I'm not planning on becoming pregnant in the near future, let's get that out of the way.
It seems like everywhere discribes the risks for women under 18 who have a baby but I doubt that 18 is really the magic age for carrying a baby to term so much as it's the "legal age" for everything else and god forbid they'd say some women could do it at 17, right?
I know it's different for every woman but what's the youngest age where it's healthiest for a woman to carry a baby to term?
Physically, it's safe for most women to have a baby by their mid-teens. Once you get your first period, you can get pregnant. It's basically your body's way of saying, "Hey! I'm biologically ready for pregnancy! Baby, baby, baby!" So yes, it's perfectly possible and common to have a healthy pregnancy at 17.
Generally, teenagers have unhealthy pregnancies and produce low-birthweight babies because they do not get adequate pre-natal care. They can sometimes have more problems with high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, but these risks exist for women over 35 as well -- in addition to an increased risk of having a baby with Down's syndrome.
But if a young teen gets pregnant, and seeks prenatal care right away, any problems can be caught early and the doctor can help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
The other thing about teenage pregnancy (in addition to the pre-natal care) is nutrition. Teenagers don't usully eat right, take vitamins, ect... A poor diet, and the abuse of substances, including alcohol, drugs and caffeine, can all lead to complications during pregnancy or problems for the child. It is my understanding that diet and pre-nantal care often are often the 2 "biggies" that result in complications.
Hope you are enlightened! :-)
[This message has been edited by Insane (edited 05-02-2002).]
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