Psychological Effects of Teenage Pregnancy

4863 Words Apr 3rd, 2012 20 Pages
Psychological Effects of Teenage Pregnancy

In recent years, the rate of teen pregnancies in America has increased dramatically. Approximately 750,000 teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 become pregnant every year, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Within this number, 82% of the pregnancies are unplanned. The psychological effects of these pregnancies can be severe.

 Birth and Post-Birth Issues * More than half of teenage pregnancies continue to birth. According to a researcher at the Transnational Family Research Institute, teenage mothers are at a high risk of experiencing depression, birth complications, toxemia, anemia and even death. Teenage girls are often not emotionally prepared for childbirth or being a mother
…show more content…
Teenage mothers may constantly feel tired and sluggish as the result of hormonal changes, which can lead to mood swings. Lifestyle changes also play a large role in the causes of depression in teenage mothers. The demands of a new baby, financial issues, lack of support from the baby's father, missing out at school, not being able to hang out with friends and learning the ropes of motherhood can all affect the emotional well-being of a teenage mother.
Signs of Depression * Postpartum depression can last for days or weeks following the birth of a baby. However, the effects of being a teenage mother can last years or even a lifetime. Symptoms of postpartum depression include sadness, irritability, crying, trouble sleeping, inability to concentrate, anxiety and mood swings. She may even feel like she is unable to take care of her baby or perform daily tasks. More severe symptoms may include intense irritability, lack of enjoyment of life, difficulty bonding with the baby, thoughts of harming herself or her baby, severe mood swings and withdrawal from friends and family.

Treatment * If her feelings of depression become intense or do not improve after the first couple weeks after giving birth, she should visit her doctor. Treatment can help reduce the effects of postpartum depression in teenage moms. Counseling may be beneficial in helping a teenage mother cope
Open Document