We all have our different ideas of teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy is defined as unmarried women under eighteen becoming pregnant. The history of teenage pregnancy is a little complicated; it needs to be examined from its historical context showing how it affects the women and child, and the resulting challenges.
Teenage pregnancy has been around since at least the colonial times. Yet, during the earlier part of history it was okay for adolescent girls to become pregnant; as long as they were married before the baby was born. Up until after World War II, young girls would marry by the time they were 14 or 15, and since there was no real form of contraception they would be pregnant shortly after. By the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s birth control was more reliable and more young people decided to delay marriage or not to get married at all. Which then brought all the focus to the incidence of unwed mothers; by the 1990s almost 25 percent of all babies were born to unmarried women, teens gave birth to one-third of these infants.
When a teen becomes a parent, most times they don’t realize all of the challenges and problems that they will potentially face. Most young mothers are not developed enough to handle the emotional and physical stresses of parenting, especially when they are doing it alone. Depression is common among young mothers due to the overwhelming nature and high demand of care that an infant needs. Children born to teenage mothers are more at risk to be neglected or abused, and potentially become teenage parents themselves. Teen mothers are at a higher risk to have a miscarriage, premature birth, and having a baby of low birth weight or with birth defects. For children of teen mothers they run the risk of having under developed organ systems and difficulty controlling body temperature and blood sugar levels.
Being a young parent and trying to keep with all of the new found financial obligations becomes a new stress in life. Teen mothers have to...
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