3 Risks a Pregnant Teen Will Face & Hot a Pregnancy Specialist Can Help
If a teenager in your care is pregnant, it can be challenging to find a pregnancy specialist that will be suitable for their care. An obstetrician that can offer assurance as well as medical oversight can help your teenager deal with this change in her life. Here are some of the risks that teenage pregnancy faces, and the ways that an obstetrician can help manage these risks.
Risk of chromosomal abnormalities
Teenage pregnancy comes with a higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as cleft lip and polydactyl compared to adult pregnancies. This is contrary to the popular opinion that chromosomal abnormalities increase with maternal age.
An obstetrician can order more scans and tests to identify potential issues and help educate the teenager (and her carer if relevant) on the risks and the logic behind the scans. Having the extra information on some of these issues can help ensure that the obstetrician can have any relevant medical specialists on hand after the birth to help (such as surgery for a cleft lip).
Risk of premature birth
Teenage pregnancies have a higher risk of premature births. While some premature births have unknown causes, obstetricians can work to educate their teenage patients on how to reduce risks by avoid cigarette smoking and drug use, as well as getting adequate sleep and nutrition including prenatal vitamins. Many teenagers are trying to combine work and study during their pregnancies, and an obstetrician can write medical certificates and put the patient on bed rest if they need rest.
Risk of hypertension, anaemia and preeclampsia
Teenage mothers have a much higher risk of hypertension, anaemia and preeclampsia compared to adult pregnancies. Each of these problems can lead to illness on the part of the mother, as well as increasing the risk of preterm birth, but can easily be detected by simple health checks such as regular blood pressure tests, blood tests and urine tests.
Obstetricians like Dr Andrew Foote can get the mother to perform these tests at home in the case of urine and blood pressure tests and at a phlebotomist for blood tests. By regularly reporting these results to the obstetrician, early issues can be identified and if necessary the mother can be placed on medication to increase iron levels or reduce blood pressure.
As sympathetic obstetrician who focuses on educating and supporting a teenage mother can be a valuable resource in securing the best outcome for mother and baby.