Pregnancy for a teenager can be a philosophical event with long term implications for the young mother, father, family, and friends.Â Pregnancy is the state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth when a woman carries a developing fetus in her uterus. Thus, teenage pregnancy is the period between ages 13 to 19 when a teenager gets pregnant. For this research, the researcher will look at children between the ages of 13 to 17 years old, in an effort of heightening awareness on pregnancy.
Jamaica, like many other countries has an overwhelming amount of teenage pregnancy. This has caused children to stop attending school until the child is born, and in many instances, they forfeit the opportunity in completing their secondary education. They are more likely to obtain inadequate prenatal care, have inadequate nutrition, increased pregnancy complications, sexually transmitted diseases and higher risk of low birth weight.
Santrock (2008) states that teenage pregnancy creates health risks for both the baby and the mother. He went on to say that infants born to teen mothers are more likely to have low birth weights, a prominent factor in infant mortality, as well as neurological problems and childhood illness. They often drop out of school, some of them will resume their education, however, they do not generally catch up economically with women who postpone childbearing until their twenties. The consequences of an early, unplanned pregnancy place the teenage mother at a distinct disadvantage in her attempts to achieve economic security. Based on the Child Care and Protection Act of 2004, a child must attend school and be given an education whether she become pregnant or not. However, social and cultural taboos make it very difficult for a girl to remain in school during her pregnancy.