Turn your TV on to the latest reality shows listings and you’ll find plenty of examples of teen pregnancies. Teen pregnancy has been a growing public concern for several decades now. The only problem is that, whether or not you realize it, teen pregnancy rates are actually on the decline.
According to the Washington Post, teen pregnancy rates have dropped by 42% since 1990. However, in a recent survey, most Americans indicated that they believed teen pregnancy rates are on the rise. 50% answered that rates were rising, while a mere 18% indicated that rates were declining. The rest either indicated rates have stayed the same or said they didn’t know.
Here are some other facts about teen pregnancy you should be aware of:
- Teenage pregnancy rates had been falling up until 2007. Between the years of 1990 and 2005, teen pregnancy rates fell by around 40%.
- In 2006 and 2007, teen pregnancy increased. The rate rose by about 5 percent, marking the first increase since 1990.
- Today, about 30% of teenage girls will get pregnant at least once before they turn 20.
- 25% of teen moms under the age of 18 will have another baby within the first two years of giving birth to their first one.
- Teenage moms are more likely that moms that are over 20 to give birth to a baby prematurely. Preterm birth rates for teenage mothers are about 14.5%, while preterm birth rates for women over the age of 20 are 11.9%.
- Babies that are born prematurely face a number of potential problems over the course of their lives.
- Teen moms are more likely to smoke during pregnancy than other moms. 17% of teen moms in one recent study smoked, while only 10% of moms between the age of 25 and 34 smoked.
- Smoking during pregnancy creates a number of health risks for the baby, and a number of potential problems with the pregnancy.
- Teen moms are less likely to seek early and regularly scheduled prenatal care. An average of 7.1% receive no prenatal care or late prenatal care, whereas the average for all women is 3.7%.
- Teen moms have greater risks of pregnancy complications, high blood pressure, and more. The risks are especially high for teen moms under the age of 15.
Education is the key. Helping our teenagers to understand the risks posed by becoming a mother this early is essential to fixing some of these potential problems.
Young Americans were, perhaps surprisingly, the most likely to to believe the teen pregnancy rate had risen; 68 percent of those surveyed between 18 and 34 years old agreed with this.
- Teen pregnancies fall by a quarter (bbc.co.uk)