Although there are variations from study to study, most studies that survey a representative sample from a population that has had no special interventions and is of diverse socioeconomic makeup, and that do not control for SES or other factors, find that children of teen parents are at greater risk than children of older parents for a host of health, social and economic problems. The critical objective, of course, is to explain why being a child of a teenager entails these risks. This is important because it affects the way we plan interventions to prevent undesired outcomes. The implications of an outcome due to physical immaturity or, in the case of an older mother, the aging process are different from those that are due to inadequate prenatal care or to inadequate nutrition, to poverty or to ignorance. Explanation is, therefore, the goal of this chapter, which is divided into several sections, each focusing on a specific outcome:
Print Being a teenager and finding out you are pregnant, especially if the pregnancy is unexpected and not wanted, can put enormous stress on a young woman and her family. However, once the pregnancy is confirmed the important thing is to support the young woman and to help her to make the wisest choice for her at this time. Support is available to help you make decisions regarding your teenage pregnancy. Finding out you are pregnant can bring up many different emotions. Every woman will feel different.
If you need help finding medical care, check with social service groups in the community or at your child's school. Your teen's health care provider can tell her what to expect during her pregnancy, how to take care of herself and her growing baby, and how to prepare for life as a parent. Some topics that will be addressed include: Medical Care At her first prenatal visit, your teen will probably be given a full physical exam, including blood and urine tests. She'll be screened for sexually transmitted diseases STDs and for exposure to certain diseases, such as measles, mumps, and rubella.