due to low self-esteem (Dawn et al., 2012).
The nature of nursing care in terms of prenatal and postpartum aspects has considerably changed in consideration of teenage pregnancies. This has resulted from various health issues that mostly relate to teenage pregnancy. Pregnant teenagers have unique needs that warrant extensive support from health care professionals. In addition, they need emotional support and counseling as they may be undergoing depression and isolation considering the negative perceptions associated with teenage pregnancy. Furthermore, pregnant teenagers lack experience concerning pregnancy unlike the case of adult women (Cherry & Jacob, 2010).
The health care system channels considerable amounts of funds towards health care for teenage mothers and their babies. This approach considers various health issues associated with teenage pregnancy. Moreover, various initiatives, such as the school-based provision of emergency contraception, which deals with matters relating to teenage pregnancy, require funding. Furthermore, statistics show that most of the families that began at teenage largely depend on the government concerning the provision of various services (Cherry & Jacob, 2010).
Health professionals have had to re-evaluate their perspectives regarding prenatal and postpartum care and make considerations for teenage mothers. The economy also suffers due to the large amounts of funds directed towards tackling various issues attributed to teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy is largely due to lack of knowledge among adolescents. By creating awareness among teenagers regarding their sexuality, and providing them with guidance on how to deal with matters relating to sex, incidences of teenage pregnancy would considerably decline.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2010). Contemporary nursing: issues, trends & management (5th ed.). St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby/Elsevier.
Dawn, K., Maureen, H., Deshayne, F., & Beverley, C. (2012). Comparison of Adolescent, Young Adult, and Adult Women’s Maternity Experiences and Practices. Pediatrics, 129(5), 1228 -1237.
Katz, A. (2011). Adolescent Pregnancy. Nursing for Women’s Health, 15(2), 149–152.