Unintended Or Unplanned Pregnancies Are A Major Health Concern Associated With Increased Risks

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Unintentional or unplanned pregnancies are a major health concern associated with increased risks of detrimental behaviors, abortions and negative social and birth outcomes (Feldman, 2012). While the rates of pregnancy and childbirth among adolescents under the age of 20 in the United States have been falling since 1990 it is not expected to disappear entirely and remains a national problem (Moeller, 2007). Pregnancy in adolescence have been associated with a variety of poor maternal and infant outcomes. Health risks to teens and their infants include low birth weight, risk of prematurity, developmental delays, and poor prenatal weight gain. The antenatal and postpartum social risks include depression, substance abuse, homelessness, child maltreatment, reliance on public assistance, lack of education, and domestic abuse (Bensussen-Walls & Saewyc, 2001).
Adolescence is a time of major cognitive, social, and physical changes. Parenthood is not a normal age-related tasks for adolescents (Bensussen-Walls & Saewyc, 2001). The age-related tasks of adolescence are focused more on identity growth. Many teens are not well-equipped for the realities of parenthood, usually have little to no knowledge about child development and parenting, and often romanticize the idea of having a baby all while in the midst of gaining independence from their own parents (Strunk, 2008). Simultaneously these girls are not physically prepared for pregnancy and childbirth often lacking the necessary

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