Most teenage girls don't plan to get pregnant, but many do. Teen pregnancies carry extra health risks to both the mother and the baby. Often, teens don't get prenatal care soon enough, which can lead to problems later on. They have a higher risk for pregnancy-related high blood pressure and its complications. Risks for the baby include premature birth and a low birth weight.
If you're a pregnant teen, you can help yourself and your baby by
- Getting regular prenatal care
- Taking your prenatal vitamins for your health and to prevent some birth defects
- Avoiding smoking, alcohol, and drugs
- Using a condom, if you are having sex, to prevent sexually transmitted diseases that could hurt your baby. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Birth Control: MedlinePlus Health Topic (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Ten Tips for Parents to Help Their Children Avoid Teen Pregnancy (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy) - PDF
- Are You Pregnant and Thinking about Adoption? (Children's Bureau) - PDF
- Can a Girl Get Pregnant If She Has Sex during Her Period? (Nemours Foundation)
- Talking Back: What Teens Want Adults to Know about Teen Pregnancy (National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy) - PDF
- Teen Parents (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Teenage Pregnancy: Consider the Options (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Telling Parents You're Pregnant (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
Statistics and Research
- Characteristics of Pregnant Teen Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) - PDF
- Reduced Disparities in Birth Rates Among Teens (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Teen Pregnancy in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Pregnancy in Adolescence (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Determinants of adolescent pregnancy in indigenous communities from the Peruvian central...
- Article: Diné (Navajo) female perspectives on mother-daughter communication and cultural assets around...
- Article: Trends in teenage pregnancy in Brazil in the last 20 years...
- Teenage Pregnancy -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Also in Spanish
- Find an Ob-Gyn (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
- March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation Also in Spanish
- Becoming a Father (Boston Children's Hospital)